Of the six parties that are running for office in the upcoming German election, four of them are supporting a change in legislation that would end the prohibition if cannabis in Germany.
The legalisation of cannabis and other drugs could be the defining issue on who is victorious in the German election.
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs & Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) has reported that the use of cannabis in Germany is historically high with almost one in three adults in Germany having used cannabis. With one in five young adults using cannabis at least once in the past year. A reported 4 million people use cannabis on a regular basis throughout Germany.
The significant number of users of cannabis in Germany has meant that criminologists, prosecutors, the police, and social workers questioning the need for the existing stringent laws pertaining to cannabis. Germans are questioning why 20 states in the USA have legalised adult-use cannabis, but it remains prohibited in their country and can even carry a substantial prison sentence.
The Green Party and the FDP, a left leaning party, and the Social Democrats (SPD) have all publicly announced support for cannabis legislative and policy reform. With all three parties agreeing that the existing drug strategies based on prohibition have been and are a failure. The parties are suggesting a change in approach that includes the legalisation, decriminalisation, and regulation of cannabis.
One benefit of legalisation is that the new German government could tax income on cannabis and this revenue could then be used to invest in prevention and therapy for those suffering with drug addiction.
The Green Party have put forward a new draft legislation that would see the openings of designated sales points where adults could buy regulated and legal cannabis. This plan was designed to take on the black market and prevent illegal traders making money on Germany’s streets. The initial bill was rejected in 2020, but if the Greens’ rise to power, it is likely to resurface.
Portugal’s policy of decriminalisation which is moving away from applying criminal law and understanding that many drug offences especially pertaining to cannabis are petty and do not warrant a criminal sentence or prison time.
This German election is the most open in years and a future coalition government will be forced to take the legalisation and decriminalisation seriously. A change in Germany’s drug policy seems imminent.