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Germany seeks 'safety first' approach to legalizing cannabis
    #857545 - 06/30/22 06:23 PM (2 years, 14 days ago)


Germany is on the path to legalizing recreational marijuana use. Safety and public health will be top priorities in the upcoming legislation, the health minister has said.

Marijuana plants
Germany's government announced plans to introduce a law to legalize marijuana use

Germany's government is moving forward with plans for legislation to legalize cannabis consumption.  Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said on Thursday that a draft law is scheduled to be ready by the end of the year. 

The upcoming legislation is "a long-awaited step for many," Lauterbach said, adding that the government will apply a "safety first" principle to its efforts toward legalizing marijuana use.

"The current, primarily repressive way of dealing with cannabis has failed," Lauterbach said.

Germany's three-party coalition government of the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens and the Free Democrats (FDP) has been on board with cannabis legalization and committed to the "controlled distribution of cannabis to adults for consumption" in its coalition agreement

Watch video07:27
Marijuana legalization promises profits in Germany
Lauterbach reverses his stance on cannabis
Lauterbach had previously been against the legalization of cannabis, citing health risks. While the health minister's position has changed over the past two years, he still urged that key details on the matter need to be clarified. 

He said the protection of minors and aspects concerning the criminal code, tax and road traffic law need careful consideration. 

"Cannabis use is not a small thing for young people, and especially for children, and can destroy a life before it has really begun," the minister said. However, he also recognized the need for well-secured, quality access to the drug without criminalization as something that "must be accepted and is a part of a modern society."

Currently, about 4 million adults in Germany use cannabis, according to the health minister. 

asw/sms (AFP, dpa)

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