Cannabis Legalization impact on College Students

Laws surrounding the marijuana industry in Germany are paradoxical and limiting in their own ways. While the legislation allows private consumption and possession of the drug in ‘small amounts’, unauthorized personal use can land convicts in jail for a period ranging from 2 to 5 years.

Sighting these discrepancies, marijuana advocates have been trying hard to get adult-use of the drug legalized in the country. However to the dismay of these patrons, their efforts were met with a firm rejection from the German parliament.

This rejection from the parliament was unsolicited for the population because apart from a few parties, the Bundestang largely favors policy reforms in some form.

Marijuana legalization faces Rejection By the Parliament

This repudiation was mainly made possible by a coalition formed with the joining of The Union (CDU/CSU) and SPD parties.

Although members of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) were in favor of introducing marijuana policy reforms but after receiving criticism from members of The Union, it preferred voting in the direction adopted by their coalition partner.

As of February 2020, members of SPD had shown an inclination towards decriminalizing marijuana possession. In addition to this, the party also favored allowing pilot programs that would permit legal distribution of recreational marijuana.

“We see the regulated distribution of cannabis to adults in Germany as a good chance for a successful policy, ideally supported by simultaneous strengthening prevention and early intervention as well as counseling and treatment,” said the SDP paper.

However, Daniela Ludwig from the Christian Social Union (CSU) was particularly critical about this stance of SPD. She immediately took to twitter to express her condemnation and established that ”prevention” was the only approach to deal with the bill legalizing recreational marijuana.

Parties Constituting the German Parliament and their stance on the marijuana legalization bill

There are six main political parties that constitute the German parliament. Here is what was their stance on the bill that proposed the legalization of adult-use marijuana in Germany:

The Left

This party constitutes about 69 seats from the 709 seats of Bundestag. This party was in favor of legalization initiative. It also made a separate cannabis policy reform suggesting to decriminalize possessing up to 15 grams of the drug.

SPD – Social Democratic Party of Germany

SPD is one of most popular parties in Germany and constitutes about 152 seats in the German parliament. Despite of having a substantial support for the initiative, the party voted in tandem with its coalition partner.

The Greens

This party had been in a coalition with the SPD from 1998 to 2005. The coalition ended after disagreements with Gerhard Schröder upon early elections, leading to scoring only about 8.3% of votes.

As of now, The Greens hold about 67 seats in the government. This party was the second to support the legalization of adult-use bill, bringing the total number of supporters to 136.

The Union – Christian Democratic Union of Germany + Christian Social Union in Bavaria

The Union is a coalition of two parties namely CDU and CSU that underwent a brief separation in 1976. Although they have had their fair share of tensions and disagreements, the coalition has survived almost 71 years of partnership together.

With each other they form a huge majority in the German government making it next to impossible for any initiative to pass unless votes are cast from members of coalition parties.

The same was seen in this effort of legalizing adult-use marijuana in Germany. The combined votes of The Left party ad Green Party fell short to defeat the stance of The Union, which was against the bill. The party holds 246 seats in the parliament currently.

FDP – Free Democratic Party

Led by Christian Linder, FDP is a liberal political party of Germany. Holding 80 seats in the government, the party chose to abstain from voting on the issue of marijuana legalization.

In contrast to this, the opposition party had proposed several cannabis reforms that met the same fate as the bill. It had made a case for allowing recreational marijuana experiments in the country. In addition to this, an increase the percentage of medical marijuana cultivated in Germany was also suggested.

Both of these proposals were rejected.

AFD – Alternative for Germany

Represented first time in the parliament in 2017, AFD is characterized as a far right political party. When the proposals of the bill were put forth, it was the only opposition party that was against the bill.

Like FDP, AFD also made separate recommendations for marijuana policy reforms. This suggested treating medical marijuana in a similar way like other medicines for testing success of treatment.

These suggestions were also dismissed.

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