On Monday, the German pharmaceutical authority in Berlin put an end to plans that would have allowed for the creation of coffee shops similar to those in Amsterdam where customers can buy recreational marijuana. Although this is a setback for Germany’s cannabis industry, advocates expect to see federal reform in the near future.
The cannabis industry in Germany has made significant strides in 2015 and this trend should continue during 2016. Legal marijuana is gaining steam according to recent polls. In June, a poll found that 37% of respondents said they supported the legalization of cannabis. This represents an increase from last year (30% were in favor of legal cannabis).
Prohibition is not working
In May, Joachim Pfeiffer, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Germany’s lower house of parliament, co-sponsored legislation that would lift Germany’s ban on marijuana and regulate it like alcohol and tobacco. Pfeiffer’s move sent shockwaves throughout Germany because he joined his opposing party’s campaign to legalize marijuana.
Pfeiffer says that prohibition is simply not working and he said that although Germany spends roughly $2 billion euros ($2.2 billion USD) each year on criminal prosecution, such resources have not reduced the availability or consumption of marijuana.
Marijuana legalization has been a growing trend in the United States. Currently, some form of marijuana is currently legal in 40 states. This revolution is not just taking place in the United States. We are seeing marijuana reform taking place in many countries throughout the world.
Earlier this year, Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla signed an executive order to legalize medical marijuana. In 2014, Uruguay legalized both medical and recreational marijuana. Israel, Canada, and the Netherlands all have legal medical marijuana programs. Portugal and a number of other countries have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana.