Germany Could Create Over 20,000 New Jobs With Legalization Of Cannabis If…

In the coming weeks, Germany is expected to introduce a bill that, if approved, would allow for the consumption and sale of cannabis in Europe’s largest economy.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach claims that the European Commission gave his plans very positive feedback last week.

Germany’s plans to legalize cannabis for adult-use are one of a series of socially progressive policies proposed by Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s “traffic light” coalition government.

A bill to legalize cannabis will be introduced as part of extensive reforms, and it could be announced by the end of March or early April 2023.

In October 2022, the government released draft proposals to legalize adult-use cannabis, which it claimed would improve public health. Lauterbach, Germany’s health minister, insisted that they would only move on to the Bundestag, the country’s federal legislature, if the initiatives are in line with EU law.

Cannabis would no longer be considered a controlled substance under the plans, and people over the age of 18 would be permitted to carry up to 30 grams of the drug for personal use. Additionally, licensed pharmacies and stores would be permitted to sell cannabis products, and customers would be allowed to grow up to three plants at home.

The bill could be implemented in stages between now and the middle of 2024 if it is approved by parliament. It would make Germany the world’s biggest regulated national marijuana market and the first country in the EU to allow its commercial sale — with possibly clearing suggestions for the coalition.

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Meanwhile, the cultivation and sale of marijuana to so-called “coffee shops” in the Netherlands, a nation widely associated with legal weed smoking, is technically illegal but tolerated. While legalization is limited in other nations, such as Malta.

According to officials, May 1st, 2023, will be regarded as the day that Germany will legalize personal use of cannabis. Additionally, commercial legalization is likely to occur the following year.

Around 4 million people in Germany used marijuana in 2021, and a fourth of each of the 18-to 24-year-olds in the nation have tried it, as per Lauterbach, who said that the motivation behind the progressions was to increase public oversight and diminish drug-related crimes.

According to a 2021 study from the Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf, legalizing the drug could create 27,000 new jobs and generate an additional 4.7 billion euros ($5 billion) annually in tax revenues, contributions to social security, and savings on criminal prosecution.

EU regulations require member states to ensure that the sale of illicit drugs, including cannabis, is “punishable by effective, proportionate and dissuasive criminal penalties.” Europe has long taken a conservative stance on the legalization of weed.

Even though countries like Canada and Uruguay have not faced serious consequences since moving to legalize the drug, the plans would also be incompatible with international treaties, such as the United Nations’ single convention on narcotic drugs, which was established in 1961.

Preliminary documents suggest that the government will issue a declaration of interpretation to demonstrate that legalization will assist in youth protection and combat drug trafficking. However, the Health Ministry did not confirm the specifics of its proposed bill.

The importation of illegal drugs across European borders is also currently prohibited by Germany’s membership in Europe’s border-free Schengen Zone. This indicates that Germany would need to demonstrate its domestic production capacity without undermining the drug policies of its neighbors.

Additionally, Berlin’s proposals must demonstrate that they will not disrupt the country’s established medical marijuana market.

Since 2016, German pharmacies have been allowed to sell medical cannabis, but there are still several barriers to entry, including the price. Patients may attempt to self-medicate if the drug is made legal for recreational use, according to some medical professionals.

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Patients, on the other hand, who are unable to pay for medical cannabis may self-medicate with adult-use cannabis without seeking medical advice.

The manner in which medical cannabis is prescribed and reimbursed under the country’s statutory health insurance program is one area in which the government is currently conducting a review of its guidelines.

Meanwhile, the majority of European nations oppose this course of action. Malta, the smallest member state of the EU, became the first country in the bloc in 2021 to legalize personal marijuana possession and permit private “cannabis clubs” where members can grow and share marijuana.

Some people are hopeful that such actions in Europe will also speed up the global liberalization of the cannabis market. This is especially important in the world’s largest economy, where recreational and medical use of the drug is already legal in several states in the United States.

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