Approaching legalization of cannabis in Germany?

To repeat: what is cannabis?

Cannabis is an Indian hemp plant. From this substances are produced that have a intoxicating effect can have on people. The state of intoxication arises due to the psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) contained in the plant.

According to the Narcotics Act (BtMG), cannabis is a in Germany illegal addictive substance. In Annex I of the BtMG, cannabis is defined as “marijuana, plants and plant parts of the plant belonging to the cannabis genus”. The dried and crushed flowers and leaves of the plant are called marijuana (grass), while the cannabis resin is called hashish (dope).

In addition to THC, cannabis also contains the ingredient cannabidiol (CBD). The single substance is not an addictive substance. Therefore, this is considered harmless and is consequently not included in the Narcotics Act. However, CBD is usually not available as a single substance. Since this ingredient belongs to the hemp plant from which the above-described addictive substances are made, CBD in combination with other active ingredients is also subject to the Narcotics Act.


Current legal situation

The Federal Constitutional Court classified the social and individual effects as well as psychological consequences of the consumption of the narcotic cannabis as low as early as 1994 (see BVerfG, decision of 09.03.1994 – 2 BvL 43/92 et al., No. 25, 26). Nevertheless, according to Annex I of the Narcotics Act, cannabis is one of the not marketable substances.

There are some in the Narcotics Act Criminal offensesrelated to cannabis and other intoxicants. That’s how it is Cultivation, manufacture and any activities related to the trade in the narcotic as well as the Acquisition and possession such an agent is banned and used with one Imprisonment or a fine punished (§§ 29 ff. BtMG). In addition to the criminal law consequences of the BtMG, however, other consequences of consumption, possession, trade, etc. must also be considered. For example, participation in road traffic under the influence of narcotics is one Criminal offense and administrative offense. The withdrawal of the driver’s license, a driving ban or the payment of a fine as a result of the trade are conceivable.

Of the Use of cannabis is, however, under German law as self-injurious behavior and is therefore exempt from punishment, provided that there are no actions taken under the influence of the drug that are to be punished. Therefore can Refrain from prosecution for possession of a small amount of cannabis. Among other things, this only applies if the property is used for personal use. The amount that can be described as low in this context depends on the federal state and the applicable border there.

It should also be noted that since 2017 the Prescription of the drug in pharmaceutical grade is possible, provided this serves a medical purpose. However, any conditions of drug and narcotics law must be taken into account.

For more information, check out our Drug and Narcotics Criminal Lawyer article.


The current debate about the legalization of cannabis

Cannabis is banned in most of the world. However, there is a change in this regard. So is the possession of a greater amount of the The drug is now legal in some countries. In Germany too, the The legalization of the narcotic is discussed more and more frequently. In the following, we will objectively explain to you which arguments speak for and against legalization.

While the use of the intoxicant is now under certain conditions and within the framework of a medical treatment is legal, there has been no expansion of permitted actions so far. The argument here is based on the consequences associated with legalization. In particular, the Protection of children and young people stressed. For adolescents, cannabis use significant health consequences entail. Studies show that the use of the drug during the physical development phase of an adolescent and as a result of the ongoing brain development can lead to changes in the structure of the brain. This would also affect the performance of the person. Early and intensive use of the drug can also lead to psychosis. This is especially true for people who are already burdened. Therefore, should legalization come about, the condition of an age limit should be linked to this.

Prohibiting the trade in contaminated substances speaks in favor of legalizing the drug. Currently, cannabis can be mixed with other substances that can have a higher potential for addiction or other health consequences. Because currently it is Quality of cannabis illegally placed on the market cannot be controlledso that the consumer does not know exactly what he is consuming. In the context of legalization, however, the market would be regulatable. Likewise, through a controllable market, the Access for young people restricted will. Also in the course of this would be a better or more targeted education about the remedy and its effects possible.

On the other hand, there would be the possibility of creating a wrong impression with children and adolescents. The curiosity to try the drug, as adults do, could create a problem with the consequences described above. The complete containment of the illegal market is not guaranteed will. It shows that other countries, despite legalization and the controlled sale of the drug, still have to tackle the illegal trade.

The experience gained in other countries with the legalization of cannabis use and possession varies. While some countries have created a clear framework for implementing legalization and have thus had rather positive experiences, other countries have not been able to determine any change in consumer behavior.

Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte will be happy to keep you informed about the development of the debate in Germany. If a change in the applicable legal situation is recognizable, we will inform you via our website. If you have any further questions about the current regulations, please contact our lawyers. Please contact us today.


Company foundation and legal production of cannabis in Germany

So far, the existing demand for cannabis for medical purposes in Germany has largely been covered by imports. The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) founded the Federal Cannabis Agency. This is for the Control of cultivation, harvest and any subsequent operations responsible. The cannabis agency does not carry out the processing steps itself. Rather, the plants are cultivated by selected and responsible bodies commissioned companies. In this way, the first legal harvest in Germany was carried out in June of this year.

Our lawyers are happy to support you in founding a company specializing in the production of cannabis. To the need for the legal cultivation of cannabis permit of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) We go through your visions and goals and explain your options to you relevant requests, check the Compliance with all regulations and are also happy to advise you in many other steps.


Legal support with Schlun & Elseven

The information provided in this post is of a general nature. The legal team at Schlun & Elseven will be happy to provide you with legal advice.

Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte is a multidisciplinary law firm. With offices in Cologne, Aachen and Düsseldorf as well as conference rooms in Hamburg, Berlin, Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Munich, we are active nationwide and are always there for you. Our lawyers advise you in German, English and other languages. Call us, send us an email or use our online form – we will be happy to give you an overview of your options as part of an initial assessment.