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  1. jon-q
    (AGI) Berlin - The German party Linke has called for the legalization of drugs, including hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin.

    With a surprise vote, the majority of 221 congressional representatives from the party in Erfurt approved the request to decriminalize even hard drugs this morning, with 173 votes against and 29 abstentions. The motion presented by the party's administratioon had, instead, only requested the legalization of mild drugs such as hashish and marijuana. . .

    AGI 22nd Oct 2011



  1. salgoud
    This article is somewhat misleading or was translated wrong. In the title is has legalization then in the article it has decriminalization. I'll check out some German Newspapers and see if I can find more info.

  2. veritas.socal
    oftentimes,bro, many dont actually understand the difference between legalization(where it is totlly alright) and decriminalized (where it is not LEGAL, but either not enforced, or just civil fines, not criminal fines or time...)
  3. salgoud
    Germany's political system is a Parliamentary System somewhat like the UK. In the German system, there is 6 Political Parties that make up the Parliament. The break down is as follows:

    CDU: Christian Democracy and Liberal Conservatives
    CSU: Christian Democracy and Social Conservatives
    SPD: Social Democracy
    FDP: Classical Liberalism
    LINKE: Democratic Socialism
    GRUNE: Green Politics

    The CDU, CSU and FDP formed a coalition in Oct 27, 2009. I would imagine these Parties are the power in the Parliament and hold 332 seats out of 622. Angela Merkel, the President or Prime Minister (not really sure what they call her, but she is the top DOG.)

    So, the CDU has 194 seats, the CSU has 45 seats, and the FDP has 93 seats, and have formed a coalition of 332 seats. Clearly they are the majority.

    The SPD has 146 seats, the LINKE has 76 seats and the GRUNE has 68 seats.

    Coalitions involving the LINKE party have been ruled out by all parties (including the LINKE party itself). The other parties feel the LINKE party is dangerous in their ideology and things they propose.

    So the LINKE party has 76 seats and will not form a coalition with any other party. So I would venture to say, they have little power in the Parliament, but there numbers are growing.

    As far as how they pass bills, laws, etc. I have a suspicion that the 332 seat coalition has the Power in the German parliament at the moment.

    I know how the U.S. system works, but I am not familiar with the Parliamentary system.

    In conclusion, the LINKE party may vote on something, but will have very little effect on German Law (I am just assuming this, from their system of politics.)

    Did you find the complete article? I did, not much more to add except the LINKE party is a minority party and probably doesn't have much pull. I can give you the link if you want. Just PM me if you want it.

  4. C.D.rose
    First of all, respects to jon-q, I read about this thing earlier in a German online newspaper and thought I might look for an English translation for DF, and then I come on here and it's already posted... nicely done :thumbsup:...

    Anyhow, as for the situation:
    The Die Linke (The Left) party is a relatively young party, it's basically a fusion of several smaller leftist political movements. It includes some former members of the communist PDS as well as former members of the social-democratic SPD who felt alienated when that party adopted a more centrist political agenda. The wide variety of different views and ideologies inside the Linke is one of the reasons why the party is relatively unstable and unreliable. For example, the party received criticism when the two co-chairs sent a birthday congratulation letter to Cuba's Fidel Castro earlier this year. Some in the party supported this, others didn't. And so on.

    Politically speaking, the party is not really implicated in any decision-making at the moment. They used to be in a coalition government in Berlin's Senate (i.e. at the state level, not to be confused with the federal Parliament) together with the social-democratic SPD, but that coalition could not be continued after state elections a month ago or two, because the Linke lost a considerable amount of votes. They were also thrown out of at least one other state legislature in Southern Germany earlier this year. Thus they are, for the moment at least, in decline.

    The news item jon referred to was a vote during a party convention under way at the moment, where the delegates decided to adopt a proposal to legalize all drugs, including cocaine and heroine. This is only a strategic decision however, and will presumably not become a proposal for a law in Parliament. If it will, the bill would be defeated immediately.

    A year ago or two, I had wondered whether the party might be a viable alternative to the social-democratic SPD who did indeed tilt somewhat rightward, but the Linke has really shown itself to be an unreliable, erratic party which I feel in almost no way represented by. I agree with some of their points, but not with their general ideology. Likewise, I think that the current proposal on drug policy reform is unrealistic and useless. Let's start with cannabis, then we can debate further steps.

    So, in short, this in an interesting piece of news, but it has no relevance whatsoever for German legislation at this point in time.
  5. TheBigBadWolf
    The Linke party at this moment is an unstable party, in the third or fourth year after founding out of Socialists from the Former German Democratic Republic, Parts of the Socialdemocratic party and people from the Unions, to which the Socialdemocratic Party had moved to the right (conservative) too much.
    The Linke Party has not much of influence on the politics in bundeslaender and federal concerns, but is very active in the Town parliaments esp. in former eastern Germany.
    So that decision of the Linke will have little to no impact on actual legislation.
    Similar ventures, regarding legislation of cannbis have existed throughout the years since 1968, by the Jusos (Young social democrats), the Liberal Party (FDP), the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Gruene Party. Nothing ever happened.
    And this will go on that way, because the two biggest Parties, CDU/CSU (Conservatives) and SPD (Social Democrats) at the moment have no interest in change of Drug Policy, the only thing that has found its way into German reality is the Diacetylmorphine program which gives long time addicts a chance of Substitution aside to methadone and buprenorphine.

    But,- not even medical marihuana is about to be legalised, the only cannabinoid meds available are pure THC solution, with high-prize pharm products instead of giving access to the plant itself.


    EDIT: I have found an article of the "Sueddeutsche.de" which I translated and have put here:
  6. jon-q
    I’ve tried reading a few German articles about this party and get the impression they lean towards the extreme left of politics (This is only going off what i’ve read today)

    For those like me that don’t know anything about this party here is a little about them.

    What DIE LINKE stands for:

    DIE LINKE stands for alternatives, for a better future. We are not and will not be like those parties which devoutly submit to the wishes of the powers of economy and precisely therefore are hardly distinguishable from one another. We pursue one concrete aim: We fight for a society in which no child has to grow up in poverty, in which all people live in peace, dignity and social security and are able to democratically shape their social conditions. To achieve this, we need a different economic and social system: democratic socialism.

    We do not accept a world in which a few hundred large trusts decide on the life prospects of billions of people, and entire countries are cut off from hope and the future by ruthless exploitation, by wars for raw material and sales markets, and by imperialism. A society in which every movement of life has to pay off is inhumane. Where profit reigns supreme there is no room for democracy. The unbridled freedom of the financial magnates implies the lack of freedom of the majority of the people.

    We proceed from the traditions of democracy and socialism, the struggles for human rights and emancipation, against fascism and racism, imperialism, and militarism. We strive to overcome all social environments in which humankind is exploited, underprivileged and incapacitated and in which its social and natural living conditions are destroyed. We strive to consistently harness the new possibilities of a society of science/ knowledge, communication and culture to a social, democratic and peaceful civilization and to a habitable environment.

    We want to overcome patriarchal structures. We defend the achievements of the struggles for political, social, and cultural human rights, for a constitutional, democratic and social state. We want to continue and further develop these accomplishments.

    Limitless wealth for the upper echelons of society, degradation for an ever growing number of poor and shrinking prosperity for the vast majority of people are not the outcome of globalization but of global capitalism. The consequences for Germany are omnipresent: the dismantling of industry; a growing low wage sector; the reckless annihilation of jobs; the ruination of social services; impoverished municipalities; the lack of vocational training facilities; education privileges for the upper classes; a two-tier medical system; old people living in poverty and without human care. The neo-liberals have adopted the interests of corporate bosses and big capital owners as their political guiding force. This agenda i pursued at the expense of the majority of the people.

    We want to help turn passive resentment into active resistance. We set ourselves against wage-dumping, the ruthless dismantling of social welfare, the selling off of public property.

    We want to change the social power relationship and fight for a different policy. Our fundamental values are democracy, freedom, equality, justice, internationalism, and solidarity. These are intrinsically linked with peace, the preservation of nature, and emancipation. We stand for a change of system, because capitalism, being rooted i inequality, exploitation, expansion, and competition, is incompatible with these goals.

    Together with trade unionist forces, social movements, and other left-wing parties, with people, men and women, in Germany, Europe and the world over, we are searching for a social alternative. We want to build a society of democratic socialism in which the freedom of each and every individual conditions the development of all in solidarity. We have united to form a new political force which stands for freedom and equality, which single-mindedly campaigns for peace, is democratic and social, ecological and feminist, open and plural, militant and tolerant. We are working to change the direction of politics with the aim of opening the road to a radical transformation of society and overcoming capitalism.

    DIE LINKE fights:

    For a different, democratic economic order, which subordinates the market regulation of production and distribution to democratic, social and ecological frame definitions and controls. This order has to be founded on the public and democratically controlled ownership of general public service, social infrastructure, the energy industry and the finance sector as well as on the democratic socialization of further structure-setting sectors on the basis of state, municipal, cooperative or workforce ownership. The private sector of the economy must be subject to strict competition control. Strong employee rights and co-determination have to be ensured in all companies.

    For the right to useful work sufficient to provide a living, for full employment and for the redistribution of work through shorter working hours, instead of low-wage jobs, starvation wages and the replacement of regular contracts by temporary employment or fake self employment. We hope that people in a self-determined manner can combine gainful employment, work in the family, the care for children, partners and friends and last but not least personal education and leisure.

    For a socio-ecological transformation towards sustainable resource-saving and environment-preserving modes of economy and life. We need regulated, selective growth on the basis of regenerative power sources.

    For a life in social security, for a sufficient basic income without sanctions, and for comprehensive protection against unfair dismissal. The Hartz IV laws must be scrapped, and nobody should be forced to accept employment disregarding his or her professional qualification or to work for a starvation wage.

    For adequate statutory retirement pensions for all gainfully employed persons, to be financed in parity by employees and employers, ensuring a decent living standard at old age and – unlike private insurance – not being subject to the vagaries of the financial markets. A society which condemns millions of elderly people to life in poverty is inhumane.

    For a solidarity-based state insurance for health and care to which all people contribute in accordance with their income and which in case of need covers all medical services and care. Medical services must not be subject to one’s private purse.

    For a secure, free education from nursery level on which is accessible to all and lays the foundation for a self-determined life in solidarity, for active participation in society and democratic engagement. We want an education system which unifies society through common learning, evens out disadvantages instead of increasing them and opens professional avenues and life prospects to everybody.

    For a just tax system, which unburdens small and medium earners while imposing higher taxes on the high income brackets, and which commits large properties, inheritance of large estates, capital revenues and corporation profits to financing commonwealth and the socio economic transformation to a much higher degree. We want to redistribute incomes and properties from top to bottom and secure and improve the financing of public services.

    For peace and disarmament, against imperialism and war, for a world without weapons of mass destruction, for an immediate halt to all military engagements of the Bundeswehr, for a ban on armament exports, for civilian development support and an end to the economic exploitation of the Third World. War does not solve any problems but is always part of the problem.

    For a renewal of the European Union as a democratic, social and peaceful union, for high minimum standards of social and environmental protection, constantly adjusted across the continent, for business and wealth taxes, for a democratically controlled European Central Bank and a European economic government. A European Union geared to competition for locations, rivalry, and the dumping race discredits the European idea.

    For the implementation of democracy and constitutional legality, against the blackmailing power of large trusts; for a ban on business donations to political parties as proclaimed in France, for the incompatibility of political with economic mandates, for more direct democracy in the form of referenda, for the enforceability of legal rights irrespective of one’s income, for political strikes and general strikes as an employees’ instrument of struggle, for the expansion of civil rights and the democratization of all spheres of society. Capitalism destroys democracy through its economic power. We, therefore, say: Democracy and freedom in a society of democratic socialism without exploitation and oppression.

    Please feel free to agree, disagree or debunk any of the above information.

  7. TheBigBadWolf
    LINKE Party for free drug possesion

    LINKE for legalization of all drugs

    Erfurt/Berlin (dpa) The LINKE goes for a legalization of all drugs - and is getting sharply criticised by CDU and SPD. The delegates of the convention in Erfurt tilted the proposal of the stering committee that was meant to legalize "soft drugs" like hashish only.

    The future program of the party will say:"We stand in for a rational and humane drug policy". This contains" decriminalisation of drug use" and "in the long run a legalization of all drugs"

    The parlamentarian executive secretary of the SPD fraktion of the Bundestag, Thomas Oppermann, attacked the LINKE sharply :"Nothing is as weak as an ideawith atime gone by. This does not get better with Coke and Heroin", he said this saturday in Berlin.
    The LINKE would decide "irresponsible nonsense in every matter" and could no more be viewed as serious. Similary the CDU general secretary Hermann Groehe said "this decision is a fatal signal to combating drugs and prevention of addiction".

    LINKE-chief Klaus Ernst tried to relativate the decision after the voting " I emphasize: we are talking about a perspective in the long run" Ernst said on Saturday to the online-portal "sueddeutsche.de". "Our decision to drugs policy means that traficking of drugs will be prosecuted even in future. We do just see the fact that criminalisation of drug users makes their situations worse and the problem is not solved at all.

    This is taken from http://newsticker.sueddeutsche.de/list/id/1221973
    translation by me. Sorry for faults.

  8. Schweitzer

    Here's what happened - according to german newspapers:

    The party executive’s draft only provided for the legalization of soft drugs like cannabis.

    2.) The delegates revised that.
    They passed a motion that asked for a “legalization of all drugs in the long term” that was necessary in the context of a “rational and humane drug policy”. The amendment was submitted by Member of Parliament Frank Tempel, the drug policy spokesman and Martina Bunge, the health policy spokesperson.

    3.) After hitting the headlines in Germany the delegates passed party chief Klaus Ernst's proposed resolution and added: "this means the decriminalization of drug addicts and the organization of help and the legal and controlled dispensing of drugs to them."
  9. salgoud
    But what power does the Linke have really. None. In my research they do not form coalitions with any other party, and have 76 seats in the Parliament. So this vote amonst the Linke is Null. Heroin is provided to addicts who have failed at methadone and other opiate maintenance such as Suboxone. So the Linke has no pull into making legalization legal. It just shows the other parties how leftist the Linke really is. IMO.
  10. Schweitzer
    I agree salgoud, Die Linke is a little bit a of pariah in Germany although they did form several coalitions in the regional parliaments in the past. Berlin for example was ruled by SPD and Die Linke until recently.
  11. salgoud
    Schweitzer, I lived in Deutchland fur 4 years, and I am a second generation German who has settled in America. My Grandfather was one of eight children than immigrated to America.

    Germans are very conservative. The Linke is just a pain in the ass for the majority. They will never pass a legalization law, perhaps a decriminalization law. Which is much different. Germany has already passed a law allowing German addicts who failed at Polimadon and Suboxone to receive pure diacetylmorphine. What more do they want. Sure legalize MMJ, we have in Colorado. No problems here. What else should a Country legalize: Cocaine, methamphetamine. I don't think that would be such a good idea. I helped a German girl get out of the U.S. She was looking at a Felony possession of a benzodiazepine. Her mother sent me money, we went to Denver and got her German Visa, and she took the next flight out to Frankfurt. She was a Crack addict here. When she got to Germany, she got on Polimadon. Why is beyond me. I haven't heard from her in two years. I suspect she is dead. She had a FB account, I message her now and then, but I get no response. She lives in ULM, Germany. She really liked me, and was a good friend. However, going back to Germany might have be the worst thing she could have done.

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