The Movement Towards Liberal Marijuana Legislation In Berlin

There has been many austere legislations against the legalization of marijuana despite its invaluable relevance. In recent years, many countries around the world have begun to relax their anti-cannabis policy owing to the irrefutable evidence of the many benefits of the medical cannabis products  and unremitting pressure from the public, who are becoming increasingly sensitized on the gains of marijuana. For a very long time, Germany has a very stringent policy that prohibits the possession of certain amounts of marijuana, its use and cultivation. The federal structure of Germany allows for the federating units to make their laws. The various 16 constituents have laws that do not completely ban the use of possession of marijuana but restrict the amount of marijuana a person can possess. While the policy of the various states on marijuana is relaxed, the federal government has a very stern posture on cannabis. Fortunately, the retrogressive legislative posture that has been adopted by Germany’s capital would soon be amended which would relax anti marijuana laws, making it semi legal.

In an unprecedented approach, a cross-party movement jointly decided to a pilot scheme. The “pilot scheme” has the unequivocal support of the social democrats, the green and the left party, with the goal allowing “controlled distribution of cannabis to adults”.

In the past, there have been many attempts to relax the anti-marijuana laws in Berlin with little or no impact. One of such attempts in 2013 was when the area of Kreuzberg-Friedrichshain in Berlin voted to restore cannabis coffee shops, but did not get the governments sanction. While the aforesaid was an attempt by just a section of Berlin, this time, the whole of Berlin is unified in the quest for the commercialization and legalization of marijuana. A massive protest which saw 4000 Germans on the streets called for a more inclusive use of medicinal marijuana and for its decriminalization.

In line with the provisions of the newly proposed “pilot scheme,” the government would need to establish a framework for an organized distribution model which would be forwarded to the Ministry Of Health for implementation. Conversely, the various processes involved in the policy drafting and implementation could be very cumbersome and is often further exacerbated by bureaucracy which may not allow for the proper implementation of the policy before new ones are introduced by a newly elected government.

There is insurmountable evidence that illustrates the severity of Berlins’ anti-marijuana legislation, as law enforcers reveal that 70 percent of drug law contravention is associated with the use or cultivation of marijuana. With the newly proposed pilot scheme, marijuana is expected to be sold in coffee shops that have been authorized. In the bid to create a counterbalance, the introduction of the pilot scheme would be accompanied with restrictions on tobacco and alcohol advertisement in public areas.  

There have been many developments in favor of more relaxed marijuana legislation in Berlin. In May 2016, the Minister For Health, Hermann Gröhe, proposed a law to formally legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes by 2017. Similarly, the proposed legislation for use of medical marijuana that was recently announced by Berlin and strongly indicates a progressive movement towards the eventual legalization of marijuana. It is imperative that seriously sick patients should have access to cannabis in order to benefit immensely from its therapeutic and healing properties. Also, Marlene Mortler has also openly spoken in favor of medical marijuana with consideration for sick people that need the medicinal herb.

The legalization of marijuana is beginning to receive tremendous support from different sections of the German society. Politicians, public officers and countless number of concerned citizens continue to push for more liberal marijuana laws. The proposed medical marijuana legislation and the newly proposed pilot scheme are some of the many legislations that would offer unwavering support on the journey towards the legalization of marijuana in Germany. With all of these encouraging occurrences, it is expected that Germany and Berlin would soon break free from the repressive anti-cannabis laws.