German cannabis legalisation could infringe EU law despite tweaks

Germany’s plans to legalise cannabis are partially incompatible with EU law, despite significant changes Berlin made to avoid legal problems, according to a study from the parliamentary research service.

After the German government first presented a roadmap in October 2022 for the full legalisation of the commercial production and distribution of cannabis, it became clear that the plans clashed with EU legislation on drug trafficking.

After talks with the European Commission, the three-party government presented a new version in April that was significantly watered down in order to make it legally compatible with the EU framework.

But according to the new study, conducted at the request of conservative opposition MP Stephan Pilsinger (CSU/EPP) and cited by several German media on Tuesday (25 July), parts of this adapted version could still face legal hurdles at the EU level.

For Pilsinger, the study shows that the government’s current plans “clearly violate European law.” Speaking to German public TV, he called on Social Democrat health minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD/S&D) to abandon the “illusory project” of cannabis legalisation.


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