German health expert calls on next government to legalise cannabis

14th October 2021

A German health expert has claimed that a cannabis policy reform to create a regulated market in Germany would mean that users would be able to get access to higher quality, healthier and purer products.

Deutsche Welle (DW) reports Karl Lauterbach, a Social Democrat MP and scientist urged his party, the Greens, and the Free Democrats (FDP) to legalise cannabis should they join forces to form the country’s next government.

Dr Lauterbach said: “I was against legalising cannabis for years. But now, as a doctor, I have come to a different conclusion.”

He added that when he realised crime gangs tend to mix other substances with cannabis he changed his mind.

He said: “That is why I am in favour of formulating a new law on the legal and controlled distribution of cannabis to adults should a coalition contract be signed with the Greens and the FDP.”

The possibility of introducing reforms to the country’s cannabis policy is one of the hot topics of the ongoing coalition talks between the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens and the Free Democrats (FDP).

All parties in the coalition talks have previously announced that they were in favour of legalising cannabis.

Not everyone’s up for changing the current policy, though. Canex reported a few days ago that the police unions have spoken out against any plans to legalise possession and consumption of recreational cannabis in Germany.

Oliver Malchow, the head of Germany’s police union (GdP), told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, said: “There must finally be an end to trivialising the joint.

“It makes no sense to open the door to another dangerous and often trivialised drug in addition to the legal but dangerous alcohol.”

Now DW reports that Heinz-Peter Meidinger, president of the German Teachers’ Union, and Frank Ulrich Montgomery, chief executive of the World Medical Association (WMA), also joined those who are against the reform.

While Mr Montgomery did not say much apart from “From a medical point of view, the legalization of cannabis must be clearly rejected”, Mr Meidinger added some context to his opinion.

He said: “The example of the Netherlands shows that legalising soft drugs also leads to a drastic uptick in the use of hard drugs. The line between soft and hard drugs becomes blurred.”

The coalition talks are still ongoing, and if the three parties could conclude, regardless of these comments, Germany would have the opportunity to make history and be the first to legalise cannabis in Europe.

If that happens, many will inevitably follow suit in the European Union.

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