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SPD Interior Ministers Continue To Cling To Failed Prohibition

Hamburg Germany

Roughly a month ago, cannabis opponents in Germany’s Federal Council (or Bundesrat) tried to derail the nation’s legalization plans. German lawmakers are currently considering a proposal that was largely championed by the nation’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach.

Minister Lauterbach’s measure, which would legalize cannabis for personal cultivation, possession, and consumption, was already approved by the nation’s Federal Cabinet. The measure would also permit adult-use noncommercial cannabis clubs to operate.

A coalition of SPD ministers from jurisdictions like Hamburg, Thuringia, and Lower Saxony have been very vocal in opposition to the measure, which is currently working its way through the Bundestag process.

In the coalition’s latest move, the ministers sent a ‘warning letter’ to the SPD parliamentary group. The letter was reportedly authored by Hamburg’s Interior Senator Andy Grote (SPD) on behalf of the coalition and focused on Dutch and Spanish policies.

“The liberal drug policy has given organized crime an enormous increase in the market while at the same time reducing the risk of criminal prosecution and has thus created the foundations for the structures that the Dutch state has today escalated violence.” the letter stated.

The letter went on to bemoan “perpetrators from all nations” that it claims have flooded into the two countries, creating a “pull effect on perpetrators of organized crime.” The letter was specifically critical of the amount of cannabis that an adult will be able to acquire through a licensed and regulated, noncommercial club in Germany if/when the law is approved and implemented.

“It is therefore very likely that many 18-year-olds will pass on their ‘excess’ cannabis to people under 18 at parties and on other occasions (including for money).” stated the letter.

For context, Uruguay passed a national legalization measure in 2013 that included club provisions. None of the doomsday scenarios that the SPD interior ministers are predicting ever materialized in Uruguay. The same is true in Canada, which legalized nationwide in 2018. The same will presumably be true in Malta where regulators recently approved the first two licenses for noncommercial clubs.