In a dope decision, 407 German lawmakers voted in favour of the new regulations, allowing adults to possess small amounts of cannabis for personal use. The legislation, however, maintains strict prohibitions for individuals under 18. Germany now joins the ranks of Malta and Luxembourg as the third European country to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes. This move has sparked a nationwide debate on the advantages and disadvantages of easier access to the plant.

Adults will now be permitted to cultivate up to three cannabis plants for private consumption. Starting from April 1, individuals will be allowed to possess 50g of cannabis at home and 25g in public. Additionally, from July 1st, licensed not-for-profit clubs with a maximum of 500 adult members will be authorized to distribute cannabis.

Germany's Health Minister, Karl Lauterbach, emphasized that the primary goal is to protect children and youth, as cannabis will remain illegal for minors and highly restricted for young adults. Consumption near schools and playgrounds will be strictly prohibited.

While the majority has embraced the move towards cannabis legalization, opposition from Germany's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the German Medical Associations (GMA) persists. CDU lawmaker Tino Sorge criticized the decision, expressing concerns about the potential impact on children and young people. The GMA, through its president Klaus Reinhardt, has raised objections, stating that cannabis legalization may lead to increased consumption and other risks.

As Germany becomes a trailblazer in cannabis legalization within Europe, the nation is embarking on a new chapter in its approach to its cannabis policy. The careful balance between providing access to adults while prioritizing the safety of children and young adults is one of many issues countries have dealt with when legalizing the plant. The implementation of these regulations on April 1 and July 1 will be closely monitored, marking a significant milestone in Germany's evolving stance on cannabis.

So, who’s catching a flight to Germany this year?