2. Measuring the impacts of a new cannabis regulation in Luxembourg: the need for valid data collection methods
Introduction and aims: In 2001, simple cannabis use and possession were decriminalised in Luxembourg and are since then only punishable by a fine. The 2018 governmental coalition agreement included a chapter on a future regulation of legal access by adult residents to domestically produced cannabis for non-medical purposes. By the end of 2021 an update was announced, moving forward with a project proposal to permit the cultivation of up to 4 cannabis plants per household, allowing adult residents to consume cannabis at home. Moreover, there may be lower penalties for offences involving the possession of up to 3 grams of cannabis in public. An impact-oriented evaluation will guide the project to determine the extent to which the policy objectives are achieved.
Design and methods: The working group guiding the policy evaluation has identified eight domains with more than 150 first, second and third priority indicators to assess the impact of the new cannabis regulation (work in progress). The evaluation will include pre-post assessments with a mixed-method design including quantitative and qualitative assessments, such as a general population survey (GPS), targeted surveys, focus-groups and interviews with stakeholders, toxicological analysis and wastewater analysis. The evaluation will be guided by an independent advisory group.
Results: Project is ongoing; results are not yet available (January 2022)
Discussions: Measuring the impacts of a new cannabis regulation requires valid and reliable data collection methods, which are currently lacking or insufficient on the national level. European guidelines may be required to provide key indicators and consistency in the data collection of cannabis policy changes.