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In first for Europe, Malta to legalize recreational marijuana, with several other countries on the cusp

Malta is set to become the first country in Europe to legalize the cultivation and consumption of marijuana for recreational use, in a bill that goes before parliament Tuesday and is widely expected to be enacted by the end of the week.

The European Union’s smallest member will just edge past Luxembourg, which has approved but not yet implemented legislation to legalize growing cannabis plants, and Germany, where a new government has pledged to legalize marijuana consumption in licensed stores.

The move comes amid a global shift toward local and nationwide decriminalization, and in some cases legalization, of the cultivation, sale and consumption of cannabis.

Uruguay was the world’s first country to legalize the production and sale of marijuana, in 2013. In the years since, countries including Canada and Morocco have created their own legal cannabis markets.In Europe, the Netherlands was the first to permit the selling, buying and use of marijuana in shops, though cultivation of the plant remains illegal. Some European countries and 18 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., have enacted various laws to decriminalize the sale and consumption of cannabis, or in the case of some U.S. states, to legalize it even as it remains illegal under federal law. [Read More @ The Washington Post]

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