Germany’s Federal Finance Minister Defends German Cannabis Legalization

Germany’s Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner is pushing back on cannabis opponents in Germany, particularly Saxony-Anhalt’s Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff, stating that cannabis legalization “does not lead to chaos.”

Members of Germany’s Bundestag voted in February to approve a national adult-use cannabis legalization measure. The measure was then considered by the nation’s Bundesrat this month. Members of the Bundesrat refrained from referring the measure to a mediation committee, which paved the way for the law to take effect on April 1, 2024.

Saxony-Anhalt’s Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff is part of a small group of domestic lawmakers in Germany that have tried to prevent cannabis policy modernization from happening in Europe’s largest economy and have lobbed various unfounded doomsday predictions about German legalization. It is a common tactic for opponents in jurisdictions that have adopted legalization measures.

“The focus, at least for me, is not on the right to be intoxicated. It’s about overcoming an unsatisfactory situation like we currently have – namely that millions of people consume cannabis on the black market and without any health education,” stated Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner, according to Zeit Online about opponents’ expressed concerns. “We can’t leave everything in a black or gray area. And that’s why this regulation is responsible.”

Currently, adult-use cannabis is legal in Uruguay, Canada, Malta, and Luxembourg where lawmakers have passed national measures. In all of those jurisdictions, no significant adverse impacts on society have been reported.

Conversely, legalization is achieving many predetermined goals in those jurisdictions, including reducing the burden on those countries’ taxpayers by no longer enforcing failed prohibition.

According to a 2021 report from Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf, Germany will save 1.05 billion euros annually by no longer enforcing cannabis prohibition, in addition to judiciary savings of 313 million euros per year.

German Bundesrat President Manuela Schwesig signed the nation’s legalization legislation on Wednesday, which served as the last procedural step before the law’s enactment. Starting on Monday, adults in Germany will be allowed to cultivate up to three plants in their private residences, as well as possess and consume cannabis for recreational purposes.

Additionally, cannabis will be removed from Germany’s Narcotics Law, which is going to provide a significant boost to Germany’s emerging medical cannabis program. Medical cannabis patients will be some of the biggest winners of the upcoming policy change, as it will significantly boost safe access to cannabis.

Historically, patients in Germany have had to go through the process of being approved by a physician to legally access cannabis products for medical purposes. As of April 1st, adult patients will be able to cultivate their cannabis without having to prove that they suffer from a qualifying condition, and soon, they will also be able to join a cannabis club from which to legally source their cannabis.

This article first appeared on and is syndicated here with special permission.


  • Johnny Green is the Media and Content Director for the International Cannabis Business Conference and has blogged about cannabis since January 2010.

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