In Germany, the liberal Free Democratic, Green and centre-left Social Democratic parties are working together to create a “traffic light” coalition government. The name comes from the colours of the parties. They have committed to legalising cannabis. The programme’s effectiveness will be evaluated after four years.
The police union opposes the move. Germany legalised cannabis for medical purposes in 2017. People found with small amounts for recreational purposes are generally not prosecuted. “Small amounts” are 0.21 to 0.53 ounces depending on the state. This is particularly true in the more liberal northern regions. The FDP and Greens have long advocated legalisation.
Niklas Kouparanis heads the medical cannabis company the Bloomwell Group. He called the proposed cannabis market a “highly regulated environment.” It would comply with international law and EU restrictions. He proclaimed that politicians had to minimise the risk of abuse and maximise control and education. He asserted that the government would be “negligent” if it failed to make use of those experts who have been active with legal medical cannabis – sort of like him.
Dusseldorf Heinrich Heine University’s Institute for Competition Economics conducted a survey at the behest of the German Hemp Association. This foretold that legalising cannabis would rake in €3.4 billion (£2.8 billion) of tax. Canada collected C$186 million (£109 million) within six months of legalisation. Meanwhile, there would be savings of €1.3 billion (£1.1 billion) for the judicial system and 27,000 jobs would arise.
The election manifesto of the Social Democrats described cannabis as a “social reality.” It hence required an “appropriate political way of dealing with this.” Legalising cannabis was “a way of expressing solidarity with the people.”
Germany is populated by 83 million people and has the largest economy in Europe. It’s cannabis market would be the largest in the world. It would also be only the third country to legalise cannabis after Uruguay and Canada. Luxembourg is not far behind.