German opposition leader pressures EU to block cannabis legalization

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On Wednesday, a senior German opposition figure pressured the European Union (EU) executive to block plans to legalize cannabis in Germany.

Germany’s health minister unveiled the legalization plan last month, but said the government would check with the European Commission whether the plan complies with EU laws. Minister Karl Lauterbach said the government would only legislate “on this basis” if it got the green light.

The centre-right Union bloc, the main opposition party, denounced Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s socially liberal tripartite coalition plan.

The Minister of Health in the conservative Bavarian state government, Klaus Holetschek, met on Wednesday in Brussels with the European Union’s Director General for Migration and Home Affairs to urge the EU to oppose its veto.

Klaus Holetschek said he told EU official Monique Pariat that “the legalization of cannabis planned by the German government not only endangers health, but I am convinced that it also violates EU law”. He argued that two European agreements oblige Germany and other member countries to criminalize the production and sale of drugs such as cannabis, in this case the 1990 Schengen Convention and the framework decision of the 2004 EU on the fight against drug trafficking.

For Holetscheck, “it is therefore not possible to legalize the cannabis trade for recreational purposes on a national basis – even if it were strictly regulated by the state. or for scientific purposes is prohibited in all Member States. »

“Bavaria is strictly against the legalization of cannabis and will also do everything at the federal level to prevent the law if it comes to that,” Holetschek stressed, comments reported by the daily Bild.

The government’s plan calls for cannabis to be grown under license and sold to adults at licensed outlets, to combat the black market. Individuals would be allowed to grow up to 3 plants and purchase or possess 20-30 grams of cannabis.

Karl Lauterbach, the federal health minister, said the new rules could serve as a “model for Europe”.

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