German government’s cannabis bill draws criticism

German government’s cannabis bill draws criticism

Opposition says proposed legislation would lead to more drug consumption among young people, increase drug-related crime

By Anadolu staff

BERLIN (AA) - The German government’s cannabis legalization bill has come under harsh criticism from opposition politicians.

The main opposition, conservative alliance of CDU/CSU, has warned that the proposed legislation would lead to more drug consumption, and increase drug-related crime.

"I think this bill is a mistake, a serious mistake. It shouldn’t even be initiated,” CDU’s Secretary General Carsten Linnemann said, adding that the arguments put forward by the government were wrong.

“Wherever it has been legalized, crime has increased, and the black market has not been cleaned up,” Linnemann told German news agency DPA.


- Controversial bill

Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s left-liberal coalition government approved a draft legislation on Wednesday, which would legalize the possession and cultivation of cannabis for personal use.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach defended the bill saying the new legislation will be more effective in combating the black market, protecting individuals against toxic drugs, and reducing drug-related crime.


-‘Absolutely irresponsible’

Conservative Christian Social Union’s (CSU) regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt heavily criticized the government, saying the "absolutely irresponsible" bill is nothing but “an attack on youth and health protection” in Germany.

"Probably never before a German federal government so boldly ignored the warnings of almost all experts from medicine, the police and the judiciary on such a sensitive issue,” he told local media.

Dobrindt said most of the experts have been warning that such a bill would lead to more drug consumption, especially among the youth, more people would suffer from addiction, and security authorities will be overwhelmed by investigating thousands of new criminal cases.

According to the proposed bill, individuals aged 18 and above will be allowed to possess up to 25 grams of cannabis.

The self-cultivation of up to three plants for personal consumption will also be permitted.

Non-profit associations, with a maximum of 500 members, will be allowed to grow cannabis and distribute it to members.

A member could get a maximum of 50 grams of cannabis per month, according to the draft legislation.

The bill requires parliamentary approval to become a law, and it is expected to be discussed at the Bundestag after the summer recess.

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