Lawmakers in Luxembourg on Wednesday approved a measure to legalize marijuana for personal use, making it only the second country in the European Union to take such a step.
According to Forbes, a “majority of 38 MPs voted on Wednesday in favor of a bill legalizing cannabis home cultivation and possession for recreational purposes, while 22 MPs voted against it.”
More from the outlet on the new law:
“The legalization of adult-use cannabis in Luxembourg allows for the possession, consumption, and cultivation of up to three grams. However, possession, consumption, transportation, and purchase of cannabis in public spaces remains prohibited. The penalties have been reduced, with fines ranging from €25 ($27) to €500 ($544) for amounts up to three grams. However, if the possession exceeds three grams, people may face criminal proceedings lasting from eight days to six months, accompanied by fines ranging from €251 ($273) to €2,500 ($2,722). Regarding cultivation, households are permitted to grow up to four plants as long as the cultivation is not visible from the outside.”
Legalization in Luxembourg, a small country of about 660,000 people that is bordered by France, Belgium and Germany, has been a long time coming.
Back in 2018, the country’s government pledged to end prohibition by 2023. In 2021, officials in Luxembourg released a plan to allow individuals to cultivate up to four plants in their own homes. That same year, the government announced that Luxembourg’s marijuana laws would be changing.
“We thought we had to act, we have an issue with drugs and cannabis is the drug that is most used and is a large part of the illegal market,” Luxembourg Minister of Justice Sam Tamson said at the time. “We want to start by allowing people to grow it at home. The idea is that a consumer is not in an illegal situation if he consumes cannabis and that we don’t support the whole illegal chain from production to transportation to selling where there is a lot of misery attached. We want to do everything we can to get more and more away from the illegal black market.”
The vote on Wednesday by Luxembourg lawmakers makes the country the second in the E.U. to legalize pot, following Malta, which legalized recreational cannabis in 2021.
Unlike Malta, Luxembourg has not established the framework for cannabis social clubs.
“Luxembourg has, therefore, adopted a more restrictive legalization model that will allow cannabis users to consume cannabis with specific rules without facing fines and criminal charges,” according to Forbes. “Given the current legal framework in the EU, which prohibits member countries from establishing a legal market for adult-use cannabis, it is expected that those EU member countries that are making efforts to regulate cannabis will likely adopt a model similar to that of Luxembourg and Malta.”
More from the outlet:
“This is the case of Germany, which faced the weight of high expectations regarding the legalization of cannabis. Initially, Germany aimed to establish a legal market for selling cannabis products. However, due to the European legal restrictions, it had to back up from its original plan and instead develop a framework centered around the legalization of cannabis for personal use. This framework includes provisions for personal consumption, possession, and cultivation, as well as the establishment of cannabis social clubs. Additionally, a pilot program for the sale of adult-use cannabis in specific cities is expected to be introduced at a later stage. A draft law about the legalization of cannabis for personal use in Germany is expected to be introduced in mid-August. The reason why European countries that have regulated cannabis have stricter regulations compared to the US states, which have established legal markets for the sale of cannabis products in recent years, is mainly due to the risk of violating international conventions and European laws that forbid the regulation of cannabis for recreational use.”