In Germany, the new coalition wants to legalize cannabis

A mini-revolution in the country. The new government coalition that will take control of Germany announced on Wednesday November 24 that it wants to legalize cannabis.

This liberalization, which would make Germany the second country in the European Union after the Netherlands to choose the route of supervised sales, is one of the flagship measures of the coalition contract, unveiled on Wednesday, of the three parties that will succeed Angela Merkel in the coming weeks.

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The future team, led by Social Democrat Olaf Scholz, intends to authorize “The controlled distribution of cannabis to adults for consumption in approved stores”, stipulates the contract signed between SPD (social democrats), Greens and FDP (liberals).

This measure “Will make it possible to control quality, prevent the transmission of contaminated substances and guarantee the protection of young people”, specifies the document, adding that “The social impact of the law” would be evaluated after four years.

Public health reasons

Germany already has less restrictive legislation than many of its European neighbors, with the possibility in some cities such as Berlin to hold a few grams for personal consumption. The use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes was also authorized in 2017.

The legalization of weed is a demand carried by the Greens and the liberals, the SPD being traditionally more reluctant and pleading for experiments.

Even if the future places of sale – tobacco, « coffee-shops » or pharmacies, as proposed by the Federation of Pharmacists – the site is now on the right track, especially for public health reasons, argue the three parties.

Cannabis sold in the street is, in fact, often cut with other substances such as hairspray or sand. The health authorities are also alarmed by the circulation of new synthetic cannabinoids with a level of THC – tetrahydrocannabinol, the molecule at the origin of psychotropic effects – very high which poses health risks, in particular to the youngest. Legalization would thus make it possible to closely control the composition of the product consumed.

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Over-the-counter cannabis could also represent a windfall for the state coffers and turn into “green gold” as in Canada or in the American states which authorize the recreational use of hemp.

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“Banalization of consumption”

But legalization retains many opponents in Germany. Stephan Pilsinger, spokesperson for the CDU in the fight against drugs, accuses the coalition of leading a “Experience on the health of our society and our young people”. “Does the state really have to make money by plunging its citizens into the danger of addiction, permanent psychosis and physical and mental suffering? I think it’s immoral ”, he denounces to Agence France-Presse.

Police unions say they fear a “Trivialization of cannabis consumption”. Addictologists also warn against the possible impact on the mental health of the youngest and the risks of cancer.

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The World with AFP

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In Germany, the new coalition wants to legalize cannabis