Germany ready to take the leap to legalize cannabis

Germany is ready to take the step of legalizing cannabis

MISE & Agrave; DAY

BERLIN | Germany set to compete with the Netherlands? The future ruling coalition wants to legalize cannabis, a measure likely to bring billions of euros to the state, but which is causing concern among addictologists and police unions. & nbsp;

< p> This liberalization, which would make Germany the second country in the European Union after the Netherlands to choose the route of supervised sales, is one of the flagship measures of the coalition contract, unveiled on Wednesday, of the three parties who will succeed Angela Merkel in the next few weeks.

The future team, led by Social Democrat Olaf Scholz, intends to authorize “the controlled distribution of cannabis to adults for consumption in authorized stores”, stipulates the contract signed between SPD (Social Democrats), Greens and FDP ( liberals).

This mini-revolution “will make it possible to control quality, prevent the circulation of contaminated substances and protect young people”, argues the coalition, ensuring that the future law would be reassessed after four years.

“Green gold”

Germany already has less restrictive legislation than many of its European neighbors, with the possibility in some cities such as Berlin to hold a few grams for personal consumption.

The use of cannabis for purposes therapies was also authorized in 2017.

The legalization of weed is a demand made by the Greens and the liberals, the SPD being traditionally more reluctant and pleading for experiments.

Even if the future places of sale – tobacco, “coffee-shops” or pharmacies have not yet been defined, as proposed by the Federation of Pharmacists – the site is now on the right track, in particular for reasons of public health, plead the three parties.

Cannabis sold in the street is in fact often cut with other substances such as lacquer, sand or even Brix, a synthetic adhesive intended for artificially inflate the weight of the grass.

In 2018, the Berlin magazine Zitty had cannabis purchased in the main outlets in the capital analyzed and had the worrying result that eight out of nine were cut with other substances.

Health authorities There are also alarms about the circulation of new synthetic cannabinoids with a very high THC level which poses health risks, especially to the youngest. & nbsp;

The German University of Ulm observed in 2019 almost eight times more cases of psychosis linked to cannabis than in 2011 and noted that during the same period, the THC content of cannabis consumed in Germany had significantly increased.

Legalization would thus make it possible to tightly control the composition of the product consumed.

Over-the-counter cannabis could also represent a windfall for the state coffers and turn into “green gold” like in Canada or in American states that allow recreational use of hemp.

“Immoral”

A recent study by a team from the Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf estimated the public finance gains from legalized cannabis to be around 4.7 billion euros.

An identical cannabis tax to those on tobacco or alcohol alone would bring in 1.8 billion each year.

Savings of around one billion euros could also be made on criminal prosecutions targeting consumers and small dealers, according to this study, which estimates the number of jobs created by legalization at around 27,000.

Cannabis prohibition costs taxpayers money each year “without having any positive effect,” says Georg Wurth, director of the German Cannabis Association.

But legalization still has many opponents in Germany. & nbsp;

Stephan Pilsinger, spokesperson for the CDU in the fight against drugs, accuses the coalition of carrying out “an experiment on the health of our society and our young people”.

“Does the state really have to make money by plunging its citizens into the danger of addiction, permanent psychosis, and physical and mental suffering?” I think it's immoral, “he denounces to AFP.

Police unions say they fear a” trivialization of cannabis consumption “.

Addictologists warn them against the possible impact on the mental health of the youngest and the risks of cancer.

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