Tax havens and hemp
Luxembourg’s health minister has announced that the country is set to legalise cannabis, and has urged other EU members to relax their drug laws.
“This drug policy we had over the last 50 years did not work,” health minister Etienne Schneider told Politico. “Forbidding everything made it just more interesting to young people … I’m hoping all of us will get a more open-minded attitude toward drugs.”
Draft legislation is expected to be completed by the end of the year. It is being proposed that residents over the age of 18 should be able to purchase the drug by 2021.
Unfortunately for those living outside Luxembourg, Schneider has suggested that legislation is unlikely to allow non-residents to light up. Moreover, residents aged between 12 and 17 aren’t expected to be criminalised for possessing five grams or less of the drug – but hefty penalties will be issued.
The common misconception is that The Netherlands is the European nation to go smoke due to legality, but it isn’t technically legal, it simply has a tolerance policy – recreational use, possession and trade are still considered an offence. The Dutch police simply turn a blind eye to personal use and coffee shops still trade with criminal gangs to source the drug. It’s not all as legit as some think.
Closer to home, weed could be legalised in the UK in the next five to 10 years after a group of MPs returned from a trip to Canada with the recommendation. Canada became the first G7 nation to fully legalise cannabis in 2018.
And if we are all about the ‘will of the people’, then it should be legalised. In a YouGov poll, twice as many adults in the UK were in full support of legalising cannabis, compared to those that opposed it.