An adult-use cannabis legalization measure is scheduled for a public hearing in Germany on March 15th at 14:45 (CET). According to the Budestag’s website (translated to English), “The hearing will be broadcast with a time delay on Thursday, March 16, 2023, from 11 a.m. on parliamentary television and on the Internet at www.bundestag.de.”
The public hearing will be held by the Bundestag Health Committee, and the focus of the hearing will be, ‘a bill by the left-wing faction on the decriminalization of cannabis,’ as well as ‘a motion by the CDU/CSU, in which the parliamentary group advocates better patient care with medicinal cannabis.’
It is worth noting that the bill sponsored by the left-wing faction is separate from a legalization measure that is expected to be introduced this month by German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach. According to documentation published by the Bundestag (translated to English), the left-wing faction’s measure (20/2579) states the following:
In their coalition agreement, SPD, BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN and FDP on the introduction of a controlled sale of cannabis to adults agreed for pleasure purposes. According to statements made by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach on May 4, 2022, the corresponding reform is to be implemented in the second to be worked out in the first half of 2022. However, due to substantive differences between the coalition parties with regard to the precise design of the structures for the legal production and sale of cannabis, it is to be feared that the legislative process will take longer. It lasts until he graduates criminalization of consumers. Of the more than 200,000 cannabis offenses per year, over 80 percent are consumption-related offenses. The legal and social consequences of criminalization for those affected are considerable. The annual financial expenditure for prosecution and enforcement resources is also in the range of one billion euros.
Essentially, what the measure is pushing for is an end to cannabis prohibition as it pertains to individuals, which is admirable. However, the measure is likely to be rejected by members of the governing coalition, with those members likely pointing to the looming measure from Germany’s Health Minister and stating that they want to wait.
Wednesday’s public hearing may not be as significant as some may think upon first consideration, however, it’s going to keep the pressure on lawmakers when it comes to the overall push for adult-use cannabis legalization in Germany.
The nation’s government will be forced by the public hearing to once again clearly state its position and goals regarding adult-use cannabis, and that, in turn, will let the citizens of Germany know that the issue is still important and that they can hopefully expect meaningful progress in the near future.