The German government is launching plans to legalize the sale of cannabis for recreational purposes, with the aim of having the legislation ready by the end of the year.
The Ministry of Health said on Monday that it will begin holding expert hearings on Tuesday on various aspects of the issue. He said more than 200 representatives from the medical, legal and other fields would take part, along with unidentified officials from various levels of government and international experts.
The commitment to legalize controlled adult cannabis sales in licensed stores is one of a series of reforms outlined in last year’s coalition agreement between the three socially liberal parties that make up Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government.
They said the plan will ensure quality control while protecting young people, and agreed that the “social effects” of the new legislation will be examined after four years.
Scholz’s coalition took office in December. In early May, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said he planned to draft a bill during the second half of the year following hearings with experts.
The five hearings, which will be held by the end of this month, will address the measures needed to ensure the best protection for young people, health and consumers, said government drug tsar Burkhard Blienert.
“Like many others, I have worked for years because in Germany we have finally ended the criminalization of cannabis users and started a modern, health-oriented cannabis policy,” it said in a statement.
Among other liberalization plans, the government has launched a campaign to remove from the German penal code a ban on doctors “announcing” abortion services. It also wants to pave the way for German citizenship, lift restrictions on dual citizenship and reduce the minimum age for voting in national and European elections from 18 to 16.
The government also wants to rule out 40-year-old legislation that requires transgender people to receive a psychological assessment and court decision before officially changing gender, a process that often involves intimate questions. It should be replaced by a new “law of self-determination.”
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated channel.)