To: Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany
From: Drug Policy Association (Verein für Drogenpolitik)
Word count: 1768 including intext
Leaving the moral ‘high’ grounds Towards
a regulated legalization of
cannabis in Germany
At first glance, German drug policy seems quite progressive: Drug abuse is treated as a health
and social issue and there is a strong focus on prevention through education. However,
Germany is still a staunch supporter of the current prohibition regime and is committed to the
aim of a “drug free society”. As such, tackling the supply side of the drug trade is still an
important pillar of German drug policy, which leads to a number of adjacent problems
(International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, 2009).
In order to reduce drugrelated
harm, better combat international drug trafficking and to allocate
public resources more efficiently, Germany should opt for a regulated legalization of cannabis.
(1) Legalize the production and sale of cannabis through a government controlled licensing
(2) Impose strict rules on the legal market to better protect public health
According to the Epidemiological Survey on Addiction (2012) cannabis consumption is a
pervasive phenomenon in Germany. 26,7% of Germans between the ages of 1864
have used illicit drugs at least once in their lives, cannabis being by far the most common.The
same study also showed that 60% of respondents were in favour of a decriminalization of the
personal use of cannabis, which constitutes a clear discrepancy between public opinion and
legislative practice. The prosecution of small scale offenders costs the German state between
€3.7 and €4.6 billion a year, excluding social costs, and diverts away funds and personnel from
investigations targeting large drug syndicates (Hardinghaus, 2013). Indeed, Germany’s location
in the center of Europe makes her an important hub in international drug trafficking and the
country has seen a steady increase in organized crime over the past years (International
Narcotics Control Strategy Report, 2009).
Considering the above, it is clear that the current drug policy is failing. It continues to stigmatize
drug addicts, it disproportionately targets minorities and socially disadvantaged groups and
leaves control a over multibillion
Euro market to organized criminals.
While potentially all drugs are dangerous, only a fraction of marijuana users displays signs of
problematic use; The majority are otherwise lawabiding
citizens. Until today there are no
recorded incidents of deaths resulting from marijuana overdoses and the drug is generally not
associated with violence, unlike alcohol, which is legally available. (Nadelmann, 2013).
A popular misconception regarding the legalisation of drugs is that it entails a complete
liberalisation of the drug markets and a carte blanche for completely unrestricted drug use.