Following the steps of tiny Malta, Germany announced it is taking steps to legalize recreational cannabis. The new law will allow Germans to acquire and possess less than an ounce of weed, and will allow folks to grow their own.
The government also plans to introduce a special consumption tax, as well as developing cannabis-related education and prevention work.
Legalising cannabis could bring Germany annual tax revenues and cost savings of about 4.7 billion euros ($4.7 billion) and create 27,000 new jobs, a survey found last year.
Some 4 million people consumed cannabis in Germany last year, 25% of whom were between ages 18 and 24, Lauterbach said, adding that the legalisation would squeeze out the cannabis black market.