Germany One Step Closer to Legalization
According to a top German official, Germany is one step closer to legalization. The coalition government plans to move forward with cannabis legalization after receiving “very good feedback” from the European Union (E.U.).
German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach is confident Germany will introduce legalization legislation “in the next few weeks,” reports the German press.
“We will soon present a proposal that works, that is, that conforms to European law,” said Lauterbach.
Why Germany Needs the E.U.’s Support
Germany took a step closer toward legalization last year when it sent its cannabis legalization blueprint to the European Commission, the E.U.’s executive branch, for approval.
This is what Lauterbach meant about receiving “very good feedback” from Brussels.
But why would a sovereign state be at the mercy of centralized European bureaucrats? Didn’t Germany lose the wars?
Germany has some flexibility in setting their drug policies. But as an E.U. member state, they are bound by specific rules and regulations.
The E.U. follows the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which says cannabis is highly addictive, prone to abuse, and has no accepted scientific or medical value.
You might think the U.N. wouldn’t care if countries no longer followed the 60+ year outdated guideline. But recently, the U.N. drug board doubled down on their anti-cannabis stance, suggesting the U.S. federal government should intervene in the legal states.
So long as the United Nations lists cannabis as a Schedule I drug, E.U. member states must adopt policies reflecting this classification. And this typically includes criminalization.
So we have unelected global bureaucrats influencing unelected European bureaucrats who influence politicians who other politicians have elected. And with each branch claiming to follow “public health” as they pursue policies counter to voter wishes.
Oh, and opposing this system is considered “hate” and “misinformation.”
Can’t Germany ignore the U.N.? Consider, Canada ignored the Single Convention when they legalized. As did Uruguay. And the United States ignored the U.N. when Bush invaded Iraq.
Of course, ignoring the U.N. is one thing. Ignoring the European Union when you are a member state comes with consequences.
But this is Germany we’re talking about.
Why the EU Needs Germany’s Support
Germany is one step closer to legalization. But suppose Lauterbach misinterpreted the mood at Brussels, and this “very good feedback” comes as a rejection?
As in, sorry German voters, a bunch of public health busybodies at the E.U. hold sway over the thoughts and beliefs of the European Commission. They’ve decided that a decades-old convention trumps your universal rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Suppose that happens. What then? What if Germany pulled out from the E.U.? Along with Brexit, you’d have to wonder what would be left.
Germany has the largest economy in the E.U., significantly contributes to the E.U. budget, and subsidizes many poorer E.U. countries.
The E.U. could still survive without Germany depending on the hows and whys they left. But it would be a different E.U., certainly a poorer one.
Germany One Step Closer to Legalization
Germany may be one step closer to legalization, but what kind of legalization? As we’ve seen in North America, there are a variety of approaches one can take.
There is a laissez-faire model that rewards equal opportunity and freedom of choice.
And then the public health model that does nothing to stop kids from consuming cannabis. But it sure is good at increasing the costs of the legal regime, thereby ensuring the continued existence of illicit markets.
From past statements, it sounds like German legalization is taking this public health approach. However, “public health” has no objective definition.
Florida or Sweden’s public health in 2020 was to practice herd immunity. This was at odds with the rest of the world, but it was the right choice.
How does public health deal with alcohol? In Canada, the federal government imposes excessive “sin” taxes, and many provincial governments still monopolize distribution based on old 1920s prohibition laws.
But what about Germany?
Beer is cheap. You can consume it in public, including on the street, in the park or at the beach. Germans also have many beer gardens, including the famous Oktoberfest celebrations. They also set the legal drinking age at 16.
Beer is an ingrained part of German culture. What would horrify the Puritans of Canada’s public health regime doesn’t elicit a response from Germany’s busybodies.
Will their legal cannabis regime be as permissive regarding public consumption and social acceptance? Or is that just a unique situation they have with beer?
Either way, this shows how these antiquated drug laws are more social and cultural than scientific or rational.
And that applies equally to these “public health” approaches to cannabis legalization.