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Germany is moving ahead with its plan to legalise the sale of cannabis, with hearings set to kick off tomorrow (Wednesday June 15).
German officials are set to continue their process of legalising the controlled sale of cannabis to adults for recreational purposes, announcing they will be holding five hearings that will address policy change.
According to the department’s website, hearings will be held from tomorrow through to the end of the month and look at consumer protection, protection of minors, economic issues and supply chains, criminal liability and international experiences.
Commissioner for Addiction and Drug Issues Burkhard Blienert stated via a press release that the move will help end the war on drugs by stopping ‘criminalisation’ of cannabis.
Es ist soweit: Wir starten morgen den Konsultationsprozess „Cannabis – aber sicher“! Mit dieser Vorbereitungsphase zur Gesetzgebung bringen wir eine moderne Cannabispolitik auf den Weg. https://t.co/4Oc6noNT6E— Sucht- und Drogenbeauftragter der Bundesregierung (@BdB_SD_Blienert) June 13, 2022
He said: “Like many others, I have been working for years to ensure that we in Germany finally stop criminalising cannabis users and start a modern and health-oriented cannabis policy.
“The hearings will discuss which measures can be used to ensure the best protection for young people, health and consumers in the event of implementation. Because one thing is clear: we want to protect children and young people in particular from possible risks.”
AP News reports that the country’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach confirmed that more than 200 representatives from medical, legal and other sectors will participate in the hearings to provide their expert opinion.
Health Minister Lauterbach said he hopes to create draft legislation in the second half of the year.
The impending hearings follow the promise to legalise controlled sales in licensed retail stores, proposed by three socially liberal parties that make up Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government last year.
In 2017, the German parliament amended the laws so that people could consume cannabis for medicinal purposes after they voted unanimously on the bill, according to CNN.
Federal Health Minister Hermann Gröhe said in a statement at the time: “Critically ill people must be cared for in the best possible way.”
He also said that the ‘costs of using cannabis for medicinal purposes will be met by the health insurance companies of the critically ill, if no other form of treatment is effective’.
However, the move to make cannabis entirely legal marks a significant moment for the western European country.
He said: “It would be important for it to be a success story as that would pave the way for other countries to implement similar legislation."
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