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Bavaria’s Health Minister Increases Efforts To Try To Prevent German Legalization

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Earlier this month we reported that Germany’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) was seeking an ‘expert opinion’ to help with his European Union legalization lobbying push. Minister Lauterbach mentioned as part of his formal presentation to the federal cabinet in Germany back in October that prior to formally introducing a legalization measure he would seek the European Union’s approval to proceed.

At first it seemed to be a bit unclear as to why exactly an expert opinion would be incorporated into the lobbying effort, however, this week Bavaria’s Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU) announced that he too would be seeking an expert opinion as part of his opposition push, which doesn’t seem like a coincidence. Minister Holetschek has emerged as the leading domestic voice against the Traffic Light Coalition’s legalization plan.

In his latest attempt to try to derail the legalization effort Minister Holetschek will commission an expert opinion from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Per Nordbayern:

Bavaria’s Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU) wants to have the federal government’s plans for cannabis legalization examined with a legal opinion. “Despite major health risks and legal concerns, the traffic light coalition has so far stuck to its plans. That’s why I commissioned a legal opinion to clarify the international and European legal limits of cannabis legalization in Germany,” said Holetschek. His goal is to objectify the debate.

Bernhard Wegener, Chair of Public Law and European Law at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, has been commissioned to draft the report. The report should be available by the end of February 2023.

Minister Holetschek may be the leading voice against legalization, however, he is not the only one to speak out against current German reform efforts. North Rhine-Westphalian Minister of the Interior, Herbert Reul, has also spoken out against legalization in recent days.

In an interview this week with Frankfurter Allgemeine, Minister Reul described the Traffic Light Coalition’s adult-use legalization plan as being “insane” and stated in the interview, “I dread legalization.” Comments were translated from German to English.

What is not being talked about among cannabis opponents in Germany, at least not in good faith, is the harms of cannabis prohibition. Cannabis prohibition is exponentially more harmful than any ‘social costs’ related to legalization. Canada and Uruguay are proving that in real time, and soon Malta likely will as well.