The government of Germany announced plans to fully legalise the sale and use of cannabis for non-medical purposes. The new strategy includes a two-step method for changing cannabis policy. Benedikt Fischer, Wayne Hall shared their views about upcoming cannabis legalisation in Germany. You can read about them below.
What are the two steps to legalisation in Germany?
We have already described the overview of Germany’s government to legalise cannabis. First, it makes personal cannabis use legal and allows up to three plants to be grown at home. Additionally, it creates local “cannabis clubs” where adults can grow cannabis together. Such Cannabis Social Clubs have already begun to appear in Germany.
Second, it makes it easier for local “model projects” to study the manufacturing and sale of cannabis. The new regulation intends to protect adults from the negative effects of criminalization, eliminate illicit markets, and secure consumer health and safety. A common decriminalization of cannabis use and supply will result from the new laws.
Concerns regarding the cannabis legalisation in Germany
First of all, the effectiveness of improving public health is still uncertain. The shift to “cannabis clubs” and “home cultivation” raises concerns. Regulation, monitoring, and accountability issues have been highlighted by experiences from different countries with similar structures. Environmental health and safety risks, misuse, and diverted use are all brought up by home production.
The impact on youth protection is unclear, as the changes involve a general liberalisation of cannabis use and supply. Previous research shows these modifications could promote cannabis use while reducing teenage views of risk. The government’s “early intervention/prevention programs” for young cannabis users may or may not be helpful. Whether they will be more successful than current efforts is yet to be set.
Another challenge is reducing the size of the black market for cannabis. It is unclear if cannabis clubs in Germany can function at the necessary size and offer competitive pricing and accessibility. However, countries like Canada have observed a move towards legal sources after legalisation. According to the specialists, these clubs could lead to a “grey” market environment if there is little regulation. The shift from “cannabis clubs” to commercial manufacturing and selling is also problematic because these supply components compete with one another rather than work in harmony.
Overview of Germany’s cannabis legalisation plans
The updated cannabis law for Germany include a complex mix of elements. Although the suggested supply plans decriminalise personal cannabis use, it is unclear how well they will advance public health goals. It is a risky policy experiment to give voluntary collectives authority over production in order to provide a controlled supply of safer, quality-managed cannabis goods.
Thus, the rapid shift to a commercial cannabis market raises concerns. It is essential to set up, track, and evaluate policies in a methodical, evidence-based manner if youth protection initiatives and public health objectives are to be successfully achieved.