Hungary frowns upon German plans to legalize cannabis

Hungary would still prosecute German nationals for drug use or possession, warned Hungary’s Deputy Interior Minister Bence Rétvári

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Magyar Hírlap
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, left, listens to Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, center, during a cabinet meeting in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Germany’s proposed liberalization of its cannabis laws could see more nationals carrying the drug across the European Union’s borderless zone and into Hungary, Hungarian Deputy Interior Minister Bence Rétvári warned on Wednesday.

Speaking at a press conference, the Hungarian minister said the bill proposed by Germany’s liberal federal coalition government would allow Germans to grow cannabis plants at home for personal use and legalize the possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis.

The new legislation still needs the approval of the Bundestag.

Rétvári reminded that the German police had also reacted to the submission of the draft law, stating that law enforcement agencies do not have the capacity to check people’s homes to see how many cannabis plants they were growing.

The Hungarian minister also pointed out that if Germany were to legalize the consumption of marijuana, German citizens outside their home country would still be subject to the laws of the country where they were staying. Therefore, if a German citizen brought marijuana legally grown in Germany to Hungary, it would still be a criminal offense, as in other EU countries.

According to Rétvári, time has proven that it was at the initiative of the right-wing governing parties that the strictest drug law in Europe came into force in Hungary.

He said that zero tolerance is still justified in light of the changes in consumer habits in recent years, especially the proliferation of so-called designer drugs, which have an almost unknown composition and are therefore extremely dangerous.

Despite a growing trend in Europe to legalize cannabis, Hungary — like Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Latvia — still does not allow even the medical use of cannabis, let alone recreational use.

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