Luxembourg is set to become the first European country to legalize cannabis, during a parliamentary session on Monday in the tiny Alpine country. The move will be the first such legislation in the European Union. The text of the legislation, which will be proposed to parliament tomorrow, will specifically state that the use of cannabis is not an offense. Those wishing to smoke cannabis will be subject to checks at borders, police and border authorities will be instructed to “make special checks” at border crossings, said Luxembourg’s Minister of Justice and Home Affairs, Isabelle Rey. “The question of whether cannabis is regulated … this is a question, not an issue,” she said.
Rey, a member of the centrist Parti Socialiste party, also stressed that it was an issue of pragmatic, legalization. “The question of whether cannabis is regulated … is a question, not an issue,” she said. “Those who make a decision should not impose their preferences on others.” However, Rey said that many voters did not have the same views. “People do not want to see their children grow up with cannabis, because in a few years’ time they will be adults and they will be able to make up their own minds,” she said. She said that it was “sad” that people were not exposed to drug statistics. The government was aware of the “majority” of people in the country who did not wish to open the door to cannabis use, she said. “The majority do not want to see cannabis on their supermarket shelves,” she said.
The current legal system outlaws the possession of cannabis. It is also decriminalized for consuming it “in a private capacity,” according to the package of legislation, which is for two years. The proposed amendments specifically ban anyone from cultivating any cannabis, but the text will leave the door open for local municipalities to ban cultivation at their discretion. The law would also make it illegal to sell and distribute cannabis, another offense.
Luxembourg is the third country to legalize the use of cannabis in Europe after France and Portugal. Spain is currently testing legalization, but approval there is uncertain. Already 18 European countries have legalized cannabis.
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