Legal Marijuana-More Countries Following The Footsteps Of U.S. States

Dec 7, 2021

For good things, we always have best wishes for them. But it's impossible that all people follow the same way, especially without entirely clear rules. Marijuana is such a thing. It is popular by its good benefits, at the same time, it is unsafe through gray area. In order to better administrating it, Germany might be first European Nation to Promise Legal Marijuana.

The post-Angela Merkel coalition government of Germany agreed on a new direction for the country, including the full legalization of marijuana. This is but one of many progressive measures agreed on by the three parties that will be taking power: the Free Democrats, the Social Democrats and the Greens.

The Free Democrats confirmed that they will legalize adult-use marijuana after rumors started spreading regarding the measure, which was pushed by Germany’s libertarians. The coalition program promises the legalization of marijuana to ensure the safety of the cannabis products, which are already ubiquitous through less-than-legal mean, and to protect German children, given the now well-documented fact that legal recreational cannabis is the most efficient way to smother the black market and replace it with law-abiding dispensaries that will not sell drugs to underage customers. Part of the money saved through the lessened need for policing would be reinvested in addiction therapy resources. The coalition's agreement includes a clause to review the impact of legalization after four years of implementation.

Germany already decriminalized marijuana possession in small amounts and legalized medical marijuana in 2016, following the footsteps of many U.S. states. It is not the only country in Europe to have done so, but it is indeed the first to seek full legalization. If the new government coalition moves fast, Germany will become the third nation in the world to legalize, tax and regulate adult-use marijuana. The first was Uruguay, in 2013, followed by Canada in 2018.

In Europe, weed is intrinsically linked with the Netherlands due to a longstanding culture of cannabis tourism in Amsterdam, where coffeeshops let customers experience an illegal—but legally tolerated—high, fueling the local tourist culture. More than 10% of Amsterdam's workforce is employed in the tourism industry, which is directly dependent on weed tourism. More than 20 million tourists, largely from the European Union, pour into Amsterdam every year; Dutch bank ABN Amro estimates that, if weed tourism is lost, the city stands to lose up to $10 billion in revenue every year. But, as Germany steps up to become the first European nation to legalize recreational marijuana, the Netherlands' policy of tolerating illegal cannabis consumption will appear far inferior to the German alternative next door, diverting billions every year to Germany.

A study led by Heinrich Heine University found that legalizing cannabis would increase tax revenues for the German state by nearly $4 billion, and it would reduce spending in the law enforcement system by $1.5 billion per year. It would also create 27,000 new jobs. Even more so, as more countries edge towards legalization of Marijuana, it would give Germany a leg-up in the inevitable upcoming battle to control a budding global market where Germany will be the only E.U nation with an existing supply and regulatory systems. 

Neighbouring Luxembourg has also introduced a legalisation bill, but passage is not guaranteed. On the other side of the ocean, Mexico has also been on the verge of national legalization after a Supreme Court order legalizing marijuana, but Mexican lawmakers have delayed the process far longer than expected. In this way, Germany, Luxembourg and Mexico are all in line to snatch the title of the third countries to legalize marijuana.

Nowadays, more and more people are rise awareness on marijuana, attracted by its benefits and try to use it. The better way is to legalize it and give clear instruction. It's a personal opinion that rising people's health awareness is better than the forbidden.


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