The timetable for the traffic light's cannabis law is becoming more concrete. According to Spiegel, government sources say that a draft is to be submitted to the cabinet by mid-August. That's a pretty tight schedule, given that the SPD is already pushing for speed.
"I expect that the bill will find its way to the parliament at the latest after the session-free period," said Katja Mast, parliamentary director of the SPD parliamentary group in the Bundestag. At present, it is in the tuning between the Ministries. The key points presented by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) and Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens) in April are "a very good basis."
The last day of the Bundestag session before the summer recess is Friday, July 7. After that, there will be no sessions for about two months. This year, the first day of the session after the summer break is scheduled for Monday, September 4.
Originally, the traffic lights had envisaged a cannabis law that would have been tantamount to a revolution in German drug legislation. As recently as last fall, Lauterbach had announced far-reaching legalization. Cultivation was to be regulated in Germany, and the cannabis was to be sold in licensed stores.
But then it became clear that this was not compatible with EU rules that require member states to criminalize illegal trafficking in drugs such as cannabis. Changing this would take a long time.
That is why the traffic light is now pursuing other goals, which Lauterbach and Özdemir presented in mid-April. They talked about "protecting our children" and an "evidence-based cannabis policy."
Firstly, cannabis is to be removed from the Narcotics Act in the short term, and possession of up to 25 grams is to be permitted. Private individuals are to be allowed to grow three female plants, and cultivation is also to be permitted in so-called cannabis social clubs. Members must be at least 18 years old, and THC content is to be limited.
Secondly, commercial cultivation and the licensed distribution of cannabis in stores are to be tested in model regions for five years in the future - under scientific control.
Several points were still controversial at the end. Lauterbach, for example, wants to ban the sale of so-called edibles (foodstuffs containing THC) - parts of the FDP and the Greens, however, consider this form of cannabis consumption to be less harmful than smoking and therefore want to allow edibles.
And model regions will require a second bill to be considered by the EU. "We expect the bill on municipal, regional model projects in the fall," Mast said. He added that the aim is to achieve "a paradigm shift in drug policy." "For us, the legalization of cannabis is not only a question of justice, but is especially necessary in light of the protection of children and young people, as well as health protection."
Source (in German): www.spiegel.de