By Emily Ledger
The government of Luxembourg has stated that the country’s plans to legalise recreational cannabis are still on track after facing a delay due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Back in 2018, Luxembourg’s government announced plans to reform the country’s cannabis policy. This came to a head a year later when plans to legalise recreational cannabis were announced.
Two years ago, Luxembourg’s then-Health Minister, Etienne Schneider told Politico:
“This drug policy we had over the last 50 years did not work. Forbidding everything made it just more interesting to young people.”
The new legal cannabis market was originally cited to begin towards the end of 2021. However, the disruption caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic meant that the plan had to be filed away for more than a year.
Yet, the Health Minister recently announced that the “file is continuing its course”, offering a little relief to those looking forward to a legal cannabis market in the small European country.
As Delano reports, the chamber of deputies once again debated the proposal that would allow people in Luxembourg to consume recreational cannabis.
According to reports, a lot of work has already been done on the issue since 2019, with six groups currently working on the bill. It is estimated that an interim report will be presented in the next few years.
The legislation would make Luxembourg the first European country to legalise cannabis for recreational use. However, possession and use of the drug have been decriminalised since 2001.
Also, medical cannabis use has become very popular among its citizens: a recent report published by Luxembourg Times states that medical cannabis use has almost tripled in the country in 2020.
Data shows that doctors prescribed more than 140kg of cannabis for medical use in 2020, which means “more than 600 people were prescribed [for] an average of 40g of medical pot each.”
According to initial reports in 2019, cannabis legalisation would likely come with restrictions on tourists purchasing cannabis in the country. This is believed to be to avoid the kind of cannabis tourism that is seen in cities like Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
It would also restrict the estimated 200,000 people that commute into Luxembourg for work every day from purchasing cannabis products, in a bid to ease the concerns of neighbouring countries.