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Bundestag expected to legalize cannabis


Bundestag expected to legalize cannabis

The Bundestag is expected to legalize cannabis in Germany today.

The federal government’s draft law on the controlled handling of cannabis would likely permit private cultivation, community non-commercial cultivation and the controlled distribution of cannabis by cultivation associations. The Health Committee will present a recommendation for a decision to be voted on.

The final decision on the legalization bill comes after some members of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) conveyed concern about new burdens put on the police to monitor the illicit market. Germany’s Federal Council, the Bundesrat, also expressed concerns about potential financial burdens on the states due to control, enforcement and prevention tasks. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach argued that the law will aim to end two-thirds of the black market and referenced Canada’s success in implementing a similar law to legalize cannabis.

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The leaders of Germany’s three-party coalition government—including the Social Democratic Party, Free Democratic Party (FDP) and Greens— noted that the proposed regulations are a milestone for modern drug policy, bolstering prevention and improving health and youth protection. Should the law be passed, it will likely take effect in April. Germany may encourage other EU countries to adopt similar, more lenient laws. While other EU member states have decriminalized the drug, it remains legally punishable by incarceration in many countries.

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