Well, finally it’s progressing. When the coalition was formed, it was already clear that the legalization of cannabis in Germany would become a traffic light issue. That was previously unthinkable, because both Marlene Mortler and Daniela Ludwig held the office of drug commissioner of the federal government, but had as little knowledge as one could possibly have of cannabis, its effects and possible harm. Sentences like “Cannabis is forbidden because it is an illegal drug” (Mortler) or “Cannabis is not broccoli” (Ludwig) are legendary.

These dark times could end soon, even if the key issues paper, which the “Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland” (RND) reported on October 19, was not “coordinated” according to a spokesman for Minister of Health Lauterbach and there was still “considerable need for clarification”. . At least there seems to be a direction given that the government had planned to present a draft law at the end of the year. Accordingly, it can be assumed that the design has already been intensively discussed.

So let’s assume that the criteria mentioned for legalization in Germany roughly correspond to what the government imagines as legalization. This would mean that in the future, anyone over the age of 18 would be able to buy and possess up to 20 grams of cannabis. Even growing up to two plants would be allowed. But: The THC content may be a maximum of 15 percent, for people under the age of 21 even only ten percent. The sale should take place in licensed shops and pharmacies, the sales outlets must be kept at a distance from schools, children’s and youth facilities and there is a ban on advertising. So much for the key points.

No wonder Health Minister Karl Lauterbach says that this paper is not final. Because it is full of holes, inconsistent and, above all, widely subordinated to other drugs such as alcohol. It also fuels the black market—or at least doesn’t curb it.

Unsurprisingly, criticism comes from all sides. The German Hemp Association writes: “A THC limit of 15% excludes a large part of the currently existing market for hashish. Concentrates are completely excluded. The THC limit of 10% for adults up to the age of 21 completely misses reality. The proposed The possession limit of 20 grams is not very practical for people in rural areas. The DHV continues to fear police checks and criminal proceedings for people who are found with slightly higher quantities.” The association also thinks very little of the plans for the extension.

But criticism comes not only from those who have been fighting for legalization for years. The deputy FDP chairman Johannes Vogel has also spoken out against excessively strict regulations for cannabis legalization. He rightly told the Tagesspiegel: “We don’t regulate how many bottles of wine someone is allowed to have at home.”

And the solution lies precisely in this comparison: Cannabis should be completely decriminalized, free of any limitations or upper limits and freely available for sale via a professional distribution structure for adults. It doesn’t really matter whether this happens in the style of American dispensaries or Dutch coffee shops.

A realistic assessment of the possible dangers is much more important than the design of the sales strategy – here the comparison to alcohol helps. Just because you can theoretically buy drinks that put your body out of action within a short time at every gas station (you know, where you usually drive by car) doesn’t mean that’s the norm. But it is part of a free society to be able to decide exactly that. Why double standards are used on the part of the ministries and the thumbscrews are tightened to a maximum before the first sale of cannabis can only be explained by cultural blindness. That’s not rational.

Should legalization be enforced in a form similar to that described in the alleged key points paper, absolutely nothing will change in Germany with regard to the really important things. The limitations will ensure that the black market continues to boom. It will also be up to the executive to decide whether someone is following the rules to the letter or whether 21 grams is far too much.

Again: If the sale of cannabis in any form and intensity were allowed tomorrow, Germany would perhaps disappear under a cloud of haze for a short time, but as soon as the initial euphoria has dissipated, cannabis will become what it ultimately is: a stimulant in countless numbers exciting characteristics, with many forms of action and with significantly less severe consequences if you overdo it. Important: This is not about long-term abuse in large quantities, which can be dangerous. Nobody talks about that when it comes to alcohol.

The federal government does not help with self-protection when it comes to alcohol – why does it want to do it with hemp? It would be better: just let it be done. There is abuse in one way or another – but a lot of evil could be avoided through certified and unlimited trading. So it’s a good thing that Lauterbach claims that the key points have not been agreed. This gives a second chance to do it right – after what escaped from the ministry immediately met with justified criticism.