2022 looks set to be the year that the green wave finally hits Europe, with a number of EU countries preparing to legalise pot.
Over in the US, meanwhile, all eyes will be on the mid-term ballot papers, which are sure to include legalisation measures in several more states. Whether or not any change occurs at the federal level is difficult to predict at this stage, but overall, 2022 looks like being another good year for cannabis.
Legal Cannabis In Europe In 2022
Despite being the smallest country in the European Union, Malta has won the race to become the first EU nation to legalise weed for recreational use. At the time of writing, the ink from the presidential signature has barely dried and the new law has yet to come into force, but when it does, it’s going to bring in some big changes.
In addition to allowing for possession, use and cultivation, the new bill will permit the establishment of cannabis clubs in 2022. Instead of buying their weed from a dispensary, therefore, Maltese adults will be able to join non-profit co-operatives, which will be authorised to supply each member with up to seven grams of bud per day. It’s a bit like what’s going on in Spain, minus all the legal ambiguity.
Another European minnow, Luxembourg is also expected to legalise cannabis in 2022. Ministers unveiled the new legislation a few months ago, and the country’s parliament is due to vote on the issue in the new year. With strong support for legalisation among politicians and the general public, the deal is thought to be very much in the bag.
In Italy, meanwhile, a referendum on legalising cannabis is highly likely to take place, after the 500,000 signatures necessary to trigger a vote were raised. National polls indicate that support for legal weed is strong, and any plebiscite that takes place is considered to have a good chance of providing a favourable outcome.
The Dutch government is to begin an experiment involving the cultivation of cannabis for recreational use to determine whether and how controlled cannabis can be legally supplied to coffee shops and what the effects of this would be on the general public.
Finally, Switzerland has announced plans to do away with prohibition, with a bill outlining the terms of the country’s shift to legal cannabis expected in 2022. At this stage, little is known about how this will be regulated, and it is not yet clear if cultivation and for-profit sales will be allowed. Regardless, for a nation famed for its conservative, hard-line approach to pot, this move represents a massive leap in the right direction.
If all goes as expected, then by the end of 2022 you could be able to travel all the way from the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean – via the Swiss Alps – without setting foot in a country that doesn’t permit adult-use cannabis!
Cannabis In The US In 2022
Across the pond, legal sales are set to finally begin in states including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Virginia, all of which passed legalisation measures in the past year. At the same time, states such as Oklahoma are looking like joining the party by introducing bills of their own.
Renowned for its inclusive medical cannabis program, the state is currently considering a new proposal that would allow the cultivation of up to 12 plants by any adult individual, regardless of their medical status. Elsewhere, meanwhile, Speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives Joe Shekarchi has promised to reveal a cannabis legalisation bill in the first quarter of 2022.
Similarly, Adrienne Jones, Speaker of the House of Delegates in Maryland, has publicly vowed to put the legalisation issue to a vote in the coming year. In truth, many were disappointed that the state didn’t get it’s act together and make a referendum happen last year, but those frustrations will be put aside if Maryland hosts a cannabis legalisation vote in 2022.
Other states that could potentially end prohibition over the coming year include Delaware and Missouri, although a federal legalisation bill would of course be a much bigger deal. At present, three separate proposals are moving through the legislative system, with the MORE Act having already passed the House of Representatives on two occasions.
However, the bill now faces competition from a second legalisation bill that is expected to be introduced shortly by a Democrat consortium headed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. To complicate matters further, the Republicans introduced their own bill back in November, so uniting everyone behind one cannabis legalisation measure is likely to be somewhat challenging.
Will Mexico Finally Legalise Cannabis In 2022?
While 2021 started with such optimism in Mexico, it ended in complete shambles. After ruling that prohibition was nothing short of unconstitutional, the country’s Supreme Court had tasked lawmakers with passing a cannabis legalisation bill, yet somehow the Senate and Congress managed to make a right hash of things.
As multiple deadlines for getting the deal over the line came and went, Mexico found itself in limbo, with weed no longer illegal yet no legislative framework in place to regulate possession, cultivation, sale or consumption. With the year drawing to a close, though, a draft bill was once again introduced to the Senate, raising hopes that the country will finally sort itself and legalise cannabis in 2022.
Germany Continues on the Path to Legalisation
Enthusiasm for the legalisation of recreational cannabis has grown in Germany when the new coalition government declared its intention to allow recreational cannabis and regulate its market. German political party, The Greens, has promoted recreational cannabis legalisation for years and is now part of the coalition government,
Right now though there is no roadmap. No proposals have been drafted as of yet to regulate and create a cannabis market in Germany. It’s early, but there is genuine optimism that 2022 will see Germans lighting up legally.