The Union parliamentary group in the Bundestag hopes to be able to stop the traffic light coalition’s cannabis law, which was approved by the Bundesrat and remains highly controversial. Your health policy representative Tino Sorge appealed to Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier not to sign it.

“The law should be stopped for the time being after the chaotic debate of the last few weeks. It is not too late for that,” said the CDU politician to the Editorial Network Germany (RND). “We appeal to the Federal President not to sign the cannabis law. The unanimous criticism from all the justice and interior ministers of the federal states is too great.”

Haseloff expects changes

Saxony-Anhalt’s Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff assumes that the law will be changed again. It will certainly be on the agenda again in the Federal Council in the next few months, said the CDU politician in the evening on the ARD program “Report from Berlin”. “Simply because reality forces us to do so,” added Haseloff. “I don’t think it will stay like this for long,” predicted the Prime Minister.

The Federal Council passed the cannabis legalization law passed by the Bundestag on Friday. Despite a lot of criticism, there was no majority in the state chamber to call the mediation committee of the Bundestag and Bundesrat and thus slow down the law. This allows the possession and cultivation of the drug by adults with numerous requirements for personal consumption – a turning point in German drug policy.

Federal President reviews laws from a constitutional perspective

The reform can therefore come into force on Easter Monday. However, it must first be signed by Steinmeier and officially announced. The Federal President essentially examines laws to see whether they have been drawn up in accordance with the provisions of the Basic Law. According to the prevailing legal opinion, he is also entitled, within narrow limits, to a substantive right of review. He can then refuse to sign a law if its content clearly violates the Basic Law.

So far, according to the Federal President’s Office, there have only been eight cases in which the head of state refused to sign a law. In the heated dispute over cannabis legalization, the question of the law’s possible unconstitutionality played no role.

The chairmen of the CDU/CSU factions in the German state parliaments, the German Bundestag and the CDU/CSU group in the EPP faction had already called on the head of state at the beginning of March to refuse to sign. They justified this by saying that, in their view, legalization violates international and European law. The federal government, on the other hand, is of the opinion that the model adopted is permissible.

Lauterbach partially defends liberalization

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach defended the partial liberalization. “The current drug policy has definitely failed when it comes to cannabis,” said the SPD politician on WDR television. “We have seen a doubling of consumption among 18 to 25 year olds, 50 percent more among 12 to 17 year olds in the last ten years.” The government wants to accompany the move with a prevention campaign and argues that the black market can be pushed back through partial liberalization.

NRW Interior Minister Reul “stunned”

The Interior Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Herbert Reul (CDU), contradicted this assessment. “Do you believe that those who are involved in organized crime in the drug trade say: Okay, now we give up, now we won’t do anything anymore?” said the CDU politician on the ARD “Tagesthemen”. “They will find new ways. They will offer stronger doses, they will offer different prices on the market.”

Reul also expressed doubts about the controllability of the new rules, which should take effect in just a few days. He said he was “stunned.” “I’ve never seen someone stumble into a law like that.” Apparently there is a government at work in Berlin “that has to get something done at all costs.”

Ramelow: “Rubbly relationship” between the federal and state governments

Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (Left) told the editorial network Germany that the Union states should not give the impression that the risk of addiction is now increasing because of cannabis legalization. “It was always there. Decriminalization must be the starting point for us to take care of addiction prevention and for us to take away business from criminal structures.”

At the same time, the left-wing politician called for better participation of the states in legislative processes by the federal government – because it is the states that are concerned with enforcement and implementation. “We’re currently experiencing a pretty rocky relationship between the federal and state governments – even before the cannabis law. That’s not good.”