German Chancellor Olaf Scholz Supports Cannabis Reform Despite Not Being A Consumer
People do not need to be cannabis consumers in order to recognize the harms of cannabis prohibition and the benefits of cannabis policy modernization. An example of that can be found in recent comments made by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Chancellor Scholz made it clear that he has “never” consumed cannabis, “not even a single puff.”
Yet, despite refraining from consuming cannabis, Chancellor Scholz expressed his direct support for Germany’s current cannabis policy modernization effort, describing it as “doing exactly the right thing.” Chancellor Scholz’s comments were made during an interview with the German TV stations Sat.1 and ProSieben.
Chancellor Scholz’s position on cannabis reform highlights that modernizing cannabis policies does not just benefit cannabis consumers and entrepreneurs. Cannabis prohibition is a failed public policy that wastes enormous amounts of limited public resources; resources that would be better allocated to many other things such as schools and infrastructure.
The recent comments made by Chancellor Scholz are not unique. At least one other policymaker, United States Congressman Earl Blumenauer, proudly supports cannabis reform despite having never consumed cannabis during his lifetime. Cannabis legalization is sensible public policy, and it’s refreshing to hear sitting lawmakers stating as much.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s comments come in the midst of a historic push in Germany to update the nation’s cannabis policies. Medical cannabis is already permitted in Germany, however, many suffering patients still do not have safe access for various reasons.
The German plan in its current form involves essentially three phases for legalization. The first, which was recently approved by Germany’s federal cabinet as previously mentioned, would legalize personal cultivation, possession, and use along with permitting noncommercial cannabis clubs.
Components of the first phase, which were largely driven by restrictive conversations at the European Union level, have received pushback from advocates inside and outside of Germany. Members of the Bundestag have already expressed a strong desire to make changes to the phase one plan, and only time will tell if they are successful in doing so.