Luxembourg to Become Third Country in the World, and First in Europe, to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

last year

As legalization momentum has increased in last years, and Canada followed Ecuador, we have often guessed when a European country would join the fold and, hopefully, kickstart the vibe in EU and.

The most obvious candidates always were the Netherlands, obviously, but also Portugal which decriminalized drugs last decade already, and more recently Spain after it allowed the social cannabis clubs.


Yet, last week a surprise came from a less expected area in the EU, as Luxembourg’s Health Minister Etienne Schneider declared in an interview that the Duchy wants to become the third country to fully legalize marijuana for recreational use.

”This drug policy we had over the last 50 years did not work. Forbidding everything made it just more interesting to young people.”
— Etienne Schneider, Health Minister of Luxembourg to POLITICO

The legislation, which is being drafted, will allow adults to posses up to 30 grams (little more than an ounce) and adolescents between 12 and 17 will not be penalized for the possession of up to 5 gram — a first worldwide. Yet, harsh penalties will be prepared for citizens passing the limits.

The new laws are the result of a coalition promise, between all three governing parties who included legalization of recreational marihuana in their campaigns.

Yet, Schneider admitted that legalization is difficult and will take time.

”Legalizing cannabis requires many more steps than just declaring the substance legal. You need an entire regulatory market, including setting taxes and quality checks.”
— Etienne Schneider, to POLITICO

Additionally, the country will not allow home cultivation, but is looking at a completely regulated market, probably similar to the Canadian model. Schneider didn’t express whether the country plans to import its legal cannabis from abroad or plans to grow it locally.

Lastly, contrarily to its usual habit with alcohol, tobacco and also as operator of the most luxurious freeport in the EU, Luxembourg plans not to sell its legal marijuana to non-citizens. It hopes to avoid cannabis tourism in the small duchy.

At the same time Schneider appealed to other member states to loosen up its laws. Due to the open border and free movement principles in the EU, Luxembourg’s future legal cannabis law could very well kickstart a trickle effect in the neighboring states.

Belgium, under its current central-right government maintains a zero tolerance policy — after previously having had a relaxed attitude for few years. Germany has already legalized medical marijuana but generally police in neighboring provinces is rather laidback and tolerant. France, under Macron, is in policy also more progressive than in recent decades.

While we should celebrate the upcoming progress, and legalization within probably 2 years only, the #Luxembourg model leaves much to desire, as we know from the Canadian model. Yet, more importantly than a small EU member state legalizing marijuana for its citizens, is the trickle effect it could have within the European Union.

Tags: #news #luxembourg #legalize #eu #etienne-schneider

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Great write-up and presentation. I'm not sure who I like more, @Unnamed or @Alibi? Both are top-notch writers:)


I been busy, Sir. But this is close to home, so I had to write about it even if slightly rushed out just before midnight on a Sunday evening.

...and presentation

I could have done better with the presentation. But Smoke doesn’t really “promote” a nice reading flow. I would use more pull quotes, and also quotes, if typography were actually designed for it... and fully responsive as well. Even if it requires using div/span classes. Nice presentation matters, especially online.

@Alibi is a slacker. 🤣

PS: you on discord or any other messenger platform?


Writer43 on discord. @Alibi won't be slacking too much longer, he's heading on an adventure with his fellow dwarves! LOL

I read about it the other day. This is a very competent step towards the consumer.


Guess we will have to wait and analyse how the performance of all those bankers after legalization. 😂

I’m definitely looking forward to see if it will change policy in Belgium. I totally expect the Netherlands to be one of the last countries to fully legalize, the opposition [mostly due to tourism] is big in many towns.


Is it true that in Belgium you can drive after smoking?


I doubt it since the current government reversed to a zero tolerance policy (see link in article to previous post).

Besides, even the previous policy was merely one of tolerance and thus I am not sure that a DUI for cannabis would be legal. As far as I know Belgium also had already drugs tests for drivers since early last decade. But I would have to check that, as I don't live there anymore since quite some time.

Woohoo...3 done (almost), 192 to go! :))

One day our grand grand kids will be seriously surprised it was once illegal, looking at grandpas pictures smoking some strange pipes ;)

Great post, thanks for the update.


This will cascade quickly. It’s actually good that it’s Luxembourg as the country, small as it is, generally fears less the European Courts. In fact, Luxembourg is currently being investigated by the EU for giving tax benefits to companies.

Countries like France, Germany have too much influence in the EU, others like Spain, Portugal, and Greece are too reliant on subsidies/former bail outs. I always thought it would be Cyprus or Malta to make first move but they have very conservative govs.

Once first country has legalized, and EU Court hasn’t outlawed it (they won’t if a small country), gradually smaller member nations will follow. Also Belgium which has been one of the more progressive ones and generally has quite a lot of snap elections due to not too stable coalitions. Eventually some parties will campaign for legalization to get the younger votes.

@unnamed Great write up sir, this a great input of personal time sacrifice to write up this and create awareness, continue with the great job.

Amazing news 🙌

What a trip it was yesterday I went to the only legal shop here in Victoria Canada, Cloud 9, grabbed a gram and pack of 2 PR and they came all fancy packaged with government seals just like tobacco products 🤯 the days of the ziplock bags are over 😅


Those packaging are ludicrous. Here we are fighting against plastic waste and there they are packing a 1 gram nug in a pot used for 50 opioid based tablets. 🤦‍♂️


That is exactly what I was thinking, though it’s cool they recycle it seems so excessive!

Nice write up...
Great knowledge you just passed out. 💯 💯