Germany’s move to legalise cannabis may lead to cascading effect

Berlin, Germany Updated: Jul 01, 2022, 09:03 PM(IST)

Representative image Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Europe’s largest economy joining Canada and California in legalising cannabis for recreational use could create momentum to change the UN convention that restricts the cultivation of the plant and also puts pressure on neighbouring European states to follow Germany’s lead.
 

Germany is mulling over the consequences of soon becoming the world’s largest potential market for legally sold cannabis, as the country’s left-liberal government presses ahead with plans to allow the controlled distribution of the drug among adults, as reported by The Guardian.

The German government is moving forward with plans for legislation to legalize cannabis consumption.  Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said on Thursday that a draft law is scheduled to be ready by the end of the year.  

The upcoming legislation is "a long-awaited step for many," Lauterbach said, adding that the government will apply a "safety first" principle to its efforts toward legalizing marijuana use. "The current, primarily repressive way of dealing with cannabis has failed," Lauterbach added. 

Europe’s largest economy joining Canada and California in legalising cannabis for recreational use could create momentum to change the UN convention that restricts the cultivation of the plant and also puts pressure on neighbouring European states to follow Germany’s lead.

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As reported by The Guardian, Justus Haucap, the director of the Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics said, “There will be a domino effect, for sure. European countries that have a much bigger problem with illegal cannabis use, like France, are watching very closely what Germany is doing at the moment.”

The hemp industry is lobbying the German government to tax cannabis products at no more than €10 a gramme of bud, with a lower rate for plants with lower tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. A higher rate of taxation would give an advantage to illicit dealers, they argue, as would a wholesale ban on advertising state-offered weed.

(with inputs from agencies)

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