Cannabis legalisation has been a subject of intense debate in a number of EU countries, especially in Germany. The scientific service of the Bundestag has expressed scepticism about the new traffic light government’s plans to legalise cannabis in Germany, raising questions about the proposal’s compliance with European law. Thus, discussions over the feasibility of the proposed measures and their potential effects on society and public health occured.
Planned cannabis laws in Germany
The scientific service’s analysis was ordered by CSU MP Stephan Pilsinger and covered by “Spiegel”. It raises a significant issue with regard to the proposed legalisation of cannabis. Instead of the larger framework envisioned by the traffic light government, European legislation may only permit the use of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes.
Cannabis was originally intended to be excluded from the Narcotics Act and allowed for possession of up to 25 grams. Additionally, it permitted private individuals to cultivate up to three female cannabis plants. It also permitted club cultivation under limitations.
The paper warns that this strategy could have legal consequences. It also says that cannabis use for non-medical and non-scientific purposes might be illegal in Europe.
Doubtful cannabis laws
Reactions to the proposal of decriminalising home growing and use are diverse. Supporters contend that such a measure would protect personal freedoms and ease the load on law enforcement while fighting the black market for illicit drugs. Opponents do, however, raise issues with potential abuse and the possibility of cannabis being shared or sold to non-members.
The proposed cannabis cultivation at cannabis social clubs is a significant subject of debate. The research from the scientific service emphasises the significant risk of commercialization and its probable legal breach in Europe. This raises concerns about the viability of the model regions. The traffic light administration plans to test commercial production and legal sales there. They want to do it for five years under the supervision of scientists. Critics claim that such a strategy might act as a “backdoor” to legalising cannabis, avoiding European legislation and creating a dangerous precedent.
The CSU MP Stephan Pilsinger has requested the investigation. He has some concerns about the suggested model areas and their possible implications for law. He makes the argument that the creation of a state-controlled infrastructure for production and distribution for non-medical uses might not be covered by the rights of Member States to legalise drugs, which would further complicate the problem.
The findings of the investigation have complicated Germany’s cannabis legalisation discussion. The support for the potential health advantages of medical cannabis usage grows. However, there is still disagreement over whether it should be more widely available for recreational use.
Policymakers face a considerable problem when trying to find a balance between adherence to European law, public health considerations, and personal freedoms.
What can Germany do now?
Stakeholders must engage in intelligent, fact-based debate as the discussions progress. They should take into account the potential legal and societal consequences of cannabis legalisation. Any choice has to carefully consider the implications between personal freedoms, the safety of the public, and complying to international legal norms.
Cannabis legalisation in Germany will ultimately depend on how policymakers manage these complications. We will see whether they can come up with a solution that satisfies the interests and preferences of the public they represent while also being compliant with European law.