Germany’s intentions to legalize marijuana this year have been put on hold as a result of officials’ worries that European Union judges would dismiss a hurriedly crafted reform legislation. A government official reportedly stated that while the legalization proposal has not been abandoned, legislators are moving forward with some skepticism about promises of a breakthrough” and have set down plans to decriminalize cannabis by the beginning of next year.
A New Dawn In Germany
After winning the most votes in Germany’s latest federal election in November 2021, the Social Democrats Party (SPD) formed a coalition with the libertarian Free Democrats (FDP) and the Green Party to establish a new government. The Christian Democratic Union, which had ruled the government under Chancellor Angela Merkle for 16 years, was ousted by the new ruling majority, which is known as the traffic light coalition in reference to the parties’ colors.
Representatives of the coalition said that cannabis would be legalized for adult use and that a framework for legal sales would be established once discussions to form the new administration got underway. Officials from the new ruling coalition declared that adult use of cannabis would be permitted, along with the opening of regulated marijuana dispensaries.
An unnamed coalition spokeswoman said, “We’re launching the controlled distribution of cannabis to adults for use in licensed businesses.” “This will regulate the quality, stop the spread of hazardous materials, and ensure the safety of children. After four years, we shall assess the law’s societal impact.
Since the traffic light coalition came into power, the Green Party and the liberal Free Democratic Party have reiterated their commitment to legalizing cannabis in Germany. Justice Minister Marco Buschmann predicted in May that a reform bill could be passed by next spring and result in the sale of “the first legal joint” in Germany in 2023.
Karl Lauterbach, the minister of health, declared in early June that the government would shortly begin the legal procedure for legalizing cannabis. Over the last two years, he claims, he has altered his mind about legalizing and now thinks that the drawbacks of prohibition exceed any potential hazards. He made this admission to the German daily Handelsblatt. I’ve always opposed legalizing marijuana, but Lauterbach claimed about a year ago, I changed my mind.
Government Officials Reducing Hopes for Legalization
Government officials have been downplaying forecasts that Germany will legalize cannabis by 2023 after being optimistic that change would occur swiftly. In a legal analysis that was leaked to the news site RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland on Monday, experts from the German parliament warned that efforts to legalize marijuana would violate European laws in a number of ways.
The United Nations 1961 single convention on narcotic substances was mentioned as a potential roadblock to legalization by the ruling coalition early on, despite the fact that Uruguay and Canada completely disregarded the international accord when they legalized cannabis there.
German authorities have focused on EU legislation that may threaten legalization in Europe’s most populous nation since they now overwhelmingly feel that 1961
the treaty is not the barrier it previously looked to be. Member states are obligated to ensure that drug sales, including cannabis sales, are “punishable by effective, appropriate and dissuasive criminal sanctions” in accordance with a Council of the European Union framework decision from 2004.
Additionally, member countries must fight against the illicit export, sale, and supply of “narcotic narcotics and psychotropic substances, including cannabis,” according to the 1985 Schengen Agreement, which resulted in the elimination of border crossings throughout the European Union. Officials are reconsidering the speed of change as they take into account the obstacles to cannabis legalization under EU regulations.
An individual acquainted with the situation stated, “There is some concern about claims of a breakthrough before the end of the year. “The intricacy of everything is beginning to set in, and the hazards are becoming more acutely realized. We don’t want another Autobahn toll catastrophe,” a reference to a toll road project shelved after the European Court of Justice determined it would unfairly harm foreign drivers and violate anti-discrimination laws.
The German government arranged a series of five hearings to talk about various elements of cannabis. According to Commissioner for Addiction and Drug Issues Burkhard Blienert, “the moment has arrived” to go forward. He continued, “We are beginning the legislative planning process. “For me, it’s a beautiful and satisfying occasion to be able to reveal this finally. Like many others, I have been fighting for years to guarantee that Germany eventually ends the criminalization of cannabis users and begins a cannabis policy focused on health.
Investors Are More Interested Than Ever
Germany wants to open its adult-use market quickly, leading some experts to caution those considering the European country. According to where they are now, the Germans’ goal of having goods on the market by 2023 strikes experts as an extraordinarily ambitious one, said Deepak Anand, the founder of the medical cannabis company Materia, during a discussion at the recent Lift Expo in Toronto.
Terry Booth, CEO of Australia’s Capital and previous CEO of Aurora Cannabis, predicted that Germany will overregulate and “be harder than Canada.”
According to the global lead of nicotine and cannabis with Euromonitor International, Shane MacGuill, if Canada had not been the first member of the G7 to legalize marijuana, Germany’s plans for adult usage would not have come to light. Legalization in Canada has obviously had an impact on it and is something that people are aware of throughout Europe,” he said.
As additional countries like Germany throughout the world open their doors to cannabis programs, a domino effect might occur, accelerating the worldwide availability of cannabis. According to official sources quoted by The Guardian, the traffic light coalition is still on track to complete crafting a measure that would permit the legal distribution of cannabis.
Legislators are also keeping an eye on developments in neighboring Luxembourg, where authorities this summer presented a plan to legalize cannabis use for recreational purposes at home while continuing to prohibit its use in public places.