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Luxembourg: New cannabis law came into force yesterday

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Luxembourg has made a significant change to its cannabis policy. The new law that legalizes the possession and personal cultivation of marijuana for adults came into effect this Friday, July 21, as announced by the government. The Ministry of Justice made the fact official by publishing a statement in the Official Journal on Tuesday, confirming the forthcoming policy change.

The Ministry of Justice released the following statement about the new law:

“On July 17, 2023, the Law of July 10, 2023 was published in the Official Journal amending the Law of February 19, 1973, as amended, on the sale of medicinal substances and the fight against drug addiction, which provides for the legalization of the domestic cultivation of cannabis under certain conditions. The law will enter into force on the fourth day following its publication, that is, on Friday, July 21, 2023.”

This innovative measure comes about a month after the Luxembourgish Parliament approved the legalization project, becoming the second country in the European Union to end cannabis prohibition. Malta had already led the way by voting to legalize cannabis in 2021.

The legalization of cannabis in Luxembourg was initially proposed in 2021 by the Ministers of Justice and Internal Security. The new law will allow adults to possess up to three grams of cannabis and grow up to four plants in a secure location within their private residence.

While future legislation allows for the possession and cultivation of cannabis within certain limits, it also imposes sanctions for those who exceed permitted amounts. Possession and purchase of more than three grams of cannabis can carry a prison sentence of up to six months. This severe penalty may come as a surprise, especially given the relatively low possession limit. Furthermore, public consumption of cannabis will continue to be strictly prohibited.

The decision to legalize cannabis in Luxembourg reflects a change in perspective on drug policy. Justice Minister Sam Tanson, at the end of last month's debate, stressed that the criminalization of cannabis was an "absolute failure". Therefore, the government is now daring to follow a different path and looking for alternative solutions to solve the problem.

With the implementation of this new law, Luxembourg is making great strides in reforming its approach to cannabis. By legalizing personal possession and cultivation for adults, the country is taking a progressive stance on drug policy. As Friday approaches, Luxembourg is ready to set an example for other nations by showing that thoughtful and compassionate drug laws can create a positive impact on society.

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