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Germany: Experts warn of limitations on cannabis legalization

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A report by the Scientific Services of the Bundestag says that the legalization of cannabis in Germany faces several limitations imposed by European legislation. The document states that the classification of state systems for the cultivation and distribution of cannabis for private consumption purposes is uncertain, under the respective opening clause.

The document, which German press agency in Berlin had access and that the Der Spiegel first reported, suggests that certain aspects of the German federal government's legalization plans may be highly problematic or even inadmissible from a legal point of view, according to Stephan Pilsinger, a member of the CSU party, who commissioned the report.

In light of imminent legalization plans in Germany, the expert opinion extensively examines limits on the release of cannabis for private consumption. The main concern regarding the proposed approval of cannabis clubs revolves around ensuring that cultivation and possession are strictly for personal use.

Under current government plans, clubs in Germany are intended to be “cultivation associations” where cannabis is exclusively distributed to members. The proposed regulations would allow for the possession of up to 25 grams of flowers and the cultivation of a maximum of three plants for personal use. However, any form of over-the-counter sale in specialized stores is strictly prohibited. This model is to be tested later, initially as a pilot project in selected municipalities.

Pilsinger criticizes planned cannabis clubs, expressing concern about the high risk of plants being sold or transferred to non-members. Furthermore, doubts persist as to whether the distribution options outlined in the model regions comply with European legislation. Key aspects of the plans were unveiled by German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) and Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens) in April.

To achieve a successful cannabis legalization model in Germany, several legal hurdles need to be overcome. Here are some crucial considerations:

  1. Comply with European legislation – For any cannabis legalization model to be successful, it must comply with European legislation. The uncertainties raised by the Bundestag Scientific Services report point to the need for a thorough assessment and adjustments to ensure full compliance.
  2. Ensuring the exclusivity of cannabis clubs – To prevent potential misuse and unauthorized distribution, cannabis clubs must strictly enforce their “cultivation association” status. Measures must be taken to prevent plants from ending up in the hands of non-members.
  3. Effective monitoring and regulation – A robust monitoring and regulatory system is essential to oversee the cultivation, possession and distribution of cannabis. This will help maintain transparency, reduce potential illegal activities and ensure compliance with the law.
  4. Learning from pilot projects – Carrying out pilot projects in selected municipalities will provide valuable information on the viability and effectiveness of the proposed legalization model. Lessons learned from these trials can guide policy makers in refining the approach.
  5. Public awareness and education – As the legalization of cannabis progresses, public awareness and education campaigns play a key role. Informing citizens about the responsible consumption of cannabis, potential risks and legal obligations promote a more informed and compliant society.

While Germany's move towards cannabis legalization is commendable, legal restrictions need to be addressed to ensure a successful and fully compliant model. Thorough assessments, strict controls at cannabis clubs, effective monitoring, learning from pilot projects and public education will pave the way for a responsible and sustainable cannabis legalization framework. Only by overcoming these challenges will Germany be able to reap the potential benefits of cannabis legalization while respecting legal requirements at national and European level.

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Marcello
6 months ago

It is absurd that a country member of the European Union has less autonomy than any state of USA when it comes to Cannabis. It's absurd that the European Union gets involved in these matters, it doesn't do anything good, that it's one.

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