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article imageLuxembourg becomes first European country to legalize cannabis

By Tim Sandle     Aug 8, 2019 in Lifestyle
Aside from a relaxed approach to criminalization in The Netherlands, cannabis use has been heavily restarted in the European Union. This is set to change with Luxembourg becoming the first member state to legalize use.
At the same time as easing legal restrictions (as Merry Jane reports), Luxembourg has suggested that other members of the European Union similarly relax their drug control laws in relation to cannabis production and consumption. The pressure for some other states to do so will no doubt mount, given the relative ease of crossing borders within the EU.
The change means that citizens and visitors to the country, who are aged 18 and over, will be able to buy the drug legally for recreational use. This is expected to be in place by the end of 2021 (or earlier). The state will also regulate the production and distribution of cannabis through a special agency. As in the case of Canada, the maximum possession limit is expected to be 30 grams per person.
Taxes on the drug have yet to be determined, as have many other details. However, the agency probably will carry out functions like issuing licenses for cannabis production and legalizing its consumption. The agency might also put in place charges for non-residents.
The country's health minister, Etienne Schneider, is quoted by the Guardian as explaining: "This drug policy we had over the last 50 years did not work. Forbidding everything made it just more interesting to young people … I’m hoping all of us will get a more open-minded attitude toward drugs."
The countries most likely to follow as those with relatively relaxed approaches to cannabis use. The coffee shops of Amsterdam, for example and Catalonia’s decriminalized cannabis social clubs, could indicate that The Netherlands and Spain could be next. Another country with a tolerance to cannabis use is Belgium.
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