This article was originally published on Cannabis.net and appears here with permission.
Even though medical marijuana is gaining increased accessibility in Europe, most EU countries still prohibit personal cannabis use. Germany's progression towards potentially becoming the second EU nation, following Malta, to legalize recreational cannabis could set a precedent for other countries to consider similar measures.
Nevertheless, in the broader European context, cannabis continues to be unlawful, and specific EU member states even impose legal consequences, including imprisonment, for the possession of marijuana.
While certain countries are initiating trial initiatives for medical marijuana, which is gradually becoming more attainable throughout the EU, some experts argue that the European cannabis market has exhibited a slower growth rate than that of the United States or Canada.
Pioneers Of Cannabis
Malta has the most permissive legislation in the EU for cannabis growing, use, and possession. According to regulations enacted in 2021, adults may possess up to 7g of cannabis and grow to four plants in their homes. Marijuana smoking is still not permitted in public, though.
However, as the country's cabinet approved proposals to legalize the possession of 25g of cannabis for personal use and the growth of up to three plants, Germany may soon have the most lax regulations in the bloc. The Bundestag still needs to vote on this piece of legislation.
Although the Netherlands is often perceived as lenient regarding marijuana, the growing, trading, and ownership of drugs remain against the law. The sale of cannabis is merely "tolerated" within the country's renowned coffee shops, and possessing no more than 5 g of cannabis is also considered a non-criminal offense.
Portugal implemented cannabis decriminalization in 2001, whereby the consumption and possession of small quantities are treated as administrative offenses. In Spain, private consumption isn't prohibited, but partaking in public is considered an offense, leading to fines.
In Luxembourg, private cannabis consumption is tolerated; as of this year, cultivating up to four cannabis plants is permitted. Possession of cannabis in …