Left calls for the introduction of cannabis clubs

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The left calls for the establishment of cannabis clubs

The left has made another attempt to legalize cannabis. In a corresponding application, which will be the subject of a Bundestag hearing tomorrow, the party demands that so-called cannabis clubs should be introduced, which are allowed to grow cannabis for its members. The Left Party's proposal is largely portrayed as "absurd" in the German media landscape, although such clubs are now successfully operated in the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain with the approval or tolerance of the authorities.

According to the left, a rethink in drug policy is urgently needed. The criminalization of cannabis must end and a new debate about the drug policy course in Germany must be held. To this end, the party proposes the introduction of cannabis clubs to give its members legal access to cannabis.

Cannabis clubs to grow hemp "We want to get rid of the demonization" of cannabis, the drug policy spokesman for the Left Bundestag faction, Frank Tempel, told the news agency "dpa" about his party's current venture. The left believes that cannabis cultivation should be allowed in cannabis clubs, with the facilities supposed to do the cannabis cultivation for their members without commercial interest. "The required expertise" for the cultivation of hemp in cannabis clubs "has to be proven by the board of the association", the left discusses in her application. According to the party, decriminalization is also intended to advance education, protection of minors and prevention. If all the money saved in criminal prosecution through the legalization of cannabis were instead put into risk education and protection of minors, this would probably actually achieve a significant reduction in consumers in the long term. The establishment of cannabis clubs could also make a significant contribution to combating the black market. Generally, the left should hold 30 grams of dried cannabis.

200,000 people with problematic cannabis use In Germany, the federal drug commissioner shows that around 200,000 people show problematic cannabis use. The total number of users is in the millions. While consumption is legal, cultivation, possession and transfer remain illegal to this day, which means that consumers are always on the edge of legality or illegality. For this reason, both the left and Alliance 90 / The Greens have been calling for a reform of drug policy for years. Various forms of legalization have been discussed, but so far both the Union and the FDP have strictly rejected the release of cannabis. The drug policy spokeswoman for the FDP parliamentary group, Christine Aschenberg-Dugnus, also said in relation to the current application from the left to the news agency "dpa" that she "doesn't believe in cannabis clubs at all."

SPD with reservations towards cannabis clubs The SPD has so far been extremely ambivalent about the legalization of cannabis. The drug policy spokeswoman for the SPD parliamentary group, Angelika Graf, emphasized the "dpa" that she "has a whole series of reservations" about the establishment of the cannabis club. For example, Graf criticized that the clubs' access to cultivated cannabis can hardly be restricted to members. However, the SPD politician also said that a reform for pure consumers is necessary. "We should think about it a little," because it makes little sense that the maximum amounts to be carried with impunity vary between six and 15 grams of cannabis possession in the federal states.

German Hemp Association welcomes the application from the left
Georg Wurth from the German Hemp Association, who is invited tomorrow as an expert in the hearing in the German Bundestag, welcomed the initiative by the left in a first statement. "Cannabis growing clubs have many advantages. Consumers are finally no longer being followed and are safe from dangerous excipients, the black market is being pushed back. The clubs no longer smoke a gram, but the supply would be more sensibly regulated." Wurth pointed out that cannabis clubs had long been introduced in neighboring European countries. In addition to Holland, there are also such clubs in Spain or Belgium. There are currently over 200 clubs with several thousand members operating in close cooperation with the government. Only people over the age of 18 are admitted. There is currently such a club in Belgium with around 150
Members who are now at least tolerated by the authorities. In Germany, the discussion must now also be pushed forward.

Another discussion about the legalization of cannabis A renewed discussion about the legalization of cannabis seems to be justified against the background of the latest medical knowledge about possible health impairments from cannabis use. In early January, US researchers published the results of a long-term study in the journal "Journal of the American Medical Association", which show that regular cannabis use of about one joint a day does not negatively affect lung function - but may even improve it . In addition, cannabis use in Germany is declining anyway, according to the 2011 drug report by the Federal Drugs Commissioner. For example, a representative survey by the Federal Center for Health Education showed that the proportion of young people who have tried cannabis at least once in their life has increased from the highest level in 2004 (15.1 percent) to 7.4 percent a year Fell in 2010. (fp)

Read on:
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Cannabis medication allowed in Germany
Researchers recommend cannabis for cancer
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Photo credit: Henning Hraban Ramm / pixelio.de

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