Germany considers legalising cannabis

Germany considers legalising cannabis

Germany considers legalising cannabis

In a major turnaround, members of Germany’s ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) have begun openly discussing legalising cannabis for the first time.

CDU loosening its attitude towards drugs?

Angela Merkel’s centre-right CDU party seems to be seriously considering a momentous u-turn in their attitude towards the legalisation of marijuana. In an interview with the RND network last week, CDU interior spokesperson Marian Wendt suggested that “Cannabis could be freed for personal use, of course with controlled production and distribution.” This would, she said, free up resources in the police and judiciary system to “fight illegal trade.” 

Just a few days before, the federal government’s drug commissioner, Daniela Ludwig, also indicated that the conservative party was considering a new approach to drug policy. In an interview with the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, she stressed, “We need to stop with the ideologically charged black-or-white debates, because we won’t get any further.” 

Drug policy should instead focus on practicality, Ludwig said: “At the end of the day, what is the best way to protect the health of people, especially young people, and which path makes the most sense for the situation in this country?” She said that her party, the Christian Social Union (CSU - the CDU’s sister party in Bavaria), had been thinking about legalisation “for years”. 

Other political parties in Germany favour legalisation

If these indications come to fruition, it would mark a major turnaround in both parties’ attitudes towards drug policy. Up until now, the CDU was the last of the major political parties in Germany to not favour legalisation, maintaining instead a strictly prohibitive drug policy. 

Indeed, only last year Ludwig’s predecessor, Marlene Mortler of the CSU, was quoted saying, “The constant debate about legalisation is heading the wrong way. It suggests to young people especially that cannabis is not a dangerous substance - that is simply not true!”

Law on cannabis in Germany

As the law currently stands, cannabis in Germany is legal only for medicinal use, which itself is strictly regulated by both the federal government and the healthcare system. People with serious illnesses can be given prescriptions for cannabis-based drugs by their doctor

Marijuana plants can only be grown, owned, sold, imported or exported with the expressed permission of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Services, although last year, state interior ministers agreed that people caught with 6 grams or less would not be prosecuted. 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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