Last week, Luxembourg unveiled its draft recreational cannabis bill – but what comes after home grow?
Citing the German government’s decision to move forward on the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes, the Luxembourg government unveiled its own draft proposal. The bill is intended to create a law allowing every Luxembourgian over the age of 21 the right to use cannabis in private, for recreational purposes.
Adults in Luxembourg will also be allowed to grow up to four plants in their own apartments or houses – but the plants cannot be visible in “public spaces.”
Home grow proposals, however, are at least this summer, starting to open up interesting conversations in countries from Portugal and Italy in the EU to Brazil in Latin America.
Is That All?
Limited home grow is certainly an improvement to the status quo. Currently fines for cannabis use in the public range from 250-2500 euros. The legislation would lower these fines (to no more than 500 euros).
The Minister of Justice however has also described the legislation as the “first stage” of implementing the promise of the liberal-green-social democratic alliance that made the promise to legalize cannabis by 2023.
The second step would, according to government sources, create a national production and supply chain that would also be under government control and auditing.
Home grow, black market, legit market
Getting rid of the organized crime link to the black market is increasingly a reason to legalize cannabis that is showing up in political discourse now all over Europe. Portugal, for example, is also now moving forward with implementing a law that would allow people to grow up to five plants.
The reality is that most people – whether they are patients or casual users, prefer to buy their cannabis commercially. That is why the home grow proposals now floating around Europe are important – but clearly only a precursor to the legit, regulated, and recreational market. The questions about how to implement commercial retail recreational cannabis however is only really beginning – and not just in Luxembourg.
In Canada, where the right to grow at home for medical purposes was established at the Supreme Court level at the turn of the century, patient collectives currently pose the largest threat to the legitimate industry there is. This is why similar developments in Europe will be interesting to watch – especially where medical use is legal but may or may not be covered by insurance.
This is also why, in all probability, home grow for medical use will probably not be decided legislatively but rather through the courts.
Home grow may be politically a la mode right now – but the really hard questions are still being left off the table everywhere.