Most Germans Still Oppose Cannabis Legalization

German voters are still not convinced that legalizing cannabis would be beneficial for the country.
Most Germans Still Oppose Cannabis Legalization

While Germany is slowly becoming more accepting of cannabis, like most other places in the world, most Germans of voting age still oppose legal cannabis, even if only by a slim margin.

Infratest dimap, a poll agency in Germany and a part of Hanfverband, released the results of the survey detailing opinions on legalization. Paired with the latest parliamentary vote, this may be evidence that legal cannabis may not be ready to come to the country just yet. While there are economic and medical opportunities to be gained, voters and politicians aren’t quite ready to go there. 

The survey posed the question of whether cannabis should be legal but regulated, similar to countries like Canada. The results were 51 percent “no”, and 46 percent “yes”; a tilt that shows most legal voters do not want legal cannabis. 

However, all is not totally lost, as these numbers are better than 2019. The numbers also provided some valuable information about the people who would need to be convinced in order to make cannabis legalization  reality. More women than men oppose legal cannabis in Germany, and eastern Germans are more likely to oppose cannabis legalization. Older folks are also less likely to back a change in law. 

Who Supports Legalization?

Unsurprisingly, leftist parties like the Social Democratic Party of Germany and Green parties support cannabis, while more conservative parties are against legalization, and others are on the fence. In fact, the SPD recently made headlines when it was revealed that cannabis support was becoming a reality within its ranks. 

“We see the regulated distribution of cannabis to adults in Germany as a good chance for a successful policy, ideally supported by simultaneous strengthening prevention and early intervention as well as counseling and treatment,” a paper released by the SPD noted. “Model projects, which allow different ways of regulated cannabis distribution beyond medical use, can help to find the right way.”

While Germany has had decent medical cannabis since 2017, they are one of the nations known for really holding out when it comes to full legalization, similar to the U.S. They shot down a recreational bill last October, and the country’s drug commissioner, Daniela Ludwig, is famous for saying that cannabis law will not change during her legislative period, no matter what. 

However, also similar to the U.S., it is possible that individual regions may legalize before cannabis becomes fully legal in the country

“We are convinced that local authorities must be free to decide whether or not they want to enable such model projects,” the SPD stated.

“We want to give the States the opportunity to transfer the responsibility for licensing to the local authorities, so that nothing more stands in the way of model projects for controlled cannabis distribution at local level.”

It remains to be seen what will happen in the 2021 elections, but currently, based on legislative positions and polls, it isn’t likely that legalization will pass this coming year. While the tide continues to change across the world, Germany is changing as well, albeit slowly.

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