Weed Legalization in Germany Hampered by EU Laws

Germany has delayed plans to legalize cannabis this year, and some officials have expressed concern that hastily drafted reform measures will be rejected by European Union courts. While plans to legalize marijuana have not been withdrawn, government officials recently said lawmakers were proceeding “with some caution about the promise of a breakthrough” and were scaling back plans to achieve legalization by early next year. Said there was

In November 2021, the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) won the most votes in Germany’s recent federal elections, forming a coalition with the environmentalist Green Party and the Free Democrats (FDP) to form a new government. was established. The new ruling party, known as the “Signal Union” after its partisan color, has replaced the Christian Democratic Union, which has led the government under Prime Minister Angela Markle for 16 years.

As negotiations were underway to form a new government, representatives of the coalition announced that cannabis for adult use would be legalized and a regulatory framework for legal sales would be created. A spokesman for the ruling coalition announced that cannabis for adult use would be legalized, including the launch of regulated recreational marijuana outlets.

“We are introducing controlled distribution of cannabis to adults for consumption in licensed stores,” said the unidentified A Union spokesman said“This will control quality, prevent the transfer of contaminants and ensure the protection of minors. For social impact, we will evaluate the law after four years.”

The goal of legalizing cannabis in Germany has been reiterated by the Greens and liberal Liberal Democrats since the Traffic Lights Coalition took power, with Justice Minister Marco Buschmann saying in May that a reform bill could be passed by next spring. and the “first legal joint” to be sold in Germany in 2023.

In early June, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach announced that the government would soon begin legal proceedings to legalize cannabis.he told a German newspaper Handelsblatt He has changed his stance on legalization over the past two years and now sees the harm of banning outweighing the risks of recreational cannabis reform.

“I have always been against cannabis legalization, but amended my position about a year ago.” Lauterbach said.

A series of five hearings were scheduled by the German government to discuss various aspects of cannabis. Commissioner for Addiction and Drug Affairs Berkhard Brienert said it was “the time” to move forward, according to translations.

“We are starting the preparatory stage for legislation.” he added“It is a very special and gratifying moment for me personally to finally be able to announce this. We have been working to ensure that we can launch a sensible and health-conscious cannabis policy.”

Government officials curtail hopes for legalization

But after expressing optimism that reforms will come quickly, government officials have withdrawn their predictions that Germany will legalize cannabis by 2023. Cannabis contradicts European regulations in several respects.

Early in the ruling coalition’s legalization debate, officials said both Uruguay and Canada had effectively ignored international agreements when cannabis was legalized, but the 1961 lawsuit was seen as a potential impediment to achieving their goals. identified the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

German officials now largely believe that the 1961 treaty is not the obstacle it once seemed, and that the European Union’s legalization could jeopardize legalization in Europe’s most populous country. attention to the law. Under the Council of the European Union Framework decision from 2004Member States must ensure that the sale of drugs, including cannabis, is “punishable by effective, proportionate and persuasive criminal penalties”.

Furthermore, the 1985 Schengen Agreement, which led to the abolition of border crossings throughout the European Union, requires member states to combat the illegal export, sale and supply of “narcotics and psychotropic substances, including cannabis”. increase. As the government considers the challenges to cannabis legalization under EU law, officials are rethinking the pace of reform.

“The promise of a breakthrough by the end of the year requires some caution,” said a person familiar with the matter. “All the complexities are starting to seep in and the risks involved are more clearly perceived. It is a reference to a toll road construction project that was abandoned when the judgment was rendered.

According to government sources, the Traffic Lights Coalition aims to complete drafting legislation that would allow for the legal distribution of cannabis. quoted by GuardianBut legislators are also watching what happens in neighboring Luxembourg. In Luxembourg, authorities have announced plans to legalize recreational cannabis use in private settings this summer, but will continue to ban cannabis use in public.

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