Germany is a western European country rich with history and culture. One very notable aspect of German culture is the event of Oktoberfest which serves an average of 7.7 million liters of Oktoberfest beers each year. Despite this love for alcohol, there is another love of the German people—and it’s not sauerkraut or sausages—it’s cannabis. Approximately three million Germans smoke marijuana on a regular basis and legislature around the country reflects the ideals of each state. While some states completely uphold prohibition, some have decriminalized it. There is movement—it’s just happening veeerrry sloooowlly.
A lonely star in the fight to end cannabis prohibition in Germany is lawmaker Joachim Pfeiffer, who has taken similar arguments from legalization in the United States and applied those concepts to German politics. He argues that despite the ban on marijuana, the use has not declined—rather, in many states the use has increased since prohibition.
Another bright light in the world of marijuana reform is Lorenz Böllinger, who is a professor of criminal law at Bremen University. Böllinger is also founder of the ‘Schildow Circle’ which now hosts 122 criminal law professors who are looking to legalize marijuana sale and possession. Böllinger is concerned that marijuana parents are being criminalized and sent through a broken criminal justice system. He also has concerns that certain issues, such as underage consumption of cannabis, dubious criminal records and the inability to obtain driver’s licenses or college degrees exist greatly because of prohibition.
The German Population
The problem with all of this is what the German people think about cannabis and reform. 65% of all Germans do not want to see marijuana laws touched while only 29 percent of people are in favor of full legalization. Perhaps most Germans are unaware of the economic benefits that legalizing cannabis would have, including many of the ones outlined by Joachim Pfeiffer.
The world is changing and we are sure that we will continue to see more legalization movements in the decade ahead. We are definitely looking forward to Germany’s movement kickstarting into gear.
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