The debate about the legalization of cannabis is also about identifying model regions in which controlled distribution of the drug is to be tested. Resistance to the project comes from North Rhine-Westphalia.
After Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia now also wants to stop the legalization of cannabis. The Ministry of Health in Düsseldorf is “fundamentally” opposed to the approval of model projects, said the spokeswoman for North Rhine-Westphalia’s Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU) of the “Rheinische Post” (Wednesday edition) published in Düsseldorf. An important reason is “the dangers of cannabis-related brain damage in young adults up to the age of 25”.
In addition, the federal government has not yet presented a solution as to how the planned model regions are compatible with applicable international and European law, the ministry spokeswoman added. Bavaria’s Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU) had previously sharply criticized the traffic light coalition’s plans for cannabis legalization in model regions.
Various NRW cities are interested in the cannabis model region
After Cologne and Münster, however, other cities in North Rhine-Westphalia have expressed an interest in becoming a model region. Bonn is generally positive about this, the spokesman for the city of Bonn told the “Rheinische Post”.
Düsseldorf also does not rule out participation as a cannabis model region: However, “a clear legal situation is required” for a well-founded decision as to whether the state capital will participate in regional model projects, said the spokeswoman for Düsseldorf of the “Rheinische Post”. The federal political framework is still very vague.
The federal government wants to partially legalize cannabis later this year. According to the will of the traffic light coalition, the possession of 25 grams of cannabis for personal use should remain unpunished in the future. The plans envisage a state-controlled levy via associations and private cultivation of up to three plants. In a second step, sales via licensed specialist shops are to be tested in model regions.
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