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It's official: Luxembourg deputies greenlit a bill on Wednesday that allows for limited cannabis cultivation and consumption at home.
38 deputies voted in favour of the bill, with 22 against. The parties DP, LSAP, Déi Gréng, déi Lénk and ADR had already announced in advance that they were in clear favour of bill 8033.
A repressive policy towards drugs is "an absolute failure", said Minister of Justice, Sam Tanson (Déi Gréng) at the end of the debate. For that reason, "we must dare to take another path" and "seek solutions".
Her party colleague Josée Lorsché remarked: "It's not a question of trivialising or promoting cannabis", but with this bill "it is a question of combating drug-related crime and the sale of cannabis on the black market." She added that this would also lead to better quality products, as those offered on the illegal drug market are "more harmful to the health of users".
People will be able to cultivate up to four plants in their home or usual place of residence. Cannabis plants can only be grown from seed and must not be visible from public spaces. So, no cannabis planters on balconies or window sills. It remains prohibited for minors.
Fines for consumption outdoors
Bill 8033 further stipulates penalties in relation to illegal cannabis possession. Anyone who consumes recreational cannabis or cannabis-derived products outside their home risks a fine of between €25 and €500. The same applies to anyone who possesses, transports, or acquires up to three grams of recreational cannabis or by-products for personal use.
Anyone who buys, possesses, or transports more than three grams of cannabis in Luxembourg risks a much higher fine. The law provides for a prison sentence of between eight days and six months and a fine of between €251 and €2,500.
MP Dan Biancalana of the LSAP underlined: "The consumption ban has not stopped people from using cannabis. It is a fact today that the purely repressive approach has remained a failure so far". In 2019, 23% of Luxembourgers between the ages of 15 and 64 said they had already consumed the drug.
Fernand Kartheiser of the ARD said he was "terribly surprised " by the fact that the Greens "do not ban something, for once". Nathalie Oberweis of déi Lénk emphasised that "people will continue to deal cannabis", even though her party strongly supports the bill as well.
The Pirate Party had wished for an even bolder bill, including the complete legalisation of cannabis, explained MP Marc Goergen: "We can debate it for hours, but the fact is that cannabis is consumed daily". He brands this bill as "false legalisation", because it doesn't tackle the dealers on the streets.