Is The Biden White House Waiting On Germany To Move Ahead On Recreational Reform?
The US president is putting off further conversation about American cannabis reform until after the mid-terms. Is he waiting for Germany if not Europe beyond that, to go first?
President Joe Biden’s track record on cannabis reform is very poor. This has not changed since he entered public service in Congress.
The most recent discussion is how fast the Administration might move forward on the reforms it has promised – namely stopping the federal imprisonment of people convicted of non-violent cannabis crimes. In July, six senators sent a letter to Biden to express their frustration over the failure to substantively address the many harms of Drug War policies. They urged Biden to use executive clemency authority to help speed this up.
So far, Biden has ignored such calls. Indeed, according to Marijuana Moment, a leading cannabis policy publication in the US, as of last Friday, the President announced that he was punting any new drug reform policy until after the mid-terms.
Is Biden waiting for other countries to go first?
The Giant Discussion Over International Cannabis Policy Is On
One of the reasons that Biden may be waiting until after the mid-terms, apart from the fact that Democrats seem to be on course to do well in the off-year elections, is that he may be waiting for the conversation in Germany, if not Europe, beyond that, to proceed. It is widely expected that a draft bill of the German cannabis legalization bill will be made public either late this fall or early next year. This, along with the working group of European nations now focused on cannabis legalization (which includes Malta and Luxembourg), is the first international attempt by multiple countries to address both domestic law and international regulation.
One of the thornier issues, according to conventional wisdom, is how countries (and regions like the EU) will move forward to implement recreational reform without thumbing their noses at, or withdrawing completely from, the two main international laws that now make cannabis illegal. Namely, the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.
Germany, after all is the fourth largest economy on the planet. America is number one, with a GDP five times larger. Nonetheless, the fact that Germany will go first, or so the rumours continue to say out of Berlin, will give political cover to those who have gone before (Canada and Uruguay) as well as those who have yet to take the plunge.
One thing is for sure. In Germany, national politicians are ready for the change, not to mention the German people – and no matter when Biden chooses to proceed, it is almost certain at this point, that Germany will go first.