German opposition leader lobbies EU for Nix Country cannabis proposal

A leader of Germany’s main opposition party on Wednesday took aim at the country’s proposal to decriminalize marijuana, calling on the European Union to step in and block the plan.

Klaus Holetschek, the health minister in a conservative-led state government in Germany, “met the EU’s director-general for migration and home affairs in Brussels on Wednesday to ask the EU for a veto. “. according to the Associated Press.

The proposal was presented late last month by German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach. If implemented, the new law would “decriminalize possession of up to 30 grams (about 1 ounce) of cannabis and allow the substance to be sold to adults for recreational use in a controlled market.” the Associated Press reported.

As German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported in June, “the legalization and regulation of the cannabis market was part of the progressive reforms promised by the government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz when he took office. [Social Democratic Party of Germany] signed a coalition agreement with the Free Democratic Liberals (FDP) and the Green Party last year.

Lauterbach, a member of the Social Democratic Party, said in June that he had “always been opposed to the legalization of cannabis”, but had revised his “stance about a year ago”.

He said “his desire to have a new set of cannabis laws to present to the German parliament, the Bundestag, in the second half of the year.” Deutsche Welle reported at the time.

But these plans ran into a problem in September, when the coalition government of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the Greens and the Liberal Democratic Party (FDP) expressed concern that the proposal they had prepared would not be approved by the courts of the European Union.

“There is some caution about promises of a breakthrough before the end of the year,” a German government official said at the time. “The complexity of everything is starting to set in, and there is a heightened awareness of the risks involved. We don’t want another motorway toll debacle,” a reference to a toll motorway construction project that was scrapped when the European Court of Justice ruled it breached an anti-discrimination law because it would affect disproportionately foreign drivers.

Last month, after unveiling his decriminalization proposal, Lauterbach said the German government would “check with the European Union’s executive board whether the plan approved by the German government complies with EU laws and would not proceed to legislation “on this basis” only if he gets the green light”, the Associated Press reported at the time.

Under the proposal, cannabis could be “grown under license and sold to adults at licensed outlets to combat the black market,” according to the AP, while individuals “would be allowed to grow up to three plants. and buying or possessing 20 to 30 grams of marijuana.

Holetschek on Wednesday lambasted the coalition government’s proposal and urged the European Union to block the measure.

According to the Associated Press, “Holetschek said he told EU official Monique Pariat that ‘the planned legalization of cannabis by the German government does not only endanger health, but I am convinced that it also violates European law’ “, and he “argued that two EU agreements oblige Germany and other member countries to criminalize the production and sale of drugs such as cannabis.

Although marijuana is decriminalized in a number of European countries, full legalization is still quite rare on the continent.

Last year, the small state of Malta became the first country in the European Union to legalize cannabis. The new law allows individuals to own up to seven grams and grow up to four plants in their residence.

James R. Rhodes