47% Support for Cannabis Legalization Among German Citizens

Fri 23rd Feb, 2024

Image by Erin Stone from PixabayA recent survey conducted by the polling institute YouGov reveals a divided opinion among German citizens regarding the legalization of cannabis. Approximately 47% of respondents expressed either partial or complete support for the legalization of cannabis, according to the survey. On the contrary, 42% indicated that they would somewhat or completely reject the idea, while 11% chose not to provide a stance. The German Press Agency obtained access to the survey results on Friday.

As the Bundestag prepares to vote on the partial legalization of cannabis, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) defended his proposal and urged approval of the law. Lauterbach highlighted the existing challenges, including a thriving black market, associated criminal activities, unsafe product additives, and toxic concentrations, stating, "With legalization, we are taking cannabis out of the taboo zone."

Lauterbach emphasized that legalization would make the black market less appealing, reducing the risks associated with toxic concentrations. He acknowledged that there might be an increased level of control efforts initially but pointed out that, in the long term, the police and judiciary would benefit from the relief due to a reduction in small crimes.

Addressing concerns about children and young people, Lauterbach outlined that penalties for trafficking to minors have been tightened. He stated, "Anyone who sells cannabis to children and young people will now be sentenced to a minimum of two years."

This Friday afternoon, the Bundestag is set to make a crucial decision on whether to legalize the previously prohibited drug cannabis for adults under specific conditions. The proposed legislation aims to allow the purchase of up to 25 grams per day from non-commercial associations, with the provision for home cultivation of up to three plants. However, possession and consumption would remain prohibited for minors.

The proposed cannabis law has sparked controversy among experts and within the coalition. Some SPD MPs have indicated their intention to vote against the bill, while the Union and AfD parliamentary groups have submitted proposals rejecting legalization. Criticism has also arisen from medical associations and the judiciary regarding the plans outlined by the Federal Ministry of Health.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) acknowledged the concerns surrounding the cannabis legalization plans. She highlighted the inclusion of safeguards in the Health Ministry's draft law aimed at strengthening security and protecting minors. Faeser emphasized the need for change, stating, "We can no longer accept the situation as it is now," as the prosecution of cannabis-related crimes currently diverts resources that are needed elsewhere.

Burkhard Blienert (SPD), the federal government's drug commissioner, expressed optimism about a significant reduction in the black market. He stated, "With the cannabis clubs and self-cultivation, the demand for the black market will drop drastically." Blienert believes that allowing individuals to grow hemp themselves will discourage the purchase of dangerous mixtures from black-market dealers. He emphasized the ineffectiveness of bans against cannabis use and argued that the current criminalization is unrelated to health protection.

Image by Erin Stone from Pixabay


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