In the yearly representative survey conducted by Infratest Dimap, significant disagreements emerged this time. There was a 47:47% split between those in favour of and against the legalisation of cannabis in Germany. The acceptance percentage of cannabis legalisation in Germany was only 30% in 2014, but this year has seen a significant change as public opinion has been around 50% for three years running.
The increasing trend of support for cannabis legalisation through 2021 is due to a growing objective understanding of cannabis together with younger, more educated generations. This tendency was consistent with worldwide trends. But there was a lot of pushback in Germany to the government’s announcement of a more liberal cannabis policy.
Strong media outlets have emphasised some warnings, despite their lack of factual basis. This resistance seems to have confused some individuals, setting a pause on the ongoing trend towards legalisation. Moreover, the Union parties’ regular anti-cannabis argumentation, especially from followers of the CDU and CSU, might also have influenced this hesitation.
Moreover, supporters may not have all information due to Health Minister Lauterbach’s unclear approach, which mainly defends cannabis legalisation by citing the drug’s supposed risks. Despite negative reports, general acceptance is still comparatively high and does not appear to be declining.
Survey question and findings
The survey question, which has been neutral for comparability since 2014, focuses on how other countries legally handle cannabis. The question was still consistent to enable trend analysis:
“Cannabis should be legally and regularly available for adults, for example, through specialised stores as in Canada or the USA. Do you rather agree or disagree with this statement?”
Even after the government submitted a law for the partial legalisation of cannabis, opinions on the matter are still mixed. In Germany, 47% of eligible voters currently support adult use of cannabis under legal and regulated conditions, while 47% oppose it.
Support for legalisation is highest among younger people (64:32%) and those with more formal education (54:41%), in line with prior years. Furthermore, compared to women (42:51%), men (53:44%) are more likely to support legalisation. Citizens 65 years of age and older (31:61%) and those with less formal education (38:50%) are the two groups most opposed.
Germany: what about this cannabis?
The survey’s findings demonstrate how divided Germans are still about the legalisation of cannabis. There is some level of uncertainty despite the recent government measures due to opposition from several sources. Opinions that come from different demographic groups highlight how complicated the matter is. They also show that reaching an agreement on the legalisation of cannabis in Germany may not be easy in the near future.