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Why Cannabis Legalization on April 1st Could Be Canceled in Germany

The CDU and CSU are campaigning against cannabis legalization in Germany. Health ministers from SPD-led states have recommended involving the mediation committee, likely delaying the law’s approval on March 22nd. Bavaria’s CSU ministers expressed intent to stop or delay the law. The Union interior ministers expect that crime will increase because of the partial decriminalization.



cannabis legalization

The CDU and CSU continue to campaign against the decriminalization of cannabis decided in the Bundestag. In the Federal Council they have won over state politicians and health ministers from the SPD. Since three Federal Council committees now recommend calling the Mediation Committee ten days before the vote, it is unlikely that the law for cannabis legalization will be approved on March 22nd and that it will come into force on April 1st.

The law does not require approval in the Federal Council. However, the states can stop cannabis legalization law with an objection and try to achieve changes in the mediation committee. The Bundestag could then overrule the mediation result with a simple majority.

Read more about the cannabis legalization in Germany and find the most important cannabis news of the day with the mobile app, available for free for bth Android and iOS devices.

Resistance on cannabis legalization formed in the Federal Council

On Monday, the health ministers of the federal states agreed on the recommendation to involve mediation, including those from Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, Petra Köpping and Petra Grimm-Benne.

Both belong to the SPD, like Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, who brought the cannabis law into the Bundestag. The Health Committee in the Federal Council now recommends that the law only apply from October 1st. The Interior and Legal Affairs Committees in the Federal Council agreed.

On Tuesday, after a meeting in Berlin, Bavarian colleague Joachim Herrmann (CSU) said on behalf of the state interior ministers of the CDU and CSU: Mediation on cannabis legalization is “the least we can do to defuse the biggest deficits in this draft law. We are examining also a lawsuit.”

It remained unclear which court could be used to sue. Bavaria’s Health Minister Judith Gerlach (CSU) said on the same day in Munich that since the law did not require approval, it could not come before the Federal Constitutional Court. It is assumed that there is EU illegality. But the states are not directly “authorized to submit”.

Gerlach said Bavaria wanted the mediation process “with the aim of stopping the law completely.” And if that doesn’t work, cannabis legalization should at least be “delayed or defused as much as possible”. She once again announced a central control unit with which cannabis cultivation and consumption in Bavaria would be strictly controlled. This was also announced by his predecessor Klaus Holetschek (CSU) a year ago.

cannabis legalization
The law on cannabis legalization passed by the Bundestag is intended to decriminalize possession and cultivation of cannabis. Source

Interior ministers want to reduce the amount of cannabis people would be allow to possess

The Union interior ministers expect that crime will increase as a result of the partial decriminalization of cannabis.

“The black market is expected to expand, as the number of consumers will increase due to the legalization of cannabis,” said Saxony’s Interior Minister Armin Schuster. The CDU politician also said that even the UN Drug Control Council had warned against a violation of international agreements.

The law on cannabis legalization passed by the Bundestag is intended to decriminalize possession and cultivation of cannabis, with many requirements for adults to consume themselves. Non-commercial cultivation clubs will also be permitted from July 1st.

The Union interior ministers now consider the planned possession and delivery quantities to be “oversized”. They also criticize that the aspect of road safety has not been taken into account enough and that there is a fear that driving under the influence of drugs will increase.

Justice ministers also want changes

In addition, a great deal of control and enforcement effort is expected. The states would not be able to implement the new rules by April 1st and many are not practical.

Baden-Württemberg’s Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU) said that it was about protecting people from the negative consequences of cannabis “and not about offering alternatives to the black market”. Strobl also feared “a bureaucratic monster for the police and judiciary.”

Cannabis legalization: Justice fears overload

According to the Federal Council’s Legal Affairs Committee, it is impossible for the judiciary in the federal states to implement the retroactive remission of sentences in the short term. Tens of thousands of judgments would have to be reviewed individually. And it is also doubted whether the subsequent remission of punishment is even legal.


(Featured image by Richard T via Unsplash)

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Arturo Garcia started out as a political writer for a local newspaper in Peru, before covering big-league sports for national broadsheets. Eventually he began writing about innovative tech and business trends, which let him travel all over North and South America. Currently he is exploring the world of Bitcoin and cannabis, two hot commodities which he believes are poised to change history.