As time goes on, the narrative around marijuana is shifting. What was once seen as a dangerous gateway drug to harder, more addictive substances is being accepted by the general public. There are a few groups that still believe marijuana is harmful, but now there are more who disagree. This shift of perspective can be seen throughout the world. In fact, even Germany plans to legalize marijuana. With a new government on the horizon, this country plans to legalize recreational marijuana, along with a few other changes.
Germany Plans To Legalize Marijuana
Germany’s plan to legalize marijuana is a result of a new government taking power soon. The party leaders of Germany’s new government coalition have decided to legalize marijuana and establish a regulated market. Marijuana possession was already decriminalized in Germany. Additionally, there is a medical program in place for patients who need to use cannabis for health issues.
The government is also planning to be mindful of the way advertising and marketing are done around cannabis. They plan to have restrictions on the promotion of cannabis, similar to tobacco and alcohol. This helps prevent the usage of these substances amongst a younger demographic.
Other parts of this proposal include promoting the reduction of harm caused by other drugs. In order to achieve this, a drug checking service will be put in place. This service will allow individuals to have illicit drugs tested for contaminants and other harmful substances. They can use this service without the fear of criminal sanction. The government hopes this will reduce the number of injuries and deaths caused by laced drugs.
Furthermore, establishing regulated cannabis in the market will help the government earn a substantial tax revenue. Although officials claim the tax revenue was not an important aspect in creating this proposal, it could become an extremely beneficial aspect of the law. The Free Democratic Party (FDP) claimed that taxing cannabis, similar to cigarettes, could potentially generate 1 billion euros.
It’s important to note that for the most part, the German police unions do not support the legalization of marijuana.
Change of Power Within German Government
The new government coalition in Germany is composed of the Free Democratic Party, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), and the Greens. This new coalition has been dubbed the “traffic light government”, referring to the three colors of the respective parties.
The party leaders claim they plan to be daring when it comes to addressing climate and industry issues.
As for the plan to regulate cannabis, the government intends on revisiting the reform four years after the implementation. During this revisit, there will be a review of the social impact of the reform. A big anticipated social effect would be the elimination of the illicit market. Policy-makers and sector specialists have suggested this reform could potentially reduce the activity in the black market.
Other Government Plans
Legalizing marijuana is not the only subject Germany’s new government is addressing. A big issue Germany’s government is arranging to address is climate change.
In recent years, Germany struggled with a climate crisis. They suffered from devastating floods that killed approximately 180 people. These tragic occurrences fuel the need for legislation that addresses climate change. The Greens believe that working towards a coak-free country will definitely help.
The new government intends to phase out the usage of coal by 2030 in the country. This is 8 years earlier than the current Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration’s target, which was 2038.
Additionally, party officials are also considering mandatory vaccinations. Currently, there’s a COVID-19 wave affecting Germany. There’s been a surge in covid cases within Europe, causing it to become the epicenter of the pandemic.
Germany has been forced to place firm restrictions. Understandably, there is unrest among European citizens who are tired of lockdowns. Fortunately, Germany has approximately 80% of its adult population vaccinated. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, it’s still behind compared to countries like Portugal and Spain.
Other Countries With Plans To Legalize Marijuana
Meanwhile, other countries are also moving forward with plans to legalize marijuana. For example, the United States’s House Judiciary Committee approved a bill in September to legalize marijuana, as well as promote social equity. The movement to legalize marijuana at a federal level has been going on for years. Many cannabis consumers in the U.S. have been anticipating this type of reform.
Similarly, Mexico’s legislature is expected to vote on a bill set to regulate cannabis.
There are many other countries that have already legalized cannabis on a national level. Canada and Uraguay are prime examples of countries that have legalized recreational marijuana.