Will Germany Be The Next Nation To Legalize Marijuana?

'The time is right for a solution,' says one key politician.

Germany
Photo by Flickr user Mark Paz

Germany is veering toward a political deadlock over the formation of a coalition government. Among the issues at stake are immigration reform, climate change regulation … and marijuana legalization.

Among European Union nations, Germany has the largest medical marijuana market. But no country in Europe has allowed for full adult recreational sale or consumption of the herb. Will Germany become the first?

“The time is right for a solution,” Dr. Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, deputy federal president of the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) told the newspaper Stuttgarter-Zeitun.

Tom Angell of Marijuana Moment was the first to report on the developments earlier this week:

Members of a potential German coalition government, including the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, are nearing agreement on a deal to legalize marijuana, reports indicate.

As the legalization movement spreads across the globe — particularly in the United States and Canada — a change in German law would be a significant development. The European marijuana market is estimated to be worth more than $65 billion (56.2 billion in euros), according to the European Cannabis Report.

Germany’s medical marijuana market, only one year old, is valued at nearly $12 billion (10.2 billion in euros, according to the report.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is an outspoken opponent of marijuana legalization, but her conservative Christian Democratic Union party has been forced to hammer out a coalition among the FDP and the environmental Green Party. As negotiations among the parties continue, compromises on key national issues must be agreed upon.

As Angell reports:

Members of the so-called “Jamaica coalition” (because the colors of the involved parties are reminiscent of those on the Caribbean nation’s flag) are expected to formalize a marijuana policy agreement toward the tail end of the talks, after other issues are settled.

“We are ready to do that,” Fritz Becker, chairman of the German Pharmacists Association, said of distributing marijuana through pharmacies.

Last year, the Germany legalized medical marijuana with a unanimous vote from the Bundesregierung (Cabinet). The law went into effect this March.

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