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Canada weed Shop 6IX 20

Germany, First European Nation to Promise Legal Marijuana

BY JEAN-GABRIEL FERNANDEZ
DEC. 03, 2021
The post-Angela Merkel coalition government of Germany agreed on a new direction for the country, including the full legalization of marijuana. This is but one of many progressive measures agreed on by the three parties that will be taking power: the Free Democrats, the Social Democrats and the Greens.

The 2021 German federal election saw the decline of former Chancellor Angela Merkel's political camp, the center-right Christian Democratic Union. The far-right AfD (Alternative für Deutschland) and the Left Party both suffered setbacks, too, which put the Greens and the Free Democrats in position to unite with the election's winners, the Social Democrats, giving them an absolute majority in the lawmaking process. The coalition agreed on many measures starting with the elevation of the Social Democrat candidate, Olaf Scholz, as the new Chancellor, as well as ecological and social policies such as phasing out coal energy by 2030, increasing voters rights, raising the minimum wage and streamlining immigration.

The Free Democrats confirmed that they will legalize adult-use marijuana after rumors started spreading regarding the measure, which was pushed by Germany's libertarians. The coalition program promises the legalization of marijuana to ensure the safety of the cannabis products, which are already ubiquitous through less-than-legal mean, and to protect German children, given the now well-documented fact that legal recreational cannabis is the most efficient way to smother the black market and replace it with law-abiding dispensaries that will not sell drugs to underage customers. Part of the money saved through the lessened need for policing would be reinvested in addiction therapy resources. The coalition's agreement includes a clause to review the impact of legalization after four years of implementation.
Not the First

Germany already decriminalized marijuana possession in small amounts and legalized medical marijuana in 2016, following the footsteps of many U.S. states. It is not the only country in Europe to have done so, but it is indeed the first to seek full legalization. If the new government coalition moves fast, Germany will become the third nation in the world to legalize, tax and regulate adult-use marijuana. The first was Uruguay, in 2013, followed by Canada in 2018.
Party leaders in Germany's incoming government coalition have reached an agreement to legalize marijuana nationwide.
The legalization legislation is expected to be introduced during the upcoming legislative session. It will also provide broader drug harm reduction services and restrict advertising of tobacco and alcohol, along with cannabis.

In Europe, weed is intrinsically linked with the Netherlands due to a longstanding culture of cannabis tourism in Amsterdam, where coffeeshops let customers experience an illegal—but legally tolerated—high, fueling the local tourist culture. More than 10% of Amsterdam's workforce is employed in the tourism industry, which is directly dependent on weed tourism. More than 20 million tourists, largely from the European Union, pour into Amsterdam every year; Dutch bank ABN Amro estimates that, if weed tourism is lost, the city stands to lose up to $10 billion in revenue every year. But, as Germany steps up to become the first European nation to legalize recreational marijuana, the Netherlands' policy of tolerating illegal cannabis consumption will appear far inferior to the German alternative next door, diverting billions every year to Germany.

A study led by Heinrich Heine University found that legalizing cannabis would increase tax revenues for the German state by nearly $4 billion, and it would reduce spending in the law enforcement system by $1.5 billion per year. It would also create 27,000 new jobs. Even more so, as more countries edge towards legalization, it would give Germany a leg-up in the inevitable upcoming battle to control a budding global market where Germany will be the only E.U nation with an existing supply and regulatory systems.

Neighboring Luxemburg has also launched a legalization bill, although passage through the legislature is not guaranteed. On the other side of the ocean, Mexico has also been on the verge of national legalization after the Supreme Court ordered it, but Mexican lawmakers have been dragging the process along far longer than expected. As such, Germany, Luxemburg and Mexico are all in line to snatch the title of third country to legalize cannabis.


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