Promises are promises. So why are there repeated indications that the new coalition is putting the issue on the backburner?
Six months ago, the new German governing coalition made recreational cannabis reform one of their election planks. After the election, in November, they also made promises that reform would progress this year.
It is now May – and so far, the only message out of Berlin is that this entire issue is low priority and further will be pushed back for other “more important” discussions. So far this has included the war with Ukraine as well as lingering Covid complications.
However, with Covid clearly receding as masks come off in public life, there is no more excuse from this angle. Further, the war may pose some large problems – notably how Germany is going to get its oil and gas and whether to send weapons to the war zone, but this should not distract from other big-ticket political issues now cooling on the backburner.
Here is a list of reasons why cannabis reform should be a top priority for the government this summer.
Recession and Inflation
There are repeated warnings and indicators that economies including the great German machine, will suffer from a twin blow of supply chain problems (in part caused by the war and partly by Covid), plus inflation that is affecting almost every aspect of life. There is no denying that this industry creates both jobs and tax revenue that the German government really needs.
A Green New Deal
This lofty ideal is stalling everywhere, yet cannabis reform, including in Europe, is a great way to jump-start this discussion. Not only is phytoremediation (usually with hemp crops) now starting to be a “thing” but organic continues to be a priority for consumers – even with inflation. This industry ticks both of these boxes.
The Medical Revolution is Stalled
Earlier this year, the largest insurers made the news by saying that the “cannabis craze” is over. This is not true, and by a long shot. About 40% of patients who should qualify for coverage are being denied it – and that impacts sales as well as funding for more trials. Beyond this, patients are consumers too – and they need both choices and affordable options – especially if insurance companies are slow to approve reimbursements. Not to mention protection from law enforcement.
The Police Are Busting Hemp Sellers
While it is a tragic reality, the police have stepped up efforts to prosecute even legitimate hemp sellers. There are approximately 200 criminal cases now pending against CBD specialty stores across the country and the pace does not seem to be tapering off. Legalization would stop this kind of police activity, for the benefit of taxpayers. Of course, the prosecution of patients would also stop.
It is time for a change. No more delay. Legalization Now!