Reform depends on European Union sign-off

German government approves cannabis legalization plan

Germany’s Federal Cabinet has officially approved a plan to legalize cannabis nationwide. But officials say that its fate ultimately rests in whether international and European policy allows the country to move ahead.

Details about the reform framework have been surfacing in media reports over the past couple of weeks as the Health Ministry has worked to finalize the plan before submitting it to the full Cabinet on Wednesday.

Now it has the government’s sign-off, moving it closer to being considered by lawmakers—but not before it is sent to the European Commission for a review. In that respect, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said the proposal wasn’t exactly a “major breakthrough in drug policy” yet.

“If this preliminary examination clearly showed that this path would not be viable for the European Commission, then we would not develop a bill on this basis either,” he said at a press conference on Wednesday. The German government will separately issue a declaration about whether the framework aligns with broader international treaty obligations.

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