German Opposition Official Lobbies EU to Block Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization Plan
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German Opposition Official Lobbies EU to Block Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization Plan

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach presented a cornerstone paper on planned legislation to federally legalize cannabis to Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s cabinet last month.

November 17, 2022

The German government must submit its cannabis legalization plans to the European Commission for approval before formal legislation can be introduced in the Bundestag, or German Parliament, but a senior opposition official has lobbied the European Union executive branch to block legalization efforts.

Klaus Holetschek, the health minister in Bavaria’s conservative-led state government, met the EU’s director-general for migration and home affairs in Brussels Nov. 16, according to the Associated Press. He urged the EU to veto Germany’s legalization proposal, telling EU official Monique Pariat that “the German government’s planned cannabis legalization doesn’t just endanger health, but I am convinced that it also violates European law,” AP reported.

Holetschek argued that two EU agreements force Germany and other member countries to criminalize cannabis, according to the news outlet.

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach presented a cornerstone paper on planned legislation to federally legalize cannabis to Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s cabinet last month, after the legalization plans leaked to the media the week before.

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The proposal would allow adults to purchase and possess up to 20 to 30 grams of cannabis for personal use, as well as legalize the production, supply and distribution of cannabis within a regulated, state-controlled framework.

Adults would be able to grow up to three plants at home, and specialized shops and pharmacies would be licensed to sell cannabis products.

Germany legalized medical cannabis in 2017, and the coalition that came to power last year unveiled plans for additional policy reform during its campaign.

Other European countries are waiting to see how Germany proceeds with legalization before enacting their own policy reform; the Czech Republic recently announced that it is in the process of drafting a legalization bill to coordinate its approach with Germany.