Germany’s move to introduce some of Europe’s most progressive cannabis laws has come to a halt due to concerns raised by the European Union. The government had proposed allowing the sale of cannabis in licensed stores, but had to water it down due to the EU’s concerns. The modified two-stage plan still permits adults to possess cannabis in small amounts but not its sale in stores nationwide. The first stage of the new plan would permit the creation of “cannabis clubs”, non-profit groups with up to 500 members permitted to cultivate the drug for personal use. The proposed bill related to the cannabis clubs will be revealed later this month and will soon be presented for the cabinet and MPs’ approval before being enacted. The second stage involves a five-year pilot project in regions whose locations are yet to be decided. The project will focus on the production and sale of cannabis in authorized stores under government licensing. However, the widespread sale of the drug across the country, as originally planned, was not possible under European law. Critics from the conservative opposition, such as Markus Soeder, leader of the CDU’s sister party, the CSU, have criticized the government’s proposals, stating that the government is “fundamentally on the wrong track” and that drug legalization is “simply the wrong way to go”. According to them, the proposed establishment of drug clubs would only create new issues instead of solving existing ones. Still, the Health Minister Karl Lauterbach remains optimistic, emphasizing that the “original goals” of tackling the black market, protecting young people, and promoting safer consumption remain untouched. With the legalisation of cannabis, there is a chance to bring a positive change in Germany’s policies – and even at the European level. Opinion: It’s commendable that the German government is one of the few in Europe that has taken a step forward in legalising cannabis for personal use. The benefits of legalizing marijuana are numerous, ranging from decreasing black-market activity to creating jobs and economic growth. Moreover, cannabis has been scientifically proven to be less harmful than tobacco and alcohol. It’s unfortunate that the widespread sale of the drug across the country has been stopped due to European law’s restrictive nature. We hope that the pilot project will achieve its set goals and bring us closer to the legalization of the substance in a broader context. Drug clubs can be of great significance, cultivating safer usage of marijuana, thereby ensuring that minors stay away from the drug.
As a disclaimer, the opinions expressed in this article don’t reflect those of High Thailand.