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Another Missed Opportunity In Germany


The biggest asset that cannabis opponents have where cannabis is prohibited is the ongoing benefit of the status quo. The most recent and prominent example of that can be found in Germany, where lawmakers have officially failed to pass a much-needed and long-awaited adult-use legalization measure.

After multiple delays, Dirk Heidenblut, a key member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), announced on social media that the Bundestag will not be voting on an adult-use legalization measure (CanG) this year. According to domestic reporting, the SPD parliamentary group is to blame for the short-term veto on the vote.

“It also remains unclear whether the SPD parliamentary group leadership has a problem with the content of the law or whether the timing of its adoption just before Christmas seems inappropriate to them in times of budget crisis. And the SPD press spokeswoman’s “confidence” or not: it doesn’t seem impossible that the law might even be stopped completely “on the home stretch.” stated Legal Tribune Online in its reporting.

Last week it was reported that members of the governing coalition reached an agreement to update certain provisions of the measure. Bundestag member Kirsten Kappert-Gonther detailed the changes in a social media post at the time:

Translated from German to English, Kirsten Kappert-Gonther stated at the time, “The #Cannabis law is coming! Finally: Finally we end this failed ban policy! After intensive negotiations, there is now a law that focuses on youth and #Gesundheitsschutz, which has ended #Kriminalisierung and is practicable.”

The social media thread went on to state, “I am very pleased about the changes achieved in the parliamentary procedure: Reduction of consumption bans to 100M; Allowed amount for home cultivation: 50 g of dried cannabis; Change to the driving license regulation with an appropriate limit through @BMDV by spring 2024. No gaps between cannabis clubs; No criminal penalties (only administrative offenses) with small amounts of 25-30 G in public and 50-60 G in private spaces. Easier #Cannabis cultivation to med. purposes. These changes made now make the law even better!”

“Communal consumption in cannabis clubs and edibles is not (yet) implemented. But what we were able to agree on together is a big step forward. Thank you to everyone who has campaigned for this law for decades! Next step: Decision in #Bundestag and then continue working together on Pillar 2.” Kirsten Kappert-Gonther also stated in the thread.

Cannabis advocates inside and outside of Germany are hopeful that a vote will occur as early as possible in 2024 and that the measure is truly in the “home stretch.” One thing is for sure – 2023 did not go as planned for cannabis policy modernization efforts in Germany. Hopefully next year proves to be the year that legalization finally gets over the finish line in one of the planet’s most influential nations.