Cannabis and its individual components are applicable in many different ways and in diverse areas. However, cannabis is primarily considered in terms of its use as a drug and accordingly from a penal perspective. The practical relevance of this subject matter is illustrated by a study claiming that nearly 67% of reported cases tried under the Narcotic Substances Act (Suchmitttelgesetz; SMG) are linked to cannabis. After providing a definition of the term “cannabis” and a short history of its use and cultivation, the core of this paper will focus on the role of cannabis in the criminal justice systems of Austria and Germany, including the corresponding provisions of the SMG and BtMG. At this point, individual criminal actions in connection with cannabis, respective qualifications, and privileges will be presented. Due to cannabis constant presence in the media, it is necessary for this paper to deal with significant aspects of reform discussions as well as controversial stances regarding efforts to legalize cannabis. The amendment to the criminal law act of 2015, which has been in effect since the beginning of 2016, and has been called “legalization light” by the media, is particularly noteworthy. In Germany, the discussion about legalization has been sparked again as well, with the drafting of a law to regulate the legal consumption of cannabis (CannKG). Furthermore, the liberal drug policies of the Netherlands, as well as the Czech Republic, will also be discussed in order to survey the advantages and disadvantages of these different standpoints. On a broader European level, the Schengen agreement must be considered when it comes to joint efforts to work against crime involving narcotic drugs. To conclude, this paper will weigh the positive against the negative aspects of the legalization of cannabis.