German government’s cannabis legalization plan leaked

A draft version of the German government’s cannabis legalization proposal was leaked, and it’s drawn early criticism from reform supporters and opponents alike.

The plan from federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach calls for legalizing sales of up to 20 grams of cannabis for adults 18 and older, with a ban on advertising that promotes consumption.

People could also grow up to two plants for personal use. And there would be a 15 percent THC cap on cannabis products for adults over 21, with THC being restricted to 10 percent for those between 18 and 21.

Despite efforts to strike a balance between consumer freedoms and public health, reform advocates say the plan is excessively restrictive. For example, Kristine Lütke of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) said the THC cap and possession limits will only continue to serve the illicit market.

The administration’s legalization paper says that cannabis would be subject to the country’s sales tax, and it proposes an additional excise tax based on THC concentration. However, it doesn’t specify that number, instead arguing that it should be set at a rate that’s competitive with the illicit market.

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