Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Luxembourg to be first European country to legalise cannabis (theguardian.com)
167 points by lelf 71 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 140 comments

Bravo, and here's hoping that other countries follow.

I was recently shocked to discover that my backwards eastern european country is one of the few in the EU that has even decriminalized drugs; I genuinely thought that this was standard in the EU but apparently not, see this map https://i.imgur.com/A0JICkk.jpg

It's funny how these things turn our expectations upside-down. I'm from the UK originally and they semi-recently (~10 years ago) upgraded the severity with which they treat cannabis so that it's now "Class B". This means that mere possession can result in "Up to 5 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both" (more @ https://www.gov.uk/penalties-drug-possession-dealing).

So yeah, your country might not be so backwards after all, and in this respect at least is pretty enlightened in the grand scheme of things :-)

And at around the same time made magic mushrooms completely illegal, whereas prior there had been a workaround leading to a healthy market.

The tragedy of this late Labour-era push against loosening /smarting-up of drug legislation is that it fairly directly led to the boom in synthetic cannabinoids, starting with the fairly benign Spice (as a brand) and resulting in a swathe of much-stronger, less-tested and more dangerous brands flying under the radar which (all Hoover/Google-like) were collectively known as 'Spice', but have caused problems for many in the underclass and prisons and such.

I'm not much in to party politics, but this is one thing I directly attribute to Gordon Brown and his very unhelpful moralising.

Workaround == loophole?

That's another way to put it, of course :)

The law specified dried mushrooms specifically as the stance skirted complexities regarding the picking or possession of native wildlife samples (psilocybe semilanceata predominently).

With kits offering the ability to grow easier-to-grow strains from elsewhere in the world (Central and South America principally) we sought clarification from the Home Office on whether it was actually illegal to possess and sell fresh magic mushrooms. Turns out, there wasn't anything illegal in that. Made for an interesting few years.

We assumed a change or clarification in the law at some point, so prepared for a time when sale of fresh mushrooms per se would be outlawed. We never expected them to come down as hard as they did though, so the survival/back up plan of forming a small laboratory to grow mycelium and take spore prints and cater to an enthusiast market was all for naught.

Strange to think at the time that we thought we were on the verge of the UK being at the front of the line for a change in stance on cannabis and drugs generally, but Mr. Brown took us down a different path.

> Made for an interesting few years.

Wow, didn’t know that. Which years are we talking about, roughly?

2003-2005-ish - so more couple than few!

At least USA has racism as an excuse for banning jazz cigarettes, but why does UK want to put people in jail for smoking weed?

While it’s true it was upgraded to class B somewhat absurdly and has theoretical significant penalties for use, the reality is police simply don’t really pay attention to individual use and the law is not really enforced to that extent against individual users. You’d have to be staggeringly unlucky to see jail time for simply smoking a joint in the UK, something reflected in the large drop in convictions etc even after the status change.

> https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/police-going-soft-on-cann...

High-grade 'skunk' weed and a few concerned parents.

Under New Labour (not to be confused with the Labour Party) the generic catch-all term 'cannabis' was down-graded to Class C. So still illegal.

Then, after a few complaints from parents with kids ending up in lunatic asylums due to smoking too much high-grade weed, something had to be done.

The market for weed has changed a lot over the years, in the last century the product came from who-knows-where and was generally that resin stuff with who-knows-what in it.

Then the market changed to the regular 'skunk' weed - dried leaves of weed.

This then became a bit of a racket, if you believe the Daily Mail it became the business of Vietnamese gangs with the money being laundered through cash only nail bars. For a while the product was quite dangerously adulterated with wallpaper paste sprayed on to make it look extra good. The slight problem with this is that the wallpaper paste would not do wonders for circulatory systems, giving rise to blood clots etc.

There was also a side-problem of legal highs, e.g. 'spice', these really tipping people over the edge into psychosis.

The adulterated weed was soon rejected by the customers and even stronger 'high grade' weed began to be what was available.

By now the older sticky resin type of weed that your grandfather smoked whilst listening to The Beatles and wearing tie-dye clothing was no longer available. We had gone from 'shandy' to 'absinthe', a different beast.

Also to note is that the government is nowadays Conservative so there is nobody in power wanting to enable people to enjoy the finer grades of weed - just ban it is the attitude. People who do smoke the stuff do end up with ideas above their station and you can't have that.

Often the word 'psychosis' was used to describe the kids that worried their parents by smoking too much of the stuff. 'Paranoid' was also an oft-used word. Sure the more modern weeds are a lot more intoxicating than the cannabis resin that went around in the olden days but it is always easier to blame the coping strategy rather than the root problem, e.g. the difficulty of being a teenager in modern Britain.

Or the UK is backwards.

In this respect (and in a few others) that's absolutely true

Here's a better map, because it breaks down the US by state and is more up-to-date: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_cannabis#/media/Fi...

What sucks in the US is that cannabis is still federally illegal. So you if work in a government job/military, or smoke on federal property you can be charged with a crime

Also some large companies will fire you if you test positive for it even if you work in a state where it’s legal.

Companies are allowed to fire you for things that are not illegal.

The land of the free: now with mandatory drugs testing at work.

If you're getting a drug test it's most likely because there are safety and insurance implications. Don't pretend like most of us are being randomly tested at work.

"Safety and insurance implications" are an infinite excuse for employers to abuse you unless you have a legal system to protect you from asymmetrical power relationships.

Uh huh. I'll remember that the next time a ton of bricks falls on my head when passing a construction site.

Do you have any reason to believe this is an actual, honest to God, widespread problem?

> Uh huh. I'll remember that the next time a ton of bricks falls on my head when passing a construction site.

Was it a common occurrence in the US, that construction workers would cause accidents because of smoking cannabis? And btw, do you know of any study showing a negative correlation between drug testing and accidents? Or is this more "lie detector"-style "science" -- an excuse to stick your nose in other people's private affairs?

> Do you have any reason to believe this is an actual, honest to God, widespread problem?

Yes, my professional experience. American workers seem to find intrusive practices such as drug testing perfectly normal, exactly in the way that you are expressing. In Europe, such tests are much more regulated, as well as many other forms of abuse of power by the employer, and yet I never had any problems with bricks falling over my head.

Many of those jobs requiring testing for safety reasons (but not all).

Are you suggesting the US isn't the land of the free because people aren't free to come to work intoxicated and potentially endanger their colleagues?

It would be more sensible if the drug tests only checked if you were intoxicated at work. As it is, they check if you ever get intoxicated.

No, I am saying that the US isn't the land of the free because, in practice, you seem to live under immense scrutiny and oppression when compared to other western countries. No privacy over even your own body, no job security, no health care without a job, no holidays.

That isn't the freedom that people refer to with respect to the US, and I would argue that this sense of freedom is far less self-evident and is reliant on more social conventions.

In short, it's freedom from a government, which isn't too surprising considering the places in which "free" is used and the history behind the formation of the country.

It should be fairly clear, then, when you consider that the freedom refers to lower government intervention in the actions of people, and sometimes a hostility towards this intervention.

This concept isn't really unique to the US, though other developed countries tend to have a less extreme approach in most practical areas. Switzerland, for instance, is usually an exception compared to its neighbors when it comes to privatization, healthcare, parental leave, etc. and a similar justification of reduced government intervention and more freedom of choice is often used here.

But obviously not testing for coffee, because that drug (although it can be deadly and habit forming) makes people work harder.

Perfectly reasonable. And don't forget, "only losers do drugs"...

Deadly? Coffee? "Can be" leaves you plenty of room, but c'mon.

Here's the Mayo Clinic page on caffeine.


Yes, and a bunch of harder drugs that destroy lives and are much more dangerous than cannabis, but perfectly fine because some big corp is making billions selling it.

No security implications there. Of course, by security, it is meant "security against lawsuits". Actual human beings don't really matter in this equation.

Crony capitalism bothers me as much as anybody, but it's the Americans with Disabilities act is what protects workers from retaliation for using prescription controlled drugs. And I don't picture that as a law that is rooted in corruption.

If you live in a Federal park in San Francisco, CA you can have your living permit revoked, possibly charged

The whole country is a patchwork right now

Consistency of laws across jurisdictions is not exactly what comes to mind when one thinks of the US legal system.

yeah but (aside from reservations that few people encounter) the different jurisdictions usually they aren't enclaves with radically different instructions

this is a stark and growing area of conflicts of laws

the constitution is setup to avoid this issue, but it is current irreconcilable on the topic of weed as the federal government derives its power from a consensus of the collective states.

In Germany, there's a huge difference between Bavaria/Munich and Berlin. In Berlin, cannabis might get confiscated while in Bavaria/Munich you end up with jail time. To aid further with irony, in Bavaria/Munich they drink a lot of beer (= drugs) during Oktoberfest.

Off topic but I found Bavaria to be much more snobbish in general. For example, point out something funny about them and they immediately go on the defensive, however everyt time they say something rude and you point it out, they play the German honesty card. Never had such a problem with Berlin or Frankfurt.

„Ohh Frankfurt is so ugly!“ first thing I heard when I said where i was from. Didn‘t care much for it but the bluntness dumbfounded me

You can't really blame the people. Especially if they arrive by train and end up in one of the worse (the worse?) parts of the city.

I get a similar reaction here in the States saying I'm from New Jersey. Some places people feel fine shitting on to a person's face, it's odd.

Not doubting you, but what's the sample size here? Pretty interesting that regional differences like this do exist in some places. And anecdotally, friend of mine spoke pretty highly of Bavaria after a (very) short trip.

I can confirm that and I'm there regularly for business.

I assume it's because it's pretty much the pearl of the region (Bavaria) and if you take this away there is not much left. Also the city is full of pretty rich people who tend to this kind of behaviour.

You see the same in people where the location of the city is similar like Warsaw in Poland for example being surrounded by backwater villages.

Just one question. In a city with high rents and salaries which never go above 80k how are these people so full of themselves ? Low wages is a German problem but at least cost of living is under control in several places.

> Just one question. In a city with high rents and salaries which never go above 80k how are these people so full of themselves ?

Because of just this.

They are the elite who can afford living there.

Like 6 or 7 with no variance actually. Hence the strong statement.

In my n = 1 anecdotal experience, that description perfectly matches a person I know from the Frankfurt Rhein-Main region.

I guess it depends.

I was on a business trip in Munich once, took the chance to visit a friend who got me a hand full pre-rolled joints for the remaining days I had to spend in the city. One night after work I went out to the park opposite the hotel and started smoking.

I was suddenly surrounded by police. They are really all over the city and I was stupid. They went through my stuff in the hotel, I gave them the remaining joints and they left. A few weeks later I got a letter saying that they won't follow up on it according to §31a Abs.1 BtMG.

That's how it works. There's a maximum amount ("Höchstmenge") where they close the case when you are below that. The maximum amount varies between federal states, so Bavaria and twelve other states are quite strict with a limit of 6g while four other states have a higher limit of 12g or more.

> In Berlin, cannabis might get confiscated

That’s a very strong “might“. Possession is legal for up to 15g in Berlin, and virtually no cop will ever bother you for smoking weed.

Funny how Netherlands is red.

> Schneider said the legislation was likely to include a ban on non-residents buying cannabis in order to dissuade drug-tourism.

Given the fact they're sharing a border with France: probably a good idea.

Canada shares a border with the USA (where persecution of cannabis use is a billion-dollar profitable industry) and has made no effort to dissuide cannabis tourism. On the contrary: we welcome it it open doors.

> On the contrary: we welcome it it open doors.

Well good for you, but as someone who lives in the centre of Amsterdam I can understand the motivation to discourage drug tourism.

Edit: to clarify it's not the reams of tourists getting high in coffee shops that I have a problem with, but the knock-on effects of it. Tourists treat the city like an adult themepark and recently the city council have been taking steps to address these problems.

> recently the city council have been taking steps to address these problems

I was in Amsterdam this morning and everyone I talked to explicitly mentioned it being done against drunk Englishmen on stag dos. I remember myself hating fractious drunk English stag parties, and have fond memories of pointing polite and hapless stoned Italians to the street we were already on.

Tourists from the UK are reviled by Amsterdam and they’ve ruined it so much the entire city centre now has an alcohol ban.

It has nothing to do with weed.

Well the UK is near and there are cheap flights so yeah that combined with Amsterdam's reputation and the way certain people like to "represent" the UK abroad is a pretty bad mix. But there's just tons of people from all countries all over the world that are smoking weed under your window, pissing on the street, don't watch out for cyclists and so on. You don't fix Amsterdam by banning the Brits.

Also, Dutch stag parties seem not to be that far off what happens in the UK.

Amsterdam is still clean and quiet compared to other major cities. To be honest, I suspect the main factor to be the red light district. Just visit the Reeperbahn in Hamburg. I'd argue it's much worse and they don't offer legal weed. To be clear, I'm not arguing for or against prostitution, but against prostitution as a tourist attraction.

It's hard to see how you can have prostitution and it not be a tourist attraction.

If prostitution was legal, or decriminalized (I believe sex workers and advocates prefer decriminalization over legalization), everywhere, it wouldn't be much of a tourist attraction.

In Germany prostitution is legal and with the exception of st Pauli the red light districts are the opposite of tourist attractions.

I am personally more annoyed by the drunk people than i am by the high/stoned people.

If people were just smoking weed that wouldn't be a problem.

I think the relatively small size (land area and population) of the Netherlands and the length of time that things have been going on have both contributed to that. A country newly legalizing pot probably has a lot less to worry about WRT rambunctious tourists.

In other words, heavy tourism is a problem, no matter what drives it.

> we welcome it it open doors.

In general, they're not really a completely open border. They're pretty strict about who they let in. They'll check into your US 'criminal record' and make judgements based on that. (A bit of an overeach.. but a bit weird if you have a DUI and they reject you [that's their policy])

I'm not sure why they get a complete pass to claim that they're the good guys when the US isn't as picky. (Yes, the US is a PITA to travel to)

>where persecution of cannabis use is a billion-dollar profitable industry


Billions of dollars are spent prosecuting and jailing cannabis users, growers and merchants. The money comes from the taxpayers and goes to the companies and government agencies that do it. If you draw a surface that envelops the prison and policing industry but excludes taxpayers, it will look like billions are flowing in from weed enforcement.

Private prison industry. Incentive wise they have every incentive to fight cannabis reform. Easy convictions -> more convictions -> more demand for prisons.

google "war on drugs" and "prison industrial complex"

Why is that a good idea? Is drug tourism necessarily a bad thing?

Well the idea isn't that bad, but people seem to think if one or two forbidden things are possible then all of a sudden everything that was forbidden is possible. You'll end up with Amsterdam.

Also problematic is the fact that in a lot of countries everything is outlawed so they might go looking for hard drugs where soft drugs are being sold. I've seen enough tourists seen thrown(1) out of a coffeeshop for asking any kind of hard drugs. What they don't find in coffeeshops they do find with street dealers.

(1) yes, flying

Probably because not everyone is okay with thousands of people coming to their city every year just to take drugs.

Isn’t that Oktoberfest?

Alcohol's not a drug, it's a drink.

I'm far from a puritan - I thoroughly enjoy my beer (and rum, and slivovice ...etc) - but let's be honest, the addictive properties of alcohol together with the societal, social and physical damage that it can cause either match or exceed substances which are otherwise treated as "drugs".

This is not to say I think alcohol should be banned or more strongly controlled, but rather that we should really rethink how we harshly we view things like cannabis

You can dissolve MDMA in water, making it a drink.

LSD is often liquid before being deposited on a stamp.

Molecules are what matters, not the structure or state, and alcohol (like tobacco) is effectively a drug.

Ethanol is literally a psychoactive recreational drug.

For those of you who may not know the reference it’s from Chris Morris’s Brass Eye


On an ecological level tourism is a bad thing yes. Now maybe it'd be good for the economy or whatever but I don't think making $ should be the priority. Plus Luxembourg isn't really in need of money.

That really depends on your definition of tourism...

Do you have a definition of tourism that doesn't imply travelling ?

The only point of comparison I have is amsterdam and people are definitely flying/road tripping there for short "drug vacations" (I genuinely think everyone I know has been there at least once for that purpose), which in my book is not so good for the environment and a more than debatable reason to fly/drive hundreds of kms.

A genuine question, Aren't all EU citizens supposed to be treated equally across the EU?

How would such a ban work?

They are being treated equally. A citizen of France who is resident in Luxembourg would be able to purchase. A citizen of Luxembourg who is resident in France, wouldn't.

You can have rules that apply only to residents, but they have to be applied to any resident.

Maybe I'm missing something, but Germany's personal car toll system was supposed to be offset by a rebate on car taxes that would benefit any resident (or more precisely: anybody paying their car taxes in Germany) and was found to be in violation of EU regulations. Are there special cases for tax rebates or what would have been the difference?

It is my understanding that this ability to discriminate only applies to acts by the state but not to commerce.

Perhaps this could be workable by issuing all residents a license to buy? Restriction in buying items certainly exist: guns, alcohol, etc

Presumably all residents, including those from other EU/EEA countries, would be allowed to buy. I believe discrimination against nonresidents is allowed under EU law in many contexts, for example for social benefits. (But not allowed in other contexts, for example discrimination against nonresidents can restrict the free movement of capital.)

We'll see soon enough.. we just need someone to get arrested first.

It's a good thing they picked Luxembourg for this experiment, it will cut back on the travel time for everyone involved getting to the ECJ

Even different cities have different laws, the EU is not some magical homogeneous government as much as the haters want to purport it as such.

No problem with making rules based on residency; everyone does it (vast amounts of tax law, for instance). The citizenship of the residents is irrelevant here.

>A genuine question, Aren't all EU citizens supposed to be treated equally across the EU?

Nope. At least by now, but little by little they are taking the sovereignty of members.

Luxembourg should be implementing more laws that are 'firsts' or may be deemed risky (looking also at renewable energy sources, electric vehicle infrastructure, the future of cryptocurrency,...). As a small (and wealthy) nation, they are a perfect testing ground for new laws & regulations.

What about Portugal, or is that decriminalisation?

Decriminalization. If you have too much on you, you still end up with a record. Source: ex of my partner got busted with too much cannabis in Portugal (whilst living there, and being a regular smoker).

In The Netherlands, its 5 gram per person max, and IIRC also 4 or 5 XTC pills (I can't quite remember). Though that information is from '00s. It might've changed, I don't know.

Dutch person here.

For weed, the law states a maximum of 5 grams (or 5 plants, if you grow them).

For any 'hard' drugs, such as XTC the legal limit is 0. But if you get caught carrying an amount that is small enough to be considered for personal use, the police usually won't act on it.

If you carry larger quantities than what is considered personal use, it is usually confiscated and you risk a fine (but only if the police has indication that you are selling the drugs).

The weird thing is that the 5 gram rule also counts for the weed dispensary (which are known as 'coffee shops' in NL). So even though it is legal for them to sell the cannabis from their shop, they can't legally buy it from the grower. They aren't even supposed to have more than 5 grams in stock. The growers that supply the shops must also do this illegally, and they are constantly playing cat-and-mouse with the police.

Clearly, the law is ambiguous and both police, growers and dispensary owners are encouraging the government to fully legalize cannabis.

I worked in a coffeeshop. The maximum we were allowed to have was higher than 5 grams. I'm not sure how high it exactly was. The maximum we were allowed to sell a person was 5 gram.

We had odd ways to go around the police. Once in a year they'd show up, in numbers. Some kind of yearly ritual. Our main trick was to accidentally throw down a trash bin in such a case so that the "refiller" (trusted middle man with social skills who sat between the growers and me) would know that he shouldn't show up. All the stash was stored just 2 floors above the shop in a civilian apartment floor. He'd hear the noise through the heating pipe.

I'm glad I quit because, quite frankly, I didn't have the social skills for this job (autism, lack of balls for the semi criminal cirtcuit, street slang, etc). I felt my co-employees and boss were more focused on sales than on proper guidance of tourists. I've refused to sell people (especially spacecake) based on maturity/knowledge signals I picked up. Though that wasn't the main reason why I quit I'm glad I don't have to feel guilty for that anymore (because there's always a losing party to such decision).

And I thought the ratio was odd here in Oregon, where you can possess an ounce (~28g) or four plants - which of course means you likely can't harvest them without going over the limit...

"Decriminalization. If you have too much on you, you still end up with a record."

From the article, it sounds like Luxembourg is the same:

"those who break the more generous laws will be hit with harsh penalties under the plan"

I think that was referring to 12-17 year olds.

PT is decriminalized, not legalized

The article says it's not technically legal in the Netherlands but tolerated. But the technicality doesn't matter. As an experiment, cannabis legalization happened in a much bigger European country than Luxembourg 20 years ago...

Technicality very much matters. The legality is a reason for them to put you in jail, if they wanted to do so.

Indeed. And while it may have been sort of decriminalized, it is very much actively prohibited in many border towns to reduce drug tourism.

Finally some sanity coming to good old Europe. Instead of making (rather big) part of the population automatically criminals, state 1) gets revenue (directly taxing plus new jobs); 2) can monitor usage, set maximum potency, strains, etc (good enough for most users); 3) takes significant revenue from proper criminals, local and worldwide; 4) makes various medical products more available.

Everybody, apart from organized and local crime, wins.

What is a "proper criminal"?

The alcohol industry might also lose.

In Canada the alcohol industry has bought into the cannabis industry big-time.

A rather big part of the population smokes weed? What?

14% of Italians have enjoyed Cannabis in the past year [0], I'd say that's a rather big part of a European country's population.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annual_cannabis_use_by_country

What's with Papua New Guinea?

Wow, that is terrible.

> Wow, that is terrible.

Are you referring to the sickly green colour and unreadable size of the graphic, or are making a value judgement about the fact that there seems to be a correlation between national GDP and the use of a moderately harmless psychoactive drug for recreational purposes?

You could be less ambiguous.

Finally some rational policy.. Hopefully only a matter of time until further countries follow suit.

Man, I am so close!

I thought all drugs were legal in Amsterdam and Portugal?

Consumption is legal, sale is not. That's what "decriminalization" usually describes, as opposed to "legalization"

Edit: but sale of cannabis is legal in the NL, under some conditions.

No it's not. It's illegal by law [1, 2] (Dutch sources). The supply chain is definitely still illegal.

In short you have (making these terms up):

1. Growers who produce and distribute the weed,

2. Runners who pick it up and bring it to the coffeeshop,

3. Coffeeshops

It's only legal for the coffeeshops to sell.

This sometimes devolves to a game like tag. The runners need to go as fast to the coffeeshop as possible in the most stealthy way. If the police catch them, then they are in trouble. However, if they bring it into the coffeeshop, they are safe.

Disclaimer: I am very biased here, I think this whole system is idiotic. The Netherlands should legalize weed. They have two economic incentives (1) weed tax and (2) sustained tourism.

[1] https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/drugs/gedoogbeleid-... - official source

[2] https://www.jellinek.nl/informatie-over-alcohol-drugs/cannab... - some talkshow source but explains it quite well

> The Netherlands should legalize weed. They have two economic incentives (1) weed tax and (2) sustained tourism.

(3) professional agriculture can start producing high quality cannabis in greenhouses instead of the often dangerous attic setups with stolen electricity. (although people do get very creative! https://nltimes.nl/2016/07/22/cannabis-farm-found-eindhoven-...)

"The runners need to go as fast to the coffeeshop as possible in the most stealthy way. If the police catch them, then they are in trouble. However, if they bring it into the coffeeshop, they are safe."

Is that really true? If the police wanted to, all they'd have to do is search any courier who comes in to the shop, or use video surveillance inside or outside the shop. There are infinite ways to try to crack down on sale and distribution, if they wanted to. But they don't seem to want to, and focus their resources on fighting "hard drugs" rather than cannabis.

On the other hand, some years back there was news that the conservative government was forcing the closure of a lot of coffeshops, and that there's been a backlash from the locals against drug tourists from other countries flooding their country, making a mess, getting in to fights, vomiting in their flowerpots, and just generally being annoying. They of course bring in lots of tourist revenue, but I guess the Dutch don't value that as much as they used to.

Well, I'm playing the game of telephone here (aka too far removed from it), so take it with a grain of salt.

1. Amsterdam is a city, not a country 2. Legalization =/= Decriminalization (for Portugal)

It might be that the umvi thinks that weed was only legalized in Amsterdam and not in The Netherlands as a whole.

@ umvi: weed usage is tolerated on the consumer-side in The Netherlands, by law it is illegal.

decriminalized only

Living there cost so much... they maybe need that.

Wait, what about Portugal? Didn't they also legalise it?

Portugal decriminalized it, you can't buy it legally anyway.

> If someone is found in the possession of less than a 10-day supply of anything from marijuana to heroin, he or she is sent to a three-person Commission for the Dissuasion of Drug Addiction, typically made up of a lawyer, a doctor and a social worker. The commission recommends treatment or a minor fine; otherwise, the person is sent off without any penalty. A vast majority of the time, there is no penalty.

Quote from: https://www.mic.com/articles/110344/14-years-after-portugal-...

That is indeed not quite the same thing. My impression of the Portugal situation was different, but apparently incorrect.

Portuguese are following a path of decriminalisation, which in a legal sense if a long shot away from the legalisation that the state of Luxembourg has just announced...

Production and sale are still criminalised in Portugal, and possession is still considered illegal, but with no penalties to first time offenders and considered a health issue for repeated offenders.

The major difference - Decriminalisation complies with their international obligations as per signed international treaties, Legalisation does not.

State of Luxembourg thinks they will get away with that, and I would bet this has been thoroughly vetted with their international partners.

Europe (as a patchwork of easily accessible jurisdictions) is almost perfect for me, but the lack of recreational weed is such a stark in-congruency.

This Luxembourg plan is a good start but:

- legalization in 5 years

- non-residents cant buy

This is still so odd and ridiculous

Even Portugal doesnt regulate the cultivation and sale of weed. So there is no lit market anywhere and the quality all sucks.

Its like come on Germany or someone central, legalize it.

You got girls running around regulated decadent brothels hiding weed and party favors from the cops like its high school. Combinations that are like really? Thats what we’re worried about here?

So like I said, almost perfect.

The dominoes fall, one by one.

The upside is that the wealth from legal cannabis sales will now flow through to the rich white men where it belongs rather than to the minority folk who dominate the black market.

The poor minority folks leading organized crime.

If their crimes are predicated upon a law which is no longer seen as justifiable, it's almost like they weren't doing anything bad at all.

Selling drugs is a money source for organizations that do things you generally don't want to legalize.

Most people are just trying to make a living. Hopefully the pritzker company is forced to atone for their evils.

I walk into a cannabis store near me and see young white people behind the counter, and I know the license holder is a wealthy white person (because it's public record). I know the company running the government website where I can buy online is owned and run by a bunch of rich white men (because it's a public company) and most its employees are well-educated, well-to-do white men because I know many of them personally. I know the government that owns the distribution and licensing channels and collects the excise taxes is mostly rich white men because I voted. I know the corporations that produce wholesale cannabis are owned and run by wealthy white men because I own stock and get the annual reports.

I see dealers in the local park. They don't tend to be wealthy white men, and they don't tend to be the people running the organized crime either. The organized crime will just move into more profitable areas like phishing scams and bond ratings agencies. It's the dealers on the street who suffer the most from the legalization of the recreational cannabis trade.

I definitely see legalization as best for society as a whole. I'm just uncomfortable with yet another way the cream floats to the top.

> It's the dealers on the street who suffer the most from the legalization of the recreational cannabis trade.


Nothing is stopping non white people from opening legal dispensaries. Don’t be so racist, maybe smoke some weed and chill out?

Well, the fact that they're in jail for being such innovative, ahead of the curve entrepreneurs stops them from opening legal dispensaries.

Definitely that, and the ability to pull a $60,000 line of credit out of a hat just to submit a license application. If most dealers could go to the bank and get that kind of credit, they would probably have chosen a different line of work.

I find it worrisome how preoccupied you seem to be with the skin color of others.

> I'm just uncomfortable with yet another way the cream floats to the top.

That's a feature of capitalism. If it makes money and can be controlled by already existing entities => make it legal, otherwise => shut it down.

Also, let's stop making every single issue a skin color issue, it's more of a "rich people" thing than a "white people" thing. https://tysonranch.com http://khalifakush.com

I'm sure the cannabis industry created thousands of jobs which aren't for "white people" only and which offer better horizons than dealing in the streets.

> because I own stock and get the annual reports

Honest question, why don't you practice what you preach and invest in "non white" companies ?

Sorry, smart folks don't want black market product. Learn how the world works.

Black markets exist because demand for a good or service is there despite the effort of those in power to control the supply. This is how the world works.

Smart folks don't just accept arbitrary and capricious rules that in practice cause more harm than good. Wise people work to change the rules in such cases. That's what they're trying to do in Luxembourg.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact