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Germany says no to legalization

German cannabis reform suffered a setback with that country’s parliament rejecting a bill to allow ‘strictly controlled’ adult use marijuana.

The country’s federal parliament, the Bundeswacht, overwhelmingly rejected a proposal by the Green Party to decriminalize recreational cannabis, and all reforms are off the table for the foreseeable future.

Although most Bundeswacht members support some form of cannabis reform, the ruling centre-right Christian Democratic coalition is firmly against any liberalization right now. The Greens could not raise enough support and the proposed bill, which was defeated 487 to 136, with 80 abstaining.

The Greens couldn’t persuade their fellow-travellers, the Freedom Democratic Party, to support the bill, even though it also wants to legalize cannabis. The FDP’s Wieland Schinnenburg says the Greens want to over-regulate any legal market and that they would prefer a ‘cannabis liberty law’ instead of a ‘cannabis control law’.

This means it’s likely to be at least a year before cannabis returns to the German political agenda as federal elections are not likely for the next 12 months. The Green Party, which is rising in popularity, says it will campaign on legalizing cannabis.

Medical marijuana was legalized in Germany in 2017 and a small amount of cannabis is allowed for personal possession, but recreational cannabis remains prohibited, punishable by 2 to 5 years imprisonment.

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