Last week, Germany, Luxemburg, Malta and the Netherlands had a meeting to discuss marijuana legalization. This marks the first instance where European countries gathered together to discuss the topic, and shows how much legalization has advanced in recent years.
Marijuana Moment reports that this is the first of many planned meetings that are expected in the future and that they could expand to include other countries in the European Union.
The context here is a wave of EU countries following the cannabis regulation trend across the Americas (& elsewhere).
These Govts face a range of practical challenges (how to regulate responsibly), as well as political obstacles re tensions with neighbours, & EU/UN laws)
— Steve Rolles 🇺🇦 (@SteveTransform) July 16, 2022
“This week’s Luxembourg meeting is historic,” wrote Steve Rolles, a senior policy analyst for Transform Drug Policy Foundation, in a tweet. “While these issues have already been discussed informally in various high level forums, this is the 1st EVER dedicated ministerial level multilateral meeting on non-medical cannabis regulation.”
According to a joint statement that was released after the meeting took place, these summits were conducted to develop a “common understanding” of marijuana, while confronting that the current laws are out of date.
“A structured multilateral exchange on the vast spectrum of cannabis-related issues contributes to sharing knowledge, best practices and experiences and foster finding solutions,” reads the statement. “This first structured multilateral exchange is meant to facilitate further consultations regarding regulations of cannabis for non-medical and non-scientific uses.”
Out of all the countries that gathered together, Malta is the only one that legalized marijuana, becoming the first in all of Europe. Despite The Netherlands’ track record with marijuana, the country has a complicated history with it, criminalizing its use, possession, and trade. Currently, Germany is in discussions to legalize cannabis, a decision that would impact Europe greatly, paving the way for other large countries.
“There will be a domino effect, for sure,” Justin Haucap, director of the Dusseldorf Institute for Competition Economics, told The Guardian. “European countries that have a much bigger problem with illegal cannabis use, like France, are watching very closely what Germany is doing at the moment.”