Germany is considering the implications of becoming the world’s largest potential market for legally supplied cannabis, as the country’s left-liberal administration pushes ahead with plans to legalise restricted distribution of the substance among adults, according to The Guardian. The German government is pressing forward with measures to legalise cannabis usage. According to Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, a draught bill should be available by the end of the year.
The impending law is ‘a long-awaited milestone for many,’ Lauterbach said, adding that the government will approach marijuana legalisation with a ‘safety first’ approach. ‘ The existing, mostly repressive approach to cannabis regulation has failed,’ Lauterbach continued. Joining Canada and California in legalising cannabis for recreational use might build impetus to modify the UN treaty that limits the plant’s cultivation, as well as put pressure on other European governments to follow Germany’s lead.
According to The Guardian, Justus Haucap, head of the Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics, “there will be a domino effect, for sure.’ European nations with a considerably larger issue with illegal cannabis usage, such as France, are keenly following what Germany is doing at the moment’.
The hemp business is asking the German government to tax cannabis products at no more than €10 per gramme of bud, with a lower charge for plants with reduced tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. A higher tax rate, they claim, would benefit illegal traffickers, as would a blanket prohibition on advertising state-provided marijuana.