Germany’s Meandering Path of Legalizing Adult-Use Cannabis – Fun Facts II

by Moritz Förster

16th of November 2023, the German parliament should have passed the Cannabis-Gesetz. Should. The session was rescheduled for December. Why? Well, considering the previous events since the traffic light coalition announced to legalize adult-use cannabis in November 2021 the only surprise is no surprise. An ironic review of the last 2 years.

03.12.2018: In all EU countries the production, distribution and sale of adult-use cannabis is prohibited. In all of them? No. There is a little member state where brave citizens raised up against the oppressor of prohibition. The Luxembourg government agreed to legalize the whole value-chain of cannabis. 

24.10.2021: Sometimes the power of prohibition is stronger than Julius Caesar’s troops once were back in Gaul. Süddeutsche Zeitung announces: “No legalization”. Instead Luxembourg citizens should be allowed to grow 4 plants at home. The reason for the backflip? “The government says the project is incompatible with EU law.” Written in Süddeutsche Zeitung in October 2021… 😞

26.11.2021: The German traffic-light coalition presents its coalition agreement. It’s one sentence in particular that drives everyone crazy in the entire cannabis industry in Germany – which is so far primarily for medical use:

“We are introducing the controlled supply of cannabis to adults for recreational purposes in licensed shops.”

This is gonna be the biggest cannabis single-market in the whole world… Well, it could be if the not-yet-existing law were to come into effect.

By the way, does any member of the traffic-light coalition have a clue about European law? And if not, it might  even be sufficient to read the Süddeutsche Zeitung & pick up the phone to call your Luxembourg friends (they’re also Social Democrats, Greens & Liberals – they are not called “traffic-light” though, but “Gambia” as the color of the liberals is blue). And don’t be afraid to waste taxpayer money. The maximum cost of any phone call from Germany to another EU member state is 19 cents per minute. It’s worth it. Promised. 

14.6.2022 – 30.6.2022: Instead of a single phone call first, why not initiate an extended expert hearing with more than 200 experts? And we could also invite someone from Luxembourg so that they can give us insights about this weird thing called EU law. Anyway, let’s do something together. Sounds like fun. The more the better! 💃 

Well, did this Bob Lessel from Luxembourg say anything concerning EU laws during the hearings? Goddamn nobody really listened & everyone forgot to ask him about the detailed reasons for the strange backflip. Whatever. In theory we could give him a phone call any time we want. But finding the number is really annoying, and without a WhatsApp call we would also have to pay 19 cents per minute. And with WhatsApp who really knows if this is compliant.

Besides all of this: We are Germany, not Luxembourg. EU law is for sure a different thing for us. Europe’s biggest economy in the heart of Europe… Yeah!

15.7.2022 It’s still better to get some support for our great idea to legalize adult-use cannabis. Guys, let’s make some noise! Who wants to be a real rebel in the EU? Prohibition is over. Get up, stand up! Together! Well, together…? At least with Malta and Luxembourg because even this Dutch dude didn’t want to sign our elaborated stuff about why-prohibition-has-failed. Whatever – do not judge any EU member state by its size, it is competence that really matters. Stop discriminating against small member states! 🐛

25.10.2022 Oh my god. We forgot to clarify this EU-law-issue again. It’s really annoying. Nobody can even spell the name of this agreement correctly. Something with a framework. And then nobody knows if Schengen matters. But Schengen is not really the EU, I mean  Switzerland and Norway and Liechtenstein (yeah we love the small states!) are also part of it. Let’s not get too confused, keep focused on things that really matter: Let’s publish our first cornerstone paper! Let’s legalize it! The whole value chain of adult-use cannabis. We can do it if we really want 😉

PS: Did anyone understand the difference between all these UN Single Conventions? International drug policy is really a mess… How are  you ever going to do politics with so many different words written down in so many different books that some important people assume matter somehow? 🤔

1.3.2023: A CSU expert opinion concludes that a legalized value-chain for adult-use cannabis would break European law, written by a prominent professor. Who cares? This is paid content anyway… 👎

12.4.2023: Sometimes you really regret that you didn’t pick up the phone earlier. You hate it so much when the theory of discounting is turned into real-life practice. Future costs can get surprisingly high ;(

We have thrown our first cornerstone paper in the digital waste paper collection. Can you imagine? All the work is useless… It’s such a hard world where there is no space for dreamers. And who’s fault is it? This Mr. EuLaw. Sounds bad this name. 😰

So, what do we do instead? This time we’re very smart and just copy + paste more or less what Luxembourg and Malta are already doing. Let’s allow 3, not 4 plants so that nobody notices. Maybe also an AI could help us rewrite the Luxembourg and Malta plans into proper German law? What a pity, nobody around can prompt GenAI. Too complicated ;( Whatever, let’s just do it the manual way… Old school is good school!

06.07.2023: We present the first draft of the law officially. To be honest – not that big news for anyone. Because someone has leaked the draft before. As always: We don’t care! Think positive. 🙌

16.08.2023: The cabinet is presenting the draft. Our health minister Karl Lauterbach – nationwide well known for his tendency towards energetic enthusiasm – speaks of the „best model of legalization“ all around the globe. Does he know that he is decriminalizing? And why did he ever want to legalize the whole value-chain if the 2-pillar-approach is „the best model“…? Oh, maybe he did never even wanted to fully legalize the whole value chain…? What an inappropriate insinuation!

29.09.2023: Will the social democrats in the federal council stab their party members from the government in the back? No, they won’t. Relief.

18.10.2023. First reading in parliament. Cannabis legalization protects consumer and youth, no it doesn’t, it does, no it doesn’t, yes it does, no…. And so on. Wow – these arguments have been heard for a while. Anybody has a very strong espresso? Or a joint? Wait – cannabis is still not legal?! Why…? 😡

16.10.2023: Planned passing of the law in the parliament – canceled! It’s just so complicated to decriminalize cultivation home grown & in clubs. It’s really complicated. For example, do you know how much flowers 3 plants of cannabis can produce?! What a plant, unbelievable. So many grams of cannabis. So profitable. Way too much to own for a single private person. What maximum Maybe we should punish the plant for overproduction, instead of the owner?

Outlook #1: 15.12.2023: We’ve always wanted to move the passing of the law as close to x-mas as possible. This way it’s our x-mas present from Santa Scholz to all our cannabis voters. 🎅

Outlook #2: 01.4.2024: First home growers start legally cultivating cannabis in Germany. No kidding: 1st of April. 😄

Disclaimer: This article was first published on Linkedin.

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