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Germany To Legalize Cannabis Sales — A Move That Could Bring $3.85B In Annual Tax Revenue

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By Nina Zdinjak

Germany might be the next country in Europe to legalize adult-use cannabis. This October, Luxembourg gave the green light to legal cannabis cultivation for personal use, and now Germany is about to decriminalize certain sale and consumption rules through an important drug policy change being undertaken by the ruling coalition government, reported Express.

The political coalition, dubbed “traffic light” and comprised of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Greens, is pushing to legalize cannabis sales.

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Photo by Stefan Widua via Unsplash

“We are introducing the controlled distribution of cannabis to adults for recreational purposes in licensed shops,” a representative of the working group with an assignment to assess the policy change said, according to Der Spiegel, also citing a report by Funke.

RELATED: How A ‘Dumb Scare’ About Heroin Could Lead To Legal Cannabis In Germany

Furthermore, the report reveals the policy, led by Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor-in-waiting, will be reexamined after four years to evaluate its social effects.

Germany decriminalized medical cannabis some four years ago, and now analyses from the Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) at the Dusseldorf Heinrich Heine University suggest that a fully legal cannabis market could bring Germany around €3.4 billion ($3.85 billion) in tax revenue.

RELATED: Germany Seeks To Decriminalize Minimum Possession Of Weed And Import Jamaican Bud

What’s more, it would save roughly €1.3 billion annually for the judicial system. According to the same survey, the legal cannabis market in Germany would open 27,000 new jobs.

Considering Germany’s population of nearly 84 million, legalization would create one huge cannabis market.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.



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Canna Law Blog

BREAKING: City of Seattle Decriminalizes Psychedelics

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In a continuing trend across the country whereby cities are taking steps to decriminalize the possession of certain amounts of all kinds of psychedelics, Seattle joined the herd this week by voting to formalize the non-prosecution of the possession of certain entheogens, commonly known as psychedelics. We were especially gratified to see the results of the vote, as John Rapp and Mason Marks from our office have been working hard on this behind the scenes.

Resolution 32021 passed on Monday (see the actual ordinance here), and it basically renders as one of the lowest “law enforcement priorities” the “investigation, arrest, and prosecution of anyone engaging in entheogen-related activities.” More specifically, the ordinance states that:

“. . . the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of anyone engaging in entheogen-related activities, including but not limited to the cultivation of entheogens for use in religious, spiritual, healing, or personal growth practices and the sharing of entheogens with co-practitioners without financial or other consideration, should be among the City of Seattle’s lowest enforcement priorities.”

Almost more importantly, the Council openly indicates in the ordinance its full support behind decriminalization of the foregoing activities and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Relations to add to its 2022 agenda full decriminalization of psychedelics under state law.

psychedelics
Photo by eskymaks/Getty Images

Right now in Seattle, the Seattle Police Department (SPD)’s current enforcement practice with respect to entheogens is “. . . neither to detain nor arrest individuals, nor to confiscate these substances from individuals, solely for suspected violations or violations of [Washington’s Controlled Substances Act].” Nonetheless, this ordinance means that SPD will formally codify this “non-enforcement” practice, including actually formalizing protections from arrest, prosecution, etc. for those individuals who “. . . cultivate entheogens for use in religious, spiritual, healing, or personal growth practices and those who share entheogens with others, without financial or other consideration”. The Council expects SPD to fully commit to non-enforcement by reporting back to it on the status of non-enforcement efforts, including producing a timeline for completion of the institutionalization of those efforts.

RELATED: Drug Decriminalization Vs. Legalization — Here’s The Difference

Just like all of the other cities that are embracing decriminalization, it’s important to note that any commercial activity around psychedelics in Seattle is expressly prohibited. As we previously wrote regarding other similar decrim measures on the local level:

“[e]ach of these decriminalization measures is different, but fundamentally they are the same in that they do not actually make psychedelics legal. All they really do is direct law enforcement in those cities to make enforcement of existing criminal laws a low priority, and only then for non-commercial possession and use. Decriminalization measures don’t change state or federal law, and even don’t really change local law.”

Ordinance 32021 is not that different from these other local level “decrim lite” ordinances that we’ve seen come out of other cities. It’s a bit better in that, because Seattle is so very influential in what happens in the state’s capitol (Olympia), there’s a solid chance that the state will engage in full-scale decriminalization in the near future. To boot, as first reported in late 2020, Washington is also flirting with the legalization of psilocybin through the people’s ballot initiative process for 2022 (similar to what Oregon did in 2020). Washington is obviously no stranger to being a first mover in emerging industries– after all, it legalized cannabis back in 2021 along with Colorado, which was huge at the time.

RELATED: Michigan State Senators Introduce Bill To Decriminalize Psychedelics

In the end, Seattle’s current entheogen ordinance is a major path forward to getting bigger change on the state level towards legalization and commercialization. So, stay tuned!

Hilary Bricken is a partner at Harris Bricken. This story was originally published on the Canna Law Blog and reposted with permission.



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Michigan State Senators Introduce Bill To Decriminalize Psychedelics

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By Maureen Meehan

Michigan Senators Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) and Adam Hollier (D-Detroit) co-sponsored and introduced legislation last week that would decriminalize the use of psilocybin and mescaline and allow the possession, cultivation and delivery of these two types of psychedelics.

In an interview with the Michigan Advance, Irwin contended that psychedelics provide several benefits and that continued prohibition was a waste of time and resources.

psychedelics
Photo by Merlin lightpainting from Pexels

“These substances have medicinal value, they have religious significance and they have a very low propensity for abuse,” Irwin said. “And so that’s why I’m proposing to decriminalize the substance because it really makes no sense to spend any time or money arresting people and turning their lives upside down.”

Recent Advances In Decriminalization: The Ann Arbor City Council passed a resolution in September 2020 decriminalizing the use of psychedelics. In Grand Rapids, a vote is coming up this year to decriminalize the use, possession, growing or gifting of psychoactive plants and fungi.

RELATED: Will Cannabis Entrepreneurs Switch To Psychedelics?

What’s In The Current Bill? Irwin said his proposed legislation would build off of decriminalization efforts in Ann Arbor and other communities to ensure no one is criminally penalized for utilizing psychedelics. He added that the bill would contribute to efforts to reverse the effects of the War on Drugs, which has disproportionately affected communities of color since the 1970s when federal restrictions on psychedelics went into effect.

“There are efforts in other communities across the state to decriminalize these substances and to stop wasting any police resource [and] turning people’s lives upside down over it,” Irwin said. “I’m really proud to be kind of starting up this conversation at the state level of why is it that we’re continuing to engage this fail in government policy of prohibition? Why are we continuing to prosecute the war on drugs in ways that don’t help us and lead to mass incarceration?”

No Medicinal Properties? Researchers Beg To Differ: Like cannabis, psychedelics are classified as a Schedule-1 drug with “no currently accepted medical use and “potential for abuse.”

First Study On Microdosing Psychedelics Underway And You Can Participate
Photo by Nathaniel Paluga, Wikimedia user Drpaluga

However, numerous studies currently underway have shown that psychedelics are indeed helping patients with crippling mental illnesses such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and addictions.

RELATED: Women More Likely To Use Psychedelics Than Men — Here’s Why

Research institutions such as John Hopkins University and the University of California, Berkeley, have also recently opened centers dedicated to psychedelic research.

Irwin emphasized that the legislation would rid people of having to choose between prioritizing their health and safety, or following the law.

“Fixing that for those people and giving our institutions an opportunity to research and learn more about why these substances work for some people can be a great benefit to many people who are struggling with mental illness,” Irwin said.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.



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Mexico Decriminalizes Recreational Cannabis – Latest Cannabis News Today

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Imagine relaxing on the beaches of Mexico and being able to legally smoke a joint. If that sounds awesome to you, get ready for some good news. The laws against recreational cannabis in Mexico got struck down on Monday. Pretty soon, you might be able to order more than a beer at the bar. Just don’t go lighting up yet! Here’s what you need to know about the regulations for recreational cannabis in Mexico.

Before Decriminalization

On Monday, the use of recreational cannabis was completely banned in Mexico. Before that, you had to petition the court for an individual injunction to grow and consume your own plants. The first injunctions were granted to four applicants back in 2015 and that was just the beginning. After granting more injunctions, the courts ordered the need for the creation of a legal cannabis market. The order came in 2017 but due to the multiple extensions needed, Congress has made little progress. 

Recreational Cannabis in Mexico Today

If you want to use recreational cannabis in Mexico, you can now apply for a permit from The Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS). The costs relating to the application have not been announced but hopefully, it will be less than the previous alternative, a court injunction. If granted, a permit would allow the holder to:

  • Grow up the eight plants
  • Possess and transport up to twenty-eight grams of dried flower
  • Personal consumption in private

Without a permit, it is illegal to carry more than five grams of dried cannabis flower. Consuming cannabis in public or in the presence of minors remains illegal and there is no mention of the use of cannabis edibles, topicals, or extracts.

Going Forward

There is a positive outlook towards the future of recreational cannabis in Mexico but activists say it’s not enough. Zara Snapp, co-founder of the think tank Instituto RIA made a statement, “This is a step forward for the rights of cannabis users, but there’s still work to be done in congress to be able to regulate the market in a socially just way.” Supporters of this law hope that decriminalization will reduce drug-related violence. Unfortunately, it might just be a bit too late because the cartels today don’t care about cannabis; hard drugs, kidnapping, and extortion are much more lucrative.

Would you like to smoke weed down in Mexico? What are your thoughts on these legal changes? We want to hear your opinion! Share it with us in the comments or on our social media.

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