The Grand Duchy Is Ready to Pass It ‘Round

I’ve got a challenge for you. Can you spot Luxembourg on this map?

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Did you find it?

Luxembourg is the tiny speck jammed between France, Belgium and Germany. A nation that you probably don’t hear all that much about.

For instance, you may not know that they’re actually the second wealthiest nation per capita in the world. Prosperity that they owe to their rich banking sector.

Much of this wealth is concentrated in the capital — also called Luxembourg. A hub that is home to just 110,000 natives. But, each and every day 400,000 extra workers pack into the city. A commute that can even involve crossing national borders!

Because of this, cars are practically a must in Luxembourg. That’s why, for every 10 people there are 6.6 cars. The highest rate of any nation in the EU. Problem is, this also leads to some seriously bad traffic jams.

None of this has ever really put them on the map, though. Luxembourg is a quiet achiever compared to their larger European neighbours.

At least they were…until yesterday.

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Greener pastures

Luxembourg, whose official name is the ‘Grand Duchy of Luxembourg’ is embracing the dutchie. They’re now putting in motion a plan to become the third nation in the world to legalise cannabis.

Yes, this tiny nation has big ambitions. Hoping to not only legalise the drug for recreational use, but also encourage their neighbouring nations to do the same.

Étienne Schneider, Luxembourg’s health minister confirmed the move in an interview with Politico. Which, if true, will make them the first European nation to do so. A major step up for the region in terms of the drugs acceptance.

More importantly this doesn’t appear to be just some form of political puffery. All three of the political parties that form the nation’s coalition government are pro-cannabis. So, any bill that does go up for voting will likely have majority support.

As for when we might see such a bill, we may not have to wait long. Schneider is hoping to put forward its first proposal in autumn (our spring). Kick-starting discussion and debate that they believe could lead to legislation within two years.

It’s an involved and timely process, but the fact that they’re willing to start is huge. If they’re successful, Luxembourg could start a domino effect that sweeps across the entirety of Europe.

In fact, we’re already seeing the start of such a phenomenon. Even if the nations themselves are stubbornly refuting such a thing. As politico reports:

EU countries are also deeply divided on cannabis more generally. Most are still grappling with how to make medical cannabis available for patients. Ireland and France only introduced experimental medical cannabis schemes this year — and when they did so, their health ministers made sure to clarify this was not going to lead to legalizing cannabis for pleasure.

They may be pushing back now, but eventually the political resistance will fall. The case against cannabis just isn’t tenable. America is proof of this — the war on drugs has failed.

Europe may hold out longer, but eventually they too will see reason.

No panacea for all

Now, at this point I’d like to remind you that this won’t be a simple process. Luxembourg’s politicians are under no illusion of the challenge that this legislation will present.

As a nation with a huge portion of non-native workers, policing cannabis will be tricky. For example, if someone lives in Germany but works in Luxembourg will they be eligible to buy cannabis?

Early indications suggest, they will not. But, policing such a law could prove tricky.

Naturally, all of the details will depend on the bill itself. That’s why we can expect this whole process to take a couple of years. They have to make sure they get this right the first time.

This more conservative approach probably won’t please everyone. Critics will bemoan any talk of recreational use and advocates will surely say they aren’t relaxing laws enough. But, it is perhaps the best path forward for the entire region.

Cautious optimism is how I’d classify it.

Again, it will all depend on what tack Luxembourg takes and how they adjust. Expect hurdles, challenges and plenty of hyperbole (from both sides).

Nevertheless, this is a monumental moment for cannabis. Luxembourg is opening up Pandora’s Box, and things will never be the same again. Fortunately, I am firmly of the belief that this will be for the better.

After all, you have to realise cannabis is a part of society today whether it is legal or not. By legalising it we’re only taking the black market out of the equation. Making consumption of this fairly benign drug not only safer, but also lucrative for nations.

Just look at Canada. Society hasn’t broken down post-legislation — in fact, it has barely changed at all. The only difference is that it has a new and booming industry. Seems like an absolute win to me.

I expect Luxembourg will be exactly the same. This sleepy little nation in the middle of Europe won’t fall into chaos due to a little weed. If anything it might just finally put them on the map…

The rest of Europe will certainly be watching this tiny country with far more interest now. They are effectively ground zero for the cannabis revolution in the region. And as the momentum builds, eventually they may not be able to stand against the coming change.

In words of Paul Kelly, ‘From little things, big things grow’.

And this, dear reader, is certifiably big.


Ryan Clarkson-Ledward,
Editor, Money Morning

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Ryan Clarkson-Ledward is an Editor at Money Morning.

Ryan holds degrees in both communication and international business. He helps bring Money Morning readers the latest market updates, both locally and abroad. Ryan tackles all the issues investors need to know about that the mainstream media neglects.

Ryan is also the Editor of Australian Small-Cap Investigator, a stock tipping newsletter that hunts down promising small-cap stocks by dissecting the latest events affecting the world.

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