Legalization of weed? Germany’s coalition party mulls change

Written by Staff Writer

Is Germany about to become the first major European country to legalize cannabis?

The incoming coalition of Germany’s Social Democrats and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats plans to introduce legislation allowing the domestic use of cannabis, as well as phasing out the country’s reliance on coal.

The proposed law would take the cannabis market out of the black market and legalize it for personal use. Those wanting to buy cannabis for personal use must be at least 16 and for adults only, the proposal says.

A complete prohibition would remain in place for sales to under-16s and anyone other than the purchaser and the seller will be prosecuted, it says.

The proposal, which is due to be presented to the Bundestag (German parliament) in the coming weeks, includes tax-free internet purchases. But as the proposal was submitted by a coalition partner, it must go through the normal parliamentary process before becoming law.

Christine Moll, Germany’s justice minister and a member of the Social Democrats, told German media that efforts would be made to outlaw the use of cannabis “completely.”

Cannabis possession is already illegal in Germany, but consumers are not punished, with far fewer cases of police officers being forced to issue detentions. While more than 12,000 people were arrested in 2017 for possessing up to 15 grams of cannabis, an official survey published this week showed that some 10% of the community are aware of the ban.

The planned legislation comes at a time when companies in the Netherlands and Portugal have begun testing a growing number of edibles, ice cream and drinks that look and taste like cannabis without actually being made from the plant.

Germany’s program to phase out coal

Earlier this week, the coalition party jointly unveiled plans to phase out German coal — the dirtiest form of fossil fuel in the world — by 2050, with a maximum carbon level of 650 grams per megawatt hour in 2020 and the total phase out by 2050.

“Because Germany is facing massive global warming problems, and because the current energy model is inadequate, we can’t rely on the coal production and consumption anymore,” said Economy Minister Peter Altmaier.

He said that the previous coalition government had committed to phase out coal in the 2002 Energy Accord.

“To achieve the goals of the energy accord of 2000, we have to completely abandon coal in 2050,” he said.

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