Germany Closer to Legalized Cannabis, With Top Parties Discussing Legislation

It might not be the first country in the general region to legalize cannabis at all, as that designation goes to Georgia. But Germany is still the largest market in the EU, and has potential to be a massive recreational market. Now, with talks between the leading parties from the 2021 election, Germany has been inching closer to legalized recreational cannabis.

It’s about time Germany legalized recreational cannabis, and it looks to be getting very close with negotiations among top parties. If it happens, Germany will join places like the US, where not only is cannabis legal in many states, but where an entire market of cannabinoids has opened up outside of regulation. This means compounds like delta-8 THC, THCV, and even hemp-derived delta-9, are available to consumers. We’ve got great deals for delta-8 and many others, so go ahead, and check ’em out by subscribing to The THC Weekly Newsletter. Also save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!


The Bundestag elections 2021

It was known going into the 2021 Bundestag elections, that current chancellor Angela Merkel would be stepping down, and not going for re-election. As Merkel has been chancellor since 2005, leading with her party the Christian Democrats, her departure has pushed the door wide open for new leadership. And after a 16-year reign, Germany seems to be happy to move in a different direction.

In this year’s elections, held September 26th, the center-right Christian Democratic Union, or CDU (the Christian Democrats along with the Christian Social Union in Bavaria), lost its stronghold which it had maintained for a decade and a half. For the majority of Merkel’s leadership, the CDU formed coalitions with the Social Democrats (SPD), a center-left party, which made them voting partners, stifling the Social Democrats on many issues where voting might have been contrary.

An example of this is the recreational marijuana bill that was voted on last year, and which didn’t pass even though it had enough support. The likely reason it failed is because Social Democrats, who would have ordinarily voted for it, didn’t do so because of the coalition with the CDU.

Bundestag elections

This election swung things in the opposite direction, with the SPD taking the most seats, though certainly not enough for a majority. The SPD won by small margins, beating the CDU 25.9% to 24.1%. This equals 206 seats in parliament for the SPD, and 196 for the CDU. Along with the SPD pushing things toward the left, it was joined by the leftist Green party which took 118 seats, the liberal Free Democratic Party which won 92, and the democratic-socialists the Left, which got 39. All of this positions Germany to vote very differently on many topics in the future, including cannabis.

Germany inches closer to legalized cannabis, as top parties talk about new legislation

Right now, Germany is technically between leadership, as no coalition government has yet been formed. But they’re working on it, and the result of the coalition might result directly in Germany creating a market for legalized recreational cannabis.

According to a representative from German publication, die Funke Mediengruppe, who spoke directly with coalition negotiators in regards to a partnership between the SPD, the Green party, and the Free Democratic Party (FDP), an unnamed spokesperson made this statement on behalf of the so-called ‘traffic-light’ coalition:

“We’re introducing the controlled distribution of cannabis to adults for consumption in licensed stores. This will control the quality, prevent the transfer of contaminated substances and guarantee the protection of minors. We will evaluate the law after four years for social impact.”

This goes in line with a report put out by Bloomberg a week and a half ago which stated: “Negotiators for the Social Democrats, Greens and pro-business Free Democrats are hammering out the details, including conditions under which the sale and use of recreational cannabis would be allowed and regulated, according to people familiar with the talks, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.”

It should be remembered that Germany has not officially settled on a formal coalition to govern, or a chancellor to take the top seat. However, this proposed union between the SDP, the Green party, and the FDP seems very promising. Under this coalition, its expected that SDP representative Olaf Scholz will be chancellor, and the hope is to have an operational government by early December. Since nothing has been formally decided, nothing can be said yet on the future of cannabis in Germany, though all eyes are on the country waiting to see what happens.

Traffic-light coalition

Cannabis in Germany

As of right now, Germany has the biggest cannabis market in Europe, but it’s a completely medical market. Cannabis is regulated through the German Federal Narcotics Act, and right now its illegal for recreational purposes. Simple possession charges can still incur up to five years in prison, though Germany stopped short at creating laws for using cannabis, so its use isn’t mentioned by law. As such, first-time offenders are generally put in a program, rather than prison, so long as they are not caught using more than a ‘small amount’.

This term is highly imprecise, varying throughout different parts of Germany in terms of the amount this relates to, which depending on location can be anywhere from 6-15 grams. Germany also tends to judge amount based on THC quantity in the product, so the potency is directly related to the calculation of the amount.

Germany does have a medical cannabis market, which started in 1998 with limited capacity. This was upgraded in 2017 to cover more medical issues, as well as being the start of domestic production. At that time Germany updated laws to allow more imports and exports of cannabis as well. All of this has helped to make Germany the biggest cannabis market in Europe.

How big? In 2019, Germany was 2nd in the world for cannabis oil imports, and ranked 4th for cannabis oil exports, 1st in Europe for both. In the last quarter of 2020, Germany imported as much as 3,264 kg of cannabis, bringing the year’s total imports to 9,249. The import market has increased 100% year-over-year from 2018-2020. The newly emerging domestic supply market is expected to inject a further 2,600 kg into the market.

In terms of how widely used the medical program within the country is, though BfArM – The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices, could not give a specific answer to this, what it did provide led market intelligence firm Prohibition Partners to approximate the industry to be serving 128,000 patients a year.

Cannabis legalizations in Europe

If Germany does form a market for legalized cannabis, it would still be the first European country to do so, though not the first to allow some measure of legalization for recreational use. After all, allowing people to grow their own and use it, is vastly different than setting up a taxable regulated market where people can go to a store to buy a product.

Georgia cannabis

The first country to drop some laws of prohibition in this part of the world was Georgia (depending on whether you consider it to be Europe or Asia). Georgia became the 3rd country to do so, through a Constitutional Court ruling in 2018 that said punishing a person for using cannabis is unconstitutional as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, and since such punishments are restrictive of personal freedoms (almost the same reasoning used in both Mexico and South Africa).

This ruling erased penalties for cannabis use, unless a 3rd party is being hurt. What it didn’t do, was create a regulated market for the production and sale of cannabis, nor did it legalize growing it, leaving Georgians in the strange situation of being able to use and possess cannabis freely, but without a way to grow it or buy it legally.

The more recent near-addition to the European contingency of legalized countries, is Luxembourg, which isn’t shocking as the country has been moving toward relaxing cannabis laws for a little while now. It should be noted, however, that this is still only proposed, and has not gone through. In fact, it’s only scheduled to be tabled (discussed) in 2022.

Reported on October 22nd, the Ministers of Justice and Internal Affairs stated that Luxembourg is likely to drastically change its laws on cannabis, though whether it would be considered a full legalization is hard to say. The country, for example, would not take away penalties for having cannabis in public, just reduce fines and take away criminal records. Sounds more like a decriminalization in that way.

The part that counts as a ‘legalization’, is that should the change be made, the government will allow adults of 18 years or above to grow up to four plants in their house, and use cannabis privately. Thus making it very similar to South Africa and Washington DC, slightly better than Georgia, but not like Uruguay, Canada, or the legalized states in the US. Luxembourg has not proposed a legalized regulated market, so buying and selling, as well as having and using in public, would still be illegal in some capacity, and would still incur penalties.

This is NOT a done deal, and has been erroneously written like it is. It is backed by the current coalition leading the government, but does require passing a vote in parliament and being signed off on by the Grand Duke. These things are expected, though, as the country has been in talks to downgrade punishment for cannabis crimes for a while.

Luxembourg cannabis

Conclusion

Georgia’s partial legalization, and Luxembourg’s possible upcoming partial legalization aside, if Germany decides on legalized cannabis for the country, it would still be the first to institute full legality in Europe, and the first European country to institute a regulated market. As the governance of the country is leaning toward three parties looking to legalize, it looks like Germany might be adding to its large medical industry, a legalized recreational cannabis market.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

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The Key to Legal Marijuana Is In Laws for Personal Sovereignty

When it comes to cannabis legalizations, different factors can be at work in different locations. In some places, sick kids pushed through medical legalizations, in other places, recreational legalizations were voted in by the population. In a few cases it was something else though, it came through the courts. In these cases, legal marijuana came as a result of personal sovereignty clauses in national constitutions.

It would be great if we were all afforded the right to legal marijuana due to personal sovereignty rights in our specific countries, but unfortunately, this only works in some places. Luckily, the general expansion of the industry has made it so getting many products is much easier, with much more available. Take delta-8 THC, for example. No one knew what the stuff was five years ago. And now? This alternate, less intense, form of THC, flies right off the shelves. This goes for other cannabis compounds as well. Lucky for you, we’ve got them all, so take a look at our deals on delta-8 THCdelta-9 THCTHCVTHCPdelta 10HHCTHC-O and a broad range of other cannabis related products.

What does personal sovereignty mean?

Personal sovereignty can be summed up like this: “To be sovereign over one’s self is to be free of the control or coercion of others – to truly direct one’s own life.” In other words, personal sovereignty is self-ownership, and comes with the idea that each person is their own piece of property belonging to themselves. This includes legal and/or natural rights for bodily integrity, and to be the sole controller of one’s life.

As far as what it means to have legal or natural rights, these are the two types of rights afforded to individuals. Natural rights are inalienable rights, or what some would refer to as ‘god-given rights’. These are not supposed to be specific to a particular government or set of laws, but are instead considered fundamental laws, or human rights. As inalienable rights, they cannot be taken away by a government’s laws, unless the individual is causing harm to someone else. In the US constitution, inalienable rights include “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Conversely, legal rights are those afforded by a specific government. They are governed by human laws, and are able to be changed or repealed if the government feels the need. These laws encompass everything not related to personal freedoms, like traffic laws, gun laws, trade laws, criminal laws, and so on.

personal sovereignty

Personal sovereignty is a principal of different philosophies in politics, namely anarchism, liberalism, and libertarianism. Clauses show up in many constitutions, specifying what the government sees as inalienable rights. Now, this concept is interesting. If the idea of ‘inalienable rights’ actually existed as I just said, they would have to be consistent everywhere. After all, if they’re not related to local laws, then they should be the same throughout the world. But this isn’t the case. And, in fact, the particular inalienable rights afforded to populations, are decided within a constitution, meaning they are specific to a given government.

Even so, they are thought of as separate from legal rights. Though this detracts from them a bit, they still hold true where they’re available. While the US doesn’t have strong principals for this in its constitution, other countries do. And three times now, at least, these principals have been used to either legalize recreational cannabis, or reduce penalties to the point of practically being legal.

How Mexico gained legal marijuana using personal sovereignty

The mess of Mexico and cannabis legalization has been going on for a few years now. At the end of 2018, the Mexican Supreme Court ruled in favor of defendants in two cases involving the right to use cannabis recreationally. These two cases were really the last of five consecutive cases, starting in 2015, all if which had to do with the right of an individual to consume cannabis in their own private life.

In Mexico, five consecutive Supreme Court rulings on the same topic, ruled on in the same way, become legally binding for all lower courts, and override legislative laws. This is called jurisprudencia. As such, in these situations, the government is then tasked with coming up with new legislation to be in line with the court rulings.

So, what was the basis for these court rulings? In the Mexican constitution, personal development is a given, or inalienable right. It reflects a specific aspect of personal sovereignty afforded by the Mexican government to its people. People must, by the constitution, be able to choose their own recreational activities in life, and they must be able to do this without government intervention. In its ruling, the Supreme Court specified that the psychoactive effects of cannabis are not enough to provide justification for prohibition. The final ruling officially made the prohibition of personal recreational cannabis use, unconstitutional.

For anyone paying attention, this didn’t come and go quietly. The government has repeatedly nixed its responsibility in coming up with written legislation, first asking for extensions for 2.5 years, and then missing a deadline without even requesting an extension this past April. This move effectively gave the Supreme Court the ability to simply drop the prohibition law, which it did. Since the Supreme Court doesn’t write legislation, this was done in a small way, legalizing the personal cultivation, possession, and use of cannabis, but leaving everything else as illegal, until the government sees fit to do its job.

Mexico cannabis

How Georgia gained legal marijuana using personal sovereignty

The first thing that makes the title to this section interesting, is simply the idea that a former Eastern Bloc country, is actually weed-legal. No other truly legalized location exists on either the continents of Europe or Asia, yet somehow, a recreational legalization snuck in, in a place completely unexpected, and not in concert with the area around. But that’s what happened, when Georgia became the 3rd legalized recreational country. Here’s the story.

Up until 2018, Georgia had some of the stricter laws concerning cannabis. Users could incur up to 14 years in prison for simple possession and use, with forced drug tests being given on 100+ people a day. Georgia had a zero-tolerance policy when it came to marijuana, and the country was making a lot of money from fines, collecting a massive $11.3 million in one year alone. Cannabis activists in the country were fighting these forced tests, as well as pushing for decriminalization measures, and to have dosage calculations made by law. It was even being spoken about politically when elections came around in 2018, with a law being drafted to allow cannabis exports.

All of what was going on was blown out of the water by the Constitutional Court in 2018. That year, amid all the other cannabis talk, the Court made a ruling in a case that its unconstitutional to punish a person for using cannabis, since it doesn’t hurt anyone else. The ruling stated that a punishment for using cannabis is restrictive of personal freedoms. Once again, personal sovereignty pushed through a legalization measure. The Court went on to state in its ruling, that unless a 3rd party is being affected, or use laws are broken, no penalties will be given out for using cannabis at all.

It says something for the stance of the Constitutional Court, that a year prior to this legalization, it was already calling to decriminalize cannabis. This shows that even in its stricter days, there was already a break towards liberalism. However, a major detraction of this legalization, is that it only applies to possession and use.

Cultivation and supply crimes were not affected by the ruling, meaning Georgia has some terribly inconsistent cannabis laws, allowing for its legal possession and use, but without the ability to buy, sell, or grow it. There is also no official regulated market in place. Chances are that written legislation will update soon enough to make this a more tenable system. For now, Georgia has the designation of becoming the 3rd legalized country, the first in Europe or Asia to do so, and the first of the former Eastern Bloc countries to adopt a pro-cannabis policy.

How South Africa gained nearly legal marijuana using personal sovereignty

South Africa is a little different because the country didn’t technically legalize anything. However, due to Supreme Court rulings, the country has some of the most relaxed cannabis laws, that in many ways do resemble a regular legalization. Much like with the two countries previously mentioned, since it came through the court system, and this requires legislation to be written, the exact specifications of this new law are still unknown. Anyway, here’s the story of South Africa and cannabis decriminalization.

South Africa marijuana

Funny enough, all three of the countries mentioned, officially changed policies due to Constitutional Court decisions made in 2018. South Africa’s came in September of 2018. The court ruling in question was originally made on March 31st, 2017, but not by a constitutional court. In this case, the judge of the local court ruled that it was unconstitutional to prevent private cultivation and use of cannabis. The reason being, that such a criminalization was an infringement to inalienable rights of personal privacy, and therefore, not justifiable.

The right to privacy was the central issue in the 2017 ruling. The right to privacy is an inalienable right of personal sovereignty afforded to South Africans through section 14 of their Bill of Rights. The clause states that every individual has the right to lead their own private life, without interference by the government or other private institutions. This is what the court stated to back up its point:

“A very high level of protection is given to the individual’s intimate personal sphere of life and the maintenance of its basic preconditions and there is a final untouchable sphere of human freedom that is beyond interference from any public authority. So much so that, in regard to this most intimate core of privacy, no justifiable limitation thereof can take place… This inviolable core is left behind once an individual enters into relationships with persons outside this closest intimate sphere; the individual’s activities then acquire a social dimension and the right of privacy in this context becomes subject to limitation.”

Of course, this was just a regular court. Appeals rolled in after the decision, leading the judgement to be heard by the Constitutional Court in 2018. When the Constitutional Court upheld the lower court’s decision, the new ruling became law, and the private cultivation and recreational use of cannabis was heavily decriminalized. It is said that police can still arrest a person for private cannabis crimes, but that the person can use this ruling as a defense in court. The new bill will hopefully shed more light on this aspect. This is different from Mexico or Georgia, where the lower courts can no longer entertain such cases. An official bill is still being worked out which will specify the particulars of the new law. Technically, South Africa had 24 months to write a bill before the court ruling automatically took over. It is now 3.5 years later, and there is no bill yet, but this is likely due to corona.

Conclusion

This idea that legal marijuana use can come through court rulings on personal sovereignty, is kind of cool. Take Chile, and its endeavor to create a new constitution. Should the new constitution have a personal sovereignty clause, it would open the door for cannabis legalization.

If your next question is whether the US has such a provision, the sad answer is no. The farthest we get in the US is the guarantee for the ‘pursuit of happiness’. Now, I know cannabis sure makes me happy. And it could certainly be argued in court that not allowing legal marijuana is a detraction of personal sovereignty related to the pursuit of happiness…but as of yet, it has not been done.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post The Key to Legal Marijuana Is In Laws for Personal Sovereignty appeared first on CBD Testers.