Germany Moves To Legalize Cannabis
At this point, all the new German coalition government has said is that it would allow “the controlled sale of cannabis to adults for recreational purposes in licensed shops,” an announcement that has brought the cannabis market to new heights and raised serious concerns among other European countries.
The proposal to establish a regulated market for adult sale and consumption of marijuana and to promote a broader drug policy — including regulated and taxed dispensaries, quality controls and effective youth protection laws — was featured in the deals agreed among the German coalition parties negotiated in strict secrecy after September elections.
A game-changing move
The center-left government led by Olaf Scholz, a Social Democrat who replaced the longtime center-right chancellor Angela Merkel, works in coalition with the progressive Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats.
Former Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democrat party had blocked the proposal for years.
Although no timetable has been set for the introduction of legislation, “the plan could still turn out to be a game-changing precedent for the global business of growing and selling marijuana, one that will be closely watched by other countries toying with liberalizing their drug laws,” reported the Financial Times.
While not illegal to consume cannabis under current German law, purchasing the drug is outlawed. A contradictory position as in other European countries including the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain, where possession of small amounts of cannabis can still be a civil infraction at the same time that it’s available in “tolerated” coffee shops or cannabis social clubs.
The plan, which would open a significant market for growers and dealers, includes a reevaluation of the new law and its repercussions after four years.
Germany would be largest nation in the world to legalize cannabis after Uruguay, Canada, Malta and 18 states in the Unites States.