The legislative reforms in Germany are expected to impose greater punishments for offences related to cannabis involving youth. The changes represent a group effort to address issues of youth well-being, especially when it comes to substance usage. Basing on the information from LTO, we will examine the main changes concerning youth’ safety.
Protecting vulnerable youth
Legislators stress how open children and teenagers are to external influences. Particularly from adults and societal trends, as they view this age group as being especially vulnerable. Cannabis’ tendency to cause cardiovascular damage and neurotoxic effects on growing brains draw attention to the variety of risks associated with them. All because some of them can have long-term implications on an individual’s life.
The new laws emphasise the accountability that adults have as full members of society. Particularly law says about those who are 21 years of age or older. The revisions acknowledge adults’ responsibility to protect and guide the younger generation. New law also aims to discourage adults from participating in activities that could negatively impact the moral, mental, or physical development of minors.
Key amendments and consequences
Recent changes to the law indicate a significant change in the legal environment regarding offences involving cannabis. There is a greater focus on protecting children as we can see. Selling cannabis will of course remain illegal. However, the law is more strict now, focusing on individuals who distribute cannabis to minors and young adults. Adults found guilty of encouraging or helping minors grow or obtain cannabis may now be subject to far heavier penalties. In addition, adults over 21 who participate in cannabis-related activities with minors face extra harsh penalties, which could include a three- to five-year prison sentence.
With an emphasis on organised crime cases, the minimum punishment for distributing cannabis to minors increases from one to two years. Furthermore, qualifying offences now entail a minimum two-year penalty. These can be involving youths in organised crime or encouraging the use of firearms or dangerous materials. A new clause in the Narcotics Act mandates a minimum term of two years for individuals (age 21 and up) guilty of giving, supplying, or providing drugs to minors directly. This is applicable when an adult intentionally and carelessly jeopardises the physical, mental, or moral growth of a child or adolescent.
Cannabis in Germany legal since 1st April 2024?
These legislative modifications signify an intentional effort to improve the legal structure safeguarding youth. Lawmakers seek to make society’s most vulnerable citizens safer by adopting more stringent penalties and highlighting adults’ accountability for the welfare of youth.
As LTO reports, we can also expect smaller consumption ban zones. Additionally quantities for home cultivation with permision will be higher. However, many aspects have still not be revised and some people doubt if everything will be ready by April. The Greens and the FDP reminded Lauterbach on Monday:
“In my view, it is important that Health Minister Karl Lauterbach presents concrete key points or a draft law for Pillar 2 as soon as the Pillar 1 law is passed”