German Law Professors Push for Cannabis Legalization
April 10th, 2014
Policy, Top News
Germany is already well ahead of the United States when it comes to laws governing the use of cannabis. With around 3 million regular users and 14 million estimated to have tried marijuana at least once, Germany does not punish anyone using or possessing marijuana, but it is illegal to sell or grow the substance. A growing number of law professors are now pushing for more liberal laws.
Over 120 criminal law professors are campaigning to legalize the sale and ownership of marijuana, according to a report by DW. The group called upon the lower house of parliament to setup a bipartisan working group to look into the country’s narcotic laws and assess the efficacy of current drug policies back in November of 2013 and two groups have now backed the idea.
The Greens and the Left party have both shown support for more liberal drug policies governing marijuana, while there are hopes that the Social Democrats will follow suit in the near future. Approximately 120 parliamentarians are needed for the commission to be setup with the two opposition groups alone having 127 seats in the parliament suggesting the commission will move forward.
Germany’s current commission on drug-related issues strongly rejected the idea of legalizing marijuana due to health risks. Ms. Mortler stated that, “regular cannabis consumption leads to considerable health damage, and can lead to psychoses and addiction.” The opposition rejects these arguments, saying that the drug is only dangerous to those who have an inclination for addiction anyway.
Legalization could help not only reduce crime rates but improve quality controls on the substance. Reports of street marijuana being cut with dangerous chemicals, like lead sulfide, have led to many hospitalizations over the years. Legalized cannabis would make it much easier to control the quality of the substance, while generating tax revenue for the government as an added bonus.
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