Luxembourg wants to be the first country in the European Union to legalize recreational cannabis for adults
The legalization of recreational marijuana was part of the current government coalition agreement, which has a parliamentary majority.
Etienne Schneider, Luxembourg Health Minister, has asked the countries of the European Union to modify the drug legislation because the country has decided to become the first country in the European Union to legalize the production and consumption of cannabis.
The minister says that the prohibition policy of the last 50 years has been a complete failure and that it seems that the forbidden has an added attraction for young people. Etienne Schneider hopes to start changing the mentality towards marijuana throughout the European Union. The minister expects the bill to be passed without further opposition.
The Luxembourg authorities are preparing all the details for the legalization of recreational marijuana and the legislative process. The legalization model is inspired by the Canadian system and could start this fall.
Under the new legislation, residents of Luxembourg over 18 years of age may purchase cannabis for recreational use legally within two years. The state will be responsible for controlling production and distribution through a specific cannabis agency.
In the autumn of this year Luxembourg will present a bill in which all the details and specifications on the types of cannabis that will be sold and the taxes that will be applied will be given. Schneider has said that it is not yet known whether the new law will allow non-residents in Luxembourg to buy cannabis. This measure is intended to avoid marijuana tourism. Nor will self-cultivation be legal at home.
Children between 12 and 17 years old cannot be penalized for possession of up to five grams of cannabis. Schneider has expressed his desire that other EU countries also opt for the legalization of cannabis for recreational use.
The policy aims to prevent consumers from going to the black market. Tax revenues would be used for prevention, awareness and attention of addiction to hard drugs.
Luxembourg has 600,000 residents, but the country is a neighbor of other densely populated nations, such as Belgium, France and Germany. If legalization is only for residents it is one of the key issues that could determine the impact of the measure in the European Union.
If Luxembourg achieves the legalization of cannabis, the country would join Canada, Uruguay and 11 US states. Medical cannabis is already legal in this country and possession of small amounts is decriminalized. At the moment, the purchase, sale and cultivation of marijuana are illegal.