Germany presents marijuana legalization plan – DW – 10/26/2022

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach presented this Wednesday (10/26) to the office of Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz his plans related to the legalization of cannabis in the country.

The social democrat minister also presented a survey according to which approximately 4 million adults use marijuana in the country. The data also suggests that there is a huge black market in the country and criminal organizations are involved in the trade.

Germany at the European forefront of cannabis?

Lauterbach said Germany’s narcotics policy needed reform because current measures were failing to limit consumption. Its aim is to evoke better public health policies, as well as greater protection for minors, he explained, noting that domestic cannabis users would “fall into a criminal environment”.

On the other hand, the Minister of Health specified that Germany would not seek to imitate the model of the Netherlands, which does not have a regulated market. Instead, his plan aims for “the most liberal legalization of cannabis in Europe”, but also for Germany to be “the most regulated market” in the European Union (EU). This approach could become a model for Europe.

However, before the Lauterbach plan can be realised, the European Commission must verify that the measures are viable under European and international law.

Lauterbach wants to allow the acquisition and possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis for recreational purposes. At a press conference in Berlin, he stressed that his plans aim to legalize the production, supply and distribution of cannabis under a regulated and state-controlled framework.

In addition, individual cultivation would be allowed on a limited basis: three flowering plants per adult person. Regulated cannabis production would also be part of drug legalization in Germany.

Sales would take place in specialized stores and possibly pharmacies. According to the minister’s document, the advertising of cannabis products will be banned in the country.

Long legislative process

The Green Party – which is part of the government coalition with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Liberal Democratic Party (FDP) – welcomed the points raised for a bill on the legalization of cannabis. The Greens have been strong supporters of legalization.

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner announced in September that cannabis could be legalized by 2023. In July, however, Federal Commissioner for Drugs and Addiction Burkhard Blienert said it was doubtful that such a legislation can be implemented earlier in 2024.

The ruling coalition is expected to present a bill later this year or early 2023. However, a specific bill will only be drafted after the European Union confirms that there is no legal objections to the planned legalization. Therefore, the plan released on Wednesday could still change drastically during the legislative process.

pv/av (AFP, KNA, DPA)

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