Legalization: Federal Council vote on cannabis still uncertain

Legalization: Federal Council vote on cannabis still uncertain

The Bundestag has decided on a controlled release of cannabis on April 1st. But first the Federal Council has the say. A tremor is emerging.

When it comes to the controversial cannabis legalization, there are still no clear majorities for the vote in the Federal Council this Friday. Several states did not initially decide publicly whether they wanted to stop the law passed by the Bundestag and send it to the mediation committee. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) wants to avert this in order to avoid the feared complete blockage of the project in a mediation process. The CSU regional group leader in the Bundestag, Alexander Dobrindt, made it clear on Tuesday that he wanted to work towards stopping the entire law.

Dobrindt said in Berlin that if it ends up in the mediation committee, “we will not work to change this law in any way, but our fundamental rejection will remain.” He added: “It would be desirable if this law never came out of the mediation committee again.”

Lauterbach made it clear on Monday that he wanted to fight throughout the week to ensure that there was no appeal to the mediation committee. In view of statements from Union-led countries that they would delay or sabotage the consultation there, the law would ultimately die. Lauterbach announced a protocol statement in the Federal Council to address some of the states’ concerns. The law does not require approval, but the Federal Council could call the mediation committee with the Bundestag and slow down the process.

The Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, Malu Dreyer (SPD), does not expect the law to fail. Her country will not call the mediation committee, she said in Mainz. The SPD-governed Saarland wants to speak out in favor of this, as government spokesman Julian Lange said when asked. Thuringia will probably not vote for the mediation committee, but will probably abstain on this issue, as Environment Minister Bernhard Stengele (Greens) said.

Haseloff: Law cannot be implemented like this

Saxony-Anhalt is tending to send the law to the mediation committee. All three coalition partners currently see a need for action, said Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU) in Magdeburg. The head of government, who leads an alliance with the SPD and FDP, emphasized that the law cannot be implemented in this way. The mediation committee must at least deal with deadlines and old cases. The state government will only decide on Friday at short notice how Saxony-Anhalt will ultimately behave. Until then, discussions would continue.

The Saxon coalition of the CDU, Greens and SPD remains divided on the issue. Health Minister Petra Köpping (SPD) announced that her party was against calling the mediation committee. Because the CDU has a fundamentally different opinion and does not want the entire law. The non-approval means that Saxony will abstain from the Bundesrat. Lauterbach promised her to include three points in the protocol statement: improving prevention, reducing quantities and increasing the distance to daycare centers and schools.

According to the law passed by the Bundestag, the cultivation of the drug and the possession of certain quantities with numerous requirements should be permitted for adults for their own consumption from April 1st. Concerns have been raised by the federal states, among other things, about a planned amnesty for old cases that would no longer be punishable under the new law. There are fears that the judiciary will be overburdened by the resulting case reviews.

Source: Stern

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