When is the hemp free?
The federal government is very willing to work, not only because of the Ukraine war or other global political tensions, but also because of the well-known desirable "change of course" in drug policy. So far, many cannabis users have been sure to have an assumption that the push for a supposed legalization of cannabis with THC is an empty campaign promise anyway. In fact, the traffic light coalition is working on a real project to bring the legalization of cannabis with THC onto the German streets.
Why is legalization delayed?
As in many other bureaucratically entangled legislative amendments, one party thwarts the plan. Which party? In this case, Brussels is responsible for the purpose of an EU framework decision from the year 2004. This stipulates that the "manufacturing", the "preparation", but also the "selling and supplying" of drugs will be prosecuted in every EU country must. In 1971, the EU determined which substances are defined as drugs . Of course, this includes above all cannabis .
The resolution also stipulates that each member state must punish violations with "effective, proportionate and dissuasive criminal penalties".
So now the German ban on cannabis, previously considered "untouchable", is no longer the problem, because European Union law has superseded national law since 2007.
So Karl Lauterbach has more to do than initially expected. It is easy to assume that the EU states should be easy to convince to allow the controlled sale of cannabis in Germany and to take the necessary steps.
However, it must not be forgotten that diplomacy has always been a means to an end. The free market economy is a simple example of this: if someone wants something, they have to do a certain job to get it.
Nevertheless, it is unfortunately questioned whether Karl Lauterbach and his party are able to write a really comprehensive judgment that is only positive for the citizens.
What about driving after legalization?
As of the current status (October 10, 2022), there is no information from the current federal government on this question. Legally, the question is still unclear as to whether and up to which THC value in the blood, participation in road traffic and even holding a driver's license should be allowed.
If a "sudden" legalization is conjured up in the life of the otherwise conservative German politics, it is obvious not to blame anyone for demanding an increase in the previous measly "less than 1 nanogram blood value tolerance". Otherwise it is in any case questionable how the government's desired concept of legalization can be implemented.
The fact that many existing consumers are strictly dependent on their driver's license should not be underestimated. Suppose one were to legalize THC-containing cannabis with a THC content of more than 0.2% and, as the number of unreported cases suggests, several million people would officially use cannabis, but at the same time would not be allowed to have more than one nanogram of THC in their blood this does not guarantee an economically attractive future for Germany.
It should be clear that short-term record profits can be achieved (3,000,000 x 2500 €) for the infamous MPU. For the time being, however, there will be no more taxes from these citizens, except for an application for the newly introduced citizen's income.
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Legalizing Cannabis: Admitting Current Drug Policies Are Ineffective
According to the Ministry of Health, the previous drug policy has been declared a failure. Illegal consumption would continue to rise, the drug cartels are becoming ever more powerful and have established extensive trade routes across Europe. According to the government, cannabis is becoming increasingly contaminated on the German market. At official distribution points, the traffic light would not only push back the illegal market, but would also benefit economically and pursue health protection more fairly. An important step for such ambitious goals should also be a realistic idea of containing the black market. For this it is not absolutely necessary to bring a better product to the new, probably strictly licensed "distribution points", but to offer an alternative that is at least as good.
That many people, especially in Bavaria, no longer have to live with the constant paranoia of having to fear criminal prosecution just because they legally consume or have consumed an herb, at least according to the law.
Not being prosecuted for this bonus will not cause any effort to get the enthusiasm for the official state weed with an equally good, but legal and strictly controlled product.
Who is the current role model in drug policy? According to the federal government, the Netherlands is no longer seen as a role model. The "Opium Law" still applies there, which punishes cultivation, sale and possession. Despite this, Dutch authorities have tolerated the possession and sale of small amounts of cannabis for many years. Apparently the German government does not want to create any similar "grey areas" or "loopholes". Because in the Netherlands, it is the dealers who are particularly affected by the laws; they cannot meet their demand due to the illegal cultivation of cannabis, so they are forced to procure their goods through criminal means. This not only leads to tax evasion, but also to the potential risk of not being able to continue the business.
How expensive will legal cannabis be?
Christian Lindner (Finance Minister 2022, FDP) will face this question with challenges and a lot of smiles. Just imagine how easy it would be to charge an imaginary price for legal THC-containing cannabis in Germany. When it comes to imaginary, i.e. self-made up prices, it is not unreasonable for the FDP to propose copying the black market price 1:1. This would not only be the prank of the century, but a true sense of accomplishment that could make a Treasury Secretary famous for centuries to come.
When the legalization will be implemented is still in the stars because of all these questions. Apparently, however, a draft law is being worked on at high pressure.
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Will cultivation become legal?
Whether the cultivation of cannabis becomes legal depends on which country you finally take as a model in the field of drug policy. It is not entirely unrealistic for the Federal Government to bring a completely new, innovative path onto the road to success. Finally, some politicians in the traffic light coalition still have to prove themselves as a new paradigm. Including Karl Lauterbach (Minister of Health, SPD) and the well-known (Minister of Finance, Christian Lindner, FDP).
If Christian Lindner does not make the maximum profit from cannabis legalization in the long term, the title of finance minister will probably still be his undoing. The Dutch government is currently benefiting from the continued ban on cultivation, so consumers logically have to buy taxable, comparatively very expensive products from local coffee shops. The rosy idea in Germany of decorating a garden with one or the other weed plant should therefore quickly be forgotten. The rapid digression into such positive wishful thinking was probably in part also a major thought of the federal government. The whole crisis also needs a ray of hope, this ray of hope has been put in the limelight and convinced many voters. So if you reject this "solidarity package" again, you run a high risk of not being allowed to govern another legislative period. As a result, there is apparently no longer any option for the federal government not to actually implement this plan, which was perhaps originally intended as a loose election promise. It will happen, the question isn't really when anymore. Now the previously criminalized people will also hide in the shadows. Only the question of how it is implemented is still open and can be used as an option.