The German government could be about to legalise cannabis for recreational purposes across the Federal Republic and plans to have new laws in place by the end of this year.
The German Health Ministry has said that it is going to listen to 200 experts from a range of fields, including medics, psychologists and law enforcement experts, to give insight into the potential repercussions of legalisation.
The policy of legalising cannabis was agreed in principle by the German coalition when they took power last year. They believe that such moves will protect young people from contaminated drugs, stop money going into organised crime, and potentially raise significant sums in taxation.
Government drug czar Burkhard Blienert said of the proposal:
“Like many others, I have worked for years toward us in Germany finally ending the criminalization of cannabis consumers and beginning a modern and health-oriented cannabis policy.”
Under the policy, cannabis will only be sold in licensed shops. Only a few nations have fully legalised cannabis for recreational use, such as Canada, South Africa, Mexico and Uruguay. Some states in the United States have also legalised use. Many nations do allow use for medical purposes but not for personal enjoyment.
This is just one move by the new liberal-orientated German government that aims to liberalise society. Another proposed law change will lift the ban on doctors advertising abortion services, reduce the minimum voting age from 18 to 16, make German citizenship easier to obtain, and scrap laws that force transgender people to seek psychological assessments before officially changing their gender.
However, the German government has come under criticism recently from both the right and the left for their apparent weakness on the issue of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with many believing that they have failed to halt the use of Russian oil and gas quickly enough, and that they have failed to allow for the mass transportation of German and European weapons to Ukrainian forces.
[Based on reporting by: Associated Press]