Under the leadership of the new coalition government, Germany may legalize the sale of marijuana to all adult citizens. Previously, only the sale of the drug for the seriously ill was approved in the country
The coalition of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, the Greens and the Free Democratic Party, forming the new government of Germany, has come to an agreement on the legalization of cannabis (marijuana) in the country. This follows from the coalition agreement they published.
“We are introducing the controlled sale of cannabis to adults for consumption in licensed stores. This allows you to control the quality, prevents the appearance of dangerous substances in it and guarantees the protection of minors [from drug use],” the agreement says.
The parties agreed that in four years the coalition government will assess what social effect the adoption of such legislation has had. At the same time, mechanisms for drug testing and harm reduction from cannabis consumption should be expanded in Germany. The rules for the sale of alcohol, tobacco products and cannabis should be tightened, and the regulations adopted in this area should be based on the most recent scientific research and consistent with health protection measures.
The parties included in the coalition have separately previously expressed support for such initiatives. For example, the Social Democratic Party (SPD), as Handelsblatt notes, pointed out in its election manifesto that “bans and criminalization have not led to a reduction in [cannabis] consumption, they hinder the effective prevention of drug addiction and the protection of minors and divert huge resources of the judicial system and the police.”
According to the estimates of the University of Dusseldorf, cited by the German publication Focus, the annual consumption of cannabis in Germany is 400 tons. Economist Justus Haukap, head of the Duesseldorf Competition Institute, whose estimates are cited by Handelsblatt, believes that additional tax revenues from the legalization of cannabis in Germany and a direct tax on its sale may amount to 1.8 billion euros, more than a billion euros may be an increase in tax revenues for items indirectly related to this industry, for example, from sales tax.
In January 2017, the German Parliament has already decided to take marijuana seriously ill and suffering from incurable diseases. To resolve issues related to the medical use of the drug, the Parliament has created a special agency. It controls the cultivation, distribution and consumption of medicinal marijuana.Patients can buy marijuana at the pharmacy according to a doctor’s prescription. Patients will be able to compensate for the cost of buying marijuana for medicinal purposes at the expense of medical insurance.
According to experts of the UN International Narcotics Control Board, cannabis is the most common drug in Europe: it accounts for 38% of the entire drug market in the EU, which in 2013 was estimated at 24 billion euros.
In Russia, the legalization of cannabis is not provided for in the strategy of the state anti-drug policy until 2030.It states that about 200 thousand crimes related to drug trafficking are detected annually by law enforcement agencies. This is about 10% of all recorded crimes. Every year, more than 4.4 thousand people die from drug use in Russia.
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