"Prioritizing reform this summer"

German Health Minister speeds up cannabis reform

In a surprise announcement, the German Health Minister, SPD-affiliated Karl Lauterbach, has now thrown his weight behind a stepped-up schedule for cannabis legalization. Namely, he wants to put this on the summer legislative agenda rather than pushing it back to this fall (or later) as had been widely rumored.

As quoted in Handelsblatt, Lauterbach said that he has “changed his mind about this in the past two years. I’ve always been an opponent of cannabis legalization, but I revised my opinion about a year ago.” He now believes that the dangers of the status quo outweigh the dangers of adult-use reform.

Lauterbach’s statements about cannabis reform were part of his call for stepped-up action on several pressing issues facing the German healthcare system. Namely the need for a greater contribution from German citizens to address the huge shortfall the statutory health insurers are facing as well as the digitalization of the healthcare infrastructure.

His comments also come at a time when there is growing momentum from all coalition parties to not kick the cannabis legalization discussion can down the road anymore. During the first quarter of 2022, despite making cannabis legalization part of the election platform that put the Traffic Light coalition into power, the only thing emanating out of Berlin for months was calls for delay. The excuse was both the lingering Pandemic and then the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

To read the complete article, go to www.internationalcbc.com

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