Every 10 years since 2002, the Senate updates its study of comparative legislation on the decriminalization and legalization of cannabis. The third edition has just been updated and published on the Senate website.
The updated study presents the evolution of the legal framework relating to the consumption, possession, sale and cultivation of cannabis in the 8 countries of the initial study (Germany, Denmark, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, United United – England – and Switzerland) and widens its scope to countries that have legalized cannabis on all or part of their territory: Canada, the United States with California, Uruguay and Malta.
Similar to the 2013 study, the particular patterns of consumption and sale of cannabis for therapeutic purposes are not investigated.
What do we learn in this note?
Regular Newsweed readers won’t learn much, especially if they’ve read the latest Augur report on cannabis legalization in Europe. The note nevertheless recalls that all the countries bordering France have decriminalized cannabis and that most have started a reflection towards a form of legalization.
Thus, the Netherlands, after several decades of imposed cannabis tolerance, will conduct a production experiment to supply the coffeeshops of ten cities. 10 production licenses are being awarded to ensure the supply chain.
Switzerland has launched its pilot projects for the controlled distribution of cannabis. Each project can integrate 5000 participants who will be limited to 10g of pure THC per month, i.e. 50 grams of cannabis at 20% THC. The pilot projects will be monitored by universities to measure the impact of legal cannabis on the participants and on the surroundings of the distribution areas. They can last up to 7 years. In parallel, which the Senate report does not say, the slow parliamentary work towards legalization began with the approval by several parliamentary committees of the need to control the “cannabis market for better protection of young people and consumers”. .
Malta has become the first European country to end cannabis prohibition. Consumption, possession and cultivation for personal purposes is authorized within certain limits. The distribution will be ensured there a priori from the end of the year by Cannabis Social Clubs limited in number of members and which will be able to cultivate for the latter.
Spain has decriminalized the consumption and possession of cannabis in private places. Possession in public is still prohibited. The distribution is ensured by Cannabis Social Clubs which, if they are authorized under the exemption from penalization in private places, struggle to find a legal framework at the federal level.
Portugal decriminalized all drugs over 20 years ago. The note tells us that the consumption of all substances is lower there than in the average for European countries, even if the use of cannabis has increased gradually in all age groups.
The UK has implemented decriminalization by law enforcement and some counties now regard the criminalization of simple use as the lowest priority. Some Cannabis Clubs are also supported by the police. A reflection has been initiated by the Mayor of London to examine the legality of cannabis.
Germany, now considered to have the most complex legalization project, decided to legalize cannabis. Expert hearings are currently underway on a variety of topics and the bill is expected to be introduced in the second half of 2022. Few details are yet known but the discussions seem to be moving closer to a Canadian-style model.
We will add to the Senate note that Luxembourg is going to legalize the self-cultivation of cannabis, with no market model other than seeds, and that Denmark has begun its reflection on a five-year legalization experiment, like the one that she leads on medical cannabis.