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Will Luxembourg Ever Pass A Legalization Measure?

By Hazel Norman

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Back in 2018 the potential for legalization to occur in Luxembourg seemed fairly strong, with the coalition government including cannabis legalization in its coalition agreement that year. At the time, no European country had ever passed a nationwide adult-use cannabis legalization measure. Luxembourg seemed poised to make history.

Of course, multiple years have gone by and yet cannabis prohibition remains the law of the land in Luxembourg. If/when Luxembourg ever passes an adult-use legalization measure, it will no longer be the first to do so on the continent, as that ship already sailed in Malta late last year when lawmakers passed a limited legalization measure that permits home cultivation, and eventually, private non-profit cannabis clubs.

Not only has Luxembourg failed to pass a legalization measure, what was originally proposed in the coalition agreement has since been watered down quite a bit, with the latest version of legalization floating around Luxembourg political circles only involving home cultivation and use, which is obviously more akin to Malta’s legalization model versus something like Canada’s or what is currently being proposed in Germany.

And yet, even that limited legalization model seems to be facing uncertainty at the moment. Per excerpts from Le Quotidien (translated to English):

The judicial authorities are calling for a “thorough review” of the bill which aims to legalize the cultivation and consumption of cannabis at home. From beginning to end, shortcomings are detected.

The list of “difficulties and incongruities” highlighted in particular by the general prosecutor’s office is long: contradictions, unequal treatment, lack of clarity, oversights, serious error of logic or even the door wide open to abuse.

In short, the Minister of Justice, Sam Tanson, is sent back to his studies. The first Advocate General, Serge Wagner, is the most severe. He calls for a “thorough review” of the text, which is not ready to be put to the vote of the deputies anytime soon.

As I previously touched on, Malta has already passed a legalization measure that is somewhat similar to what is being floated in Luxembourg, with adult households being able to legally cultivate up to four plants. If Malta can make it work, why can’t Luxembourg?

As with every country in Europe that is holding cannabis reform discussions, they are not doing so in a vacuum. Germany is pursuing a legalization plan that is exponentially more robust compared to what is currently being floated in Luxembourg, and the two countries obviously share a border.

The opposition arguments being made in Luxembourg are already flimsy to say the least, and after legalization moves forward in neighboring Germany, those arguments will become even less tenable.

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