Nobody should buy from dealers: Cannabis should become legal in two steps

Nobody should buy from dealers
Cannabis is to become legal in two steps

The goal of the federal government is clear: the black market is to be pushed back, and crime is to be cut short. Federal Minister of Health Lauterbach and Minister of Agriculture Özdemir present their cornerstones for a “light legalization” of cannabis.

The federal government has presented plans for the partial legalization of marijuana and hashish. According to the plans of the health, agriculture and justice ministries, adults should be able to grow cannabis privately in certain quantities in the future. In “non-profit associations”, members should be able to buy up to 25 grams of cannabis per day and up to 50 grams per month. For self-cultivation, members are also allowed up to seven seeds or 5 cuttings per month.

The three ministries pointed out that after talks with the EU Commission, they had agreed on a two-pillar model. The federal government had already presented a key issues paper in October. In a first step, cultivation in these associations as well as private cultivation should be made possible nationwide. In a second step, it should then be possible to sell cannabis in specialist shops in regionally limited and time-limited model projects. This is declared as a scientific study in order to remove reservations from the EU Commission.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach from the SPD and Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir from the Greens fundamentally defended the legalization plans and reaffirmed the government’s arguments that the plan should push back the black market and cut the ground for crime. “Nobody should have to buy from dealers without knowing what you’re getting,” said Özdemir. Lauterbach spoke of a controlled supply of cannabis to adults “within clear limits (…) flanked by preventive measures for young people”. The previous cannabis policy had failed.

Medical cannabis has been available in Germany on prescription since 2017. According to the Ministry of Health, four million people in Germany consumed cannabis in 2022.

In their coalition agreement, the SPD, Greens and FDP agreed to introduce the “controlled sale of cannabis to adults for recreational purposes in licensed shops”. Lauterbach had already submitted proposals for this in the autumn. From the start, however, there were concerns that the plans could be thwarted by international and EU law.

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