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Cannabis legalisation in Germany – what will it mean for the country?

With Germany set to legalise adult-use cannabis, Cannabis Health News, explores the benefits this would bring to the country.



Germany cannabis legalisation graphic

With Germany set to legalise adult-use cannabis, Cannabis Health News, explores the benefits this would bring to the country – from tackling stigma, to boosting the economy.

It looks like the Annual Hemp Parade and the Global Marijuana March efforts finally paid off. The incumbent government (The traffic lights coalition) is set on altering German legislation in favour of the adult use of cannabis.

For years, the legalisation of recreational cannabis has been suppressed, with the former government allowing the plant to be consumed for medical reasons only. However, possession of small amounts of cannabis remained decriminalised. The current regime seeks to;

  • Stabilise the German economy
  • Make a series of liberal financially-based decisions that will lead to the legalisation of recreational cannabis.
  • Get hold of the Covid-19 crisis facing the country.

While a substantial number of EU countries have decriminalised personal possession of cannabis, only Luxembourg permits the growing (maximum four plants) and consumption of recreational cannabis. Malta is set to approve laws that legalise recreational use of the plant. Uruguay started this ongoing trend, and within a few years, Canada followed suit. 

Additionally, 18 US states have, over a span of nine years, legalised the adult use of the plant, with more states showing signs in favour of the legislation. In Germany, the move to legalise cannabis is a strategy by the traffic lights coalition to achieve the following;

Generate revenue by taxing registered cannabis dispensaries 

According to a recent study, the revenue generated from the regulated cannabis market and the consequent cost-saving in the justice system from the arrests and case proceedings could amount to a total of €4.7 billion. The tax from the dispensaries would help boost the county’s economy, as witnessed in various US states. The revenue can also be used to sponsor multiple therapy programs to help thousands of Germans battling addiction. 

The survey further indicates that the legalisation of marijuana would create around 27,000 jobs across the country.  According to a UN report, it won’t be until 2023 that the world will be able to recover from the unemployment crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. The job opportunities expected to be created via the legalisation of cannabis can help a great deal of Germans who have lost their livelihoods as well as youths entering the job market.

Control the quality of cannabis by eradicating the black market

By legalising recreational cannabis, the Traffic Light Coalition seeks to eliminate the black market and reduce organised crime. Since cannabis is legal for medical patients only, anyone who consumes the plant for personal reasons has to source for its illegally. This involves working with unreliable individuals. 

It is hard to control the quality of these products, with some of them being laced with hard drugs and chemical components. Having a regulated market eradicates the black market, ensures quality products are sold, and guarantees accountability.

Protect the youth against drugs through education

Registered dispensaries will only sell products to age-appropriate individuals. In the black market, underage children can buy cannabis and other drugs as long as the money is available. Consumers will have to provide ID to confirm their age in a dispensary. 

Also, the government plans on imposing advertising restrictions that prevent the promotion of alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis. This measure will be put into place to avoid encouraging the youth to try drugs of any form.

Get rid of the stigma associated with cannabis and shed light on its benefits

For years, cannabis consumption has been seen as a negative thing. The stigma surrounding the plant has spanned for decades, despite the numerous anecdotal and scientific evidence backing its benefits. The stigma prevents individuals who would benefit from the plant from utilising its benefits for fear of being judged. 

The government aims to base all cannabis-based regulations on scientific findings. All the health-protective measures put in place will centre around the research conducted on the benefits and drawbacks of the plant. Through public education, people will appreciate the plant and the countless therapeutic and social benefits.

Reduce the backlog and strain facing the justice system

The German justice system is faced with numerous cannabis-related petty offences. These resources are best directed at other crimes, and the time used while prosecuting cannabis consumers utilised in reducing the backlog of different cases. By legalising adult-use cannabis, thousands of consumers will be spared unnecessary jail time and separation from their loved ones. 

What else is covered in the agreement?

According to the 118-paged agreement, Germans will be able to access drug testing services for free. Individuals taking drugs will be offered free contaminant-checking services without fear of facing prosecution. This will help prevent health problems and fatalities caused by drugs laced with dangerous substances. 

After four years, the coalition intends to evaluate the social impact of the legalisation. The Traffic Lights Coalition will make the necessary changes or additions depending on the outcome. 

As for the cultivation of the plant, the agreement has not covered whether it will be allowed/made legal or not. Currently, it is illegal to cultivate, sell, or distribute cannabis in the country. Violators of this law risk prosecution under the German Narcotics Drug Act. 

Blooming business opportunities

The emergence of a new market in Germany, a country so important on a global economic level, would open the doors to many new business and employment opportunities. Companies already established in the country that work with high-THC cannabis are waiting for the new legislation to continue expanding. 




Cannabis Health is a journalist-led news site. Any views expressed by interviewees or commentators do not reflect our own. All content on this site is intended for educational purposes, please seek professional medical advice if you are concerned about any of the issues raised.

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