Luxembourg Becomes First European Country To Legalise Cannabis

Luxembourg has led the way in Europe, becoming the first country to legalise the use and production of cannabis.

Its health minister has called on other countries on the continent to do the same.

Etienne Schneider told Politico: “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.”

Cannabis has been legalised in Luxembourg. Credit: PA
Cannabis has been legalised in Luxembourg. Credit: PA

People who are over the age of 18 will be able to buy the drug to use within two years, while those between 12 and 17 years of age would be OK to possess five grams or less.

Those who break the generous laws though, will be hit with harsher penalties under the proposals. Production and sale of cannabis will be regulated by the state – which means they will tax it, with the money expected to go towards drug education and addiction help.

Hoping to make sure that it doesn’t become a country of drug tourism, the rules will probably include a ban on people who aren’t from the country, and also on home production.

Although you might immediately think of the Netherlands as the place with the most relaxed attitude towards the drug, it actually isn’t fully legal there, despite what you might think.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The country has a ‘tolerance policy’, known as ‘gedoogbeleid’, which means they take a common sense approach to use of the drug. It’s technically illegal to possess, use and sell it, but police allow licensed coffee shops to sell cannabis, and also to keep 500g on site at any time. The police turn a blind eye to those in possession of 5g or less. However, because it;s still illegal to produce it though, coffee shops usually have to do business with criminal gangs to actually source it.

In the UK it has been illegal to possess, grow or sell cannabis since 1928. People caught with it can face up to five years in prison, a fine, or both. But some police forces have said that they won’t target users who are clearly not intending to sell it and are in possession of less than an ounce (28g) can get a warning or fine.

The first country in the world to legalise cannabis was Uruguay in 2013, with Canada following suit in 2018.

Featured Image Credit: PA

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