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Germany will introduce a bill to legalize cannabis in the coming weeks

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The European Union has welcomed Germany’s plan to legalize cannabis, according to German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, who announced that a bill on legalizing cannabis will be introduced in the coming weeks.

Germany is moving ahead with plans to legalize cannabis for recreational use, with the aim of becoming the first European country to regulate the sale of cannabis products. Although transnational legal frameworks can be barriers to legalization, Carl Lauterbach It received a positive reception from the European Union, stressing that the legislation must comply with European regulations.

Karl Lauterbach said he was convinced his plan to legalize cannabis would be approved by the European Union. Speaking in Brussels on Tuesday 14 March, before a meeting with his European counterparts, Karl Lauterbach announced that he had received a “warm welcome” from the European Commission. As he questioned whether legalization would comply with European legislation, Karl Lauterbach had his project examined by the European Commission.

In addition, Karl Lauterbach announced that a bill on cannabis would be introduced “in the coming weeks” in Germany. “We will soon submit a proposal that is successful, that is, in accordance with European law,” he said. The German minister was also optimistic about the possibility of reducing drug-related crime and making cannabis use safer. “We will achieve these goals,” he said.

The bill is expected to build on the plan to legalize cannabis for adults, which was approved in October, and several expert and stakeholder hearings held over the past year. The initial plan proposes several limits on cannabis possession, including a 30-gram limit for adults ages 18 and over. It also allows up to two plants to be grown at home and licensed stores and pharmacies are allowed to sell cannabis products. In addition, the marketing and advertising of these products will be prohibited, and dispensaries must be located far from schools and institutions for youth. In addition, the recreational cannabis sold must be grown and manufactured in Germany.

However, one of the legal obstacles to regulating cannabis in Germany is international and European laws, which prohibit the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes. Germany is currently awaiting approval from the European Commission, and Karl Lauterbach has made it clear that some changes will be made to the government’s initial plan to comply with European regulations. However, he did not specify what these changes would be. He said the revisions would take into account what should and should not be notified.

Cannabis is covered by the 1985 Schengen Agreement and EU Council Framework Decision 2004/757/JHA, which requires member states to combat illicit drug trafficking. German drug policy is currently governed by the Drugs Act (BtMG), but this framework may need to be changed to regulate cannabis. If a member state breaches EU regulations, the European Commission can initiate formal proceedings to demand corrective action. In the event of non-compliance, financial penalties may be imposed and the case can be taken to the Court of Justice of the European Union in the course of legal proceedings.

Moreover, the German plan to legalize cannabis would be incompatible with international treaties, in particular the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961. Therefore, the German coalition government seeks to comply with European legislation while maintaining its own goals, including the reduction of crime and the manufacture of cannabis. . Safer use by protecting young people.

In fact, public health and youth protection were the foundations of the alleged alliance Traffic lightsWhen it announced its goal to legalize cannabis after the general election at the end of 2021. However, some experts believe that imposing excessive restrictions on the legal market, such as banning advertising and marketing and restricting THC levels, may not effectively curb the market.

If Germany can overcome international and European legal hurdles and proceed to legalize recreational cannabis, it should take full effect in 2024.

Translated article from the American magazine Forbes – Author: Dario Sabbaghy

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