Germany’s ‘Error-Strewn’ Cannabis Plan Requires Immense Political Will To Succeed
Germany is verging on cannabis legalization for recreational purposes, but immense political will is needed to see it to fruition. While the country intends to abide by international drug conventions, it has taken an ‘interpretative’ approach to its obligations, as Uruguay and Canada have done in their legalization efforts and establishing their own agenda for domestic drug control.
Under the current framework established in the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (SCND), Germany has two paths available in their pursuit of legalized cannabis; legislating a scientific experiment (on a national scale), or “lex lata” approach – the law as it exists, or ratified law. While a prominent member of the European Union (EU), Germany’s recent proposal makes no mention of either approach, and completely omits the SCND, instead mentioning the 1988 Convention which ratified some positions on drugs, though not cannabis.
The failure to note either approach to navigating EU Law and the SCND lends to the notion that Germany lacks clarity on the industrialization of cannabis, its legal reform, and how to structure the industry for success within its borders, and the greater global economy.
There are currently two provisions within the 1961 Convention that can create a pathway for legalized cannabis cultivation and sale, but neither were tabled in the German proposal.
While the German Government does not expect pushback from the EU, if some does present itself, they will suggest establishing a commercialized value chain, actually helping the industry establish itself across the greater EU. Regardless of the EU’s position, the German Government intends to legalize cannabis to satisfy the appetite of their people and politicians.
Recently, a leaked document outlining the framework of a legalized cannabis industry within German has illuminated some aspects that need attention prior to official proposal. This document’s release surprised many officials within the government and many international stakeholders, specifically the intent to stop import of medical cannabis in favour of domestic production – a major shift in current structure, and one with far-reaching implication – particularly for Canadian producers who export to Germany for medical patients.Ultimately, the plan for Germany to legalize in 2022 is dead. Perhaps, through careful and methodical review of existing market structures and foreign legislation, the German people can enjoy a free and legalize plant sometime in 2023.