Legalization of cannabis in Germany: the consultation process begins

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The German government has announced today that it is starting the first of five expert hearings aimed at preparing the regulation of cannabis in Germany.

In total, more than 200 of the leading experts in addiction medicine, drug treatment, law, business and associations, as well as representatives of the Länder, municipalities, federal ministries and of the federal authorities, will exchange their points of view on the central issues. International experts will also speak.

Five hearings are scheduled until the end of June and will focus on:

  • Health and consumer protection
  • Youth protection and prevention
  • Supply chains, ecological and economic issues
  • Penalties, Controls and Licensing to Accompany the Introduction of Controlled Distribution of Cannabis for Recreational Purposes
  • International experiences

Burkhard Blienert, German Drugs Commissioner, said: “The time has come: we are entering the preparatory phase for legalization! Finally being able to announce it is a special moment for me, a moment of joy. Like many others, I have worked for years so that we in Germany finally stop criminalizing cannabis users and start building a modern, health-oriented cannabis policy. The hearings should make it possible to discuss the measures which will make it possible to guarantee the best protection of young people, health and consumers in the event of implementation. Because one thing is clear: we particularly want to protect children and young people from potential risks.”

The promise to legalize the controlled sale of cannabis to adults in licensed shops is part of a series of reforms included in the coalition agreement struck last year between the three social-liberal parties that make up Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government. .

Scholz’s coalition took office in December. In early May, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said he planned to draw up a draft legalization in the second half of the year, following expert hearings.

The government campaign to legalize cannabis has been named “Cannabis – aber sicher”, “cannabis, but safe”.

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