Malta and Germany: Pioneers in Cannabis Legalization

Malta and Germany have emerged as leaders in the European Union’s shift towards cannabis legalization. Both nations have adopted similar models, with Germany recently passing legislation largely based on Malta’s 2022 framework. This alignment represents a significant step in the EU’s approach to cannabis policy.

Malta’s groundbreaking move to legalize the cultivation and personal use of cannabis set a precedent within the EU. The Maltese law allows adults to carry up to seven grams of cannabis and grow no more than four plants at home. However, public consumption remains illegal, reflecting a cautious approach to legalization.

The Maltese model has been influential, with Germany’s new law permitting adults to grow up to three plants and carry up to 25 grams. Notably, Germany has introduced cannabis associations, allowing members to obtain regulated products, a concept directly inspired by Malta’s system.

Germany’s Adaptation: Expanding the Framework

Germany’s adaptation of the Maltese model includes the creation of not-for-profit cannabis associations, which can grow and distribute cannabis to their members. This system aims to ensure safety and traceability, moving users away from the black market.

One key difference is Germany’s allowance for public consumption under certain conditions, contrasting with Malta’s strict ban. This divergence highlights the nuances of each country’s approach to integrating cannabis into society.

The Road Ahead: Learning and Evolving

As Malta and Germany navigate this new legal landscape, they face the challenge of refining legislation to address market realities and societal impacts. The shared experience between the two countries provides a valuable opportunity for mutual learning and legislative improvement.

The ongoing assessments by Malta’s Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis (ARUC) will be crucial in proposing changes to the law, especially in curbing the black market. Both nations will continue to tweak their policies, setting an example for other EU countries considering similar reforms.

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