Germany moves to legalise cannabis after Merkel’s departure, in a bid to boost the economy, enhance consumer safety and reduce crime.
The three parties, set to become Germany’s next governing coalition, have agreed to legalise the sale of cannabis for recreational purposes, Politico has reported.
The Greens, the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) and the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) plan to introduce the regulated sale of cannabis to adults for consumption in licensed establishments.
According to the cited health group’s findings paper, this major shift in drug policy will create quality control, prevent the distribution of contaminated products and safeguard minors. However, whether cultivation of cannabis within Germany will also be legalised is not yet clear.
Although Germany decriminalised cannabis for medical use in 2017, recreational use has — so far — been prohibited, despite prolonged calls from the Greens and FDP for regulated trade. The coalition intends to assess the impact of legalisation on German society over a four-year period.
The move to legalise recreational consumption could create €4.7 billion in revenue, as predicted by a study from the University of Düsseldorf. Legalisation would not only generate additional revenue, but also drastically cut outlays in policing and the judicial system. However, German police unions warned the three parties against legalising the drug.
The likely coalition plans to expand drug-checking programmes, through which consumers can identify the chemical composition of their drugs, as well as being warned of dangerous contaminants. Additionally, they plan to implement stricter regulations on the marketing and sponsorship of nicotine and alcohol to reflect new scientific evidence on the harms of these drugs.
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