Germany Legalizing Cannabis is a big step in the right direction.
The announcement was made by Germany’s Health Ministry on Monday, that it will start holding expert hearings on various aspects of the issue Tuesday, June 14’th.
This is a big step in the right direction, as Germany has been one of the countries more resistant to change regarding cannabis legalization. The country has some of the strictest laws on cannabis use in Europe, with possession of small amounts being decriminalized only in 2017 and public consumption still being illegal.
The move comes as part of an effort started by the governing coalition party, Social Democrats (SPD), who have been pushing to legalize adult-use cannabis since they took over control of the government following elections last year. SPD leader Andrea Nahles said earlier this month that she wanted to see legislation passed before year’s end, though it remains unclear if this deadline will be met or not.
Legalizing Cannabis is a big change in policy. Why now?
This change in policy appears to be driven by a desire to bring the country’s marijuana laws in line with those of other European countries like the Netherlands and Italy. This is a good first move, as Germany has proved resistant to change regarding cannabis legalization.
The hearings will be held in Berlin and will be open to the public. They are part of a new German law that requires the government to consider if legal cannabis sales should be allowed in the country at all. The law also requires the government to research how other countries have handled legalization, and then decide if it is right for Germany.
Not all voices agree about legalizing cannabis.
Health Minister Jens Spahn said he believes Germany should be able to decide what is best for its own people, but he thinks that legalizing cannabis would lead more people to try harder drugs like cocaine and heroin. He also said he thinks people who smoke weed are “stupid” and “crazy” because they’re going against society’s rules about what drugs are okay or bad for you.
Spahn isn’t alone in his beliefs about marijuana: Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed concerns about legalization as well. However, she has also said she supports decriminalization because she believes it would lower prison costs and help people with mental disorders get treatment instead of being locked up.
Regardless of your beliefs, legalizing cannabis has been a long time coming for many countries. What started as a small trend has become a massive bull run to secure each countries position in this emerging market. Germany is finally taking action, and so the eyes will soon shift to the other European countries to follow suite.