Luxembourg has become the first country in Europe to legalise the production and consumption of cannabis in a move designed to keep users away from the dangers of the illicit drug market.
The government yesterday announced that adults would be allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants in their homes and gardens as part of an overhauled approach to recreational drug use in the country.
The move legalises the trade in and possession of cannabis seeds, which people will be allowed to buy in shops, online or import from abroad. A ban on the consumption and transport of cannabis and cannabis products, excluding seeds, in public will remain in place.
Sam Tamson, Luxembourg’s justice minister, said the change to the law on domestic production and consumption was a “first step” of more fundamental changes to the country’s handling of cannabis to keep users away from the illegal market.
Under a softening of the law, the consumption and transport of a quantity of the drug up to three grammes will no longer be considered a criminal offence, but will be classified as a misdemeanour.
Fines would be reduced to as little as €25 for possession of less than three grammes, down from €251.
“Above three grammes, nothing changes; you will be considered a dealer,” said Mr Tamson. “Nothing changes for car drivers either: there is still zero tolerance.”
Sources said the policy shift was driven by a desire to liberalise consumption and production “within one’s own four walls”. The move was part of a deal struck between the liberals, social democrats and the greens in 2018, pushed by their youth wings.