Economic policy spokespeople Joachim Pfeiffer of the CDU and Dieter Janecek of the Greens told broadcaster ARD that they thought it no longer made sense to criminalize possession of or trading in the drug.
“Every year we spend between one and two billion euros to punish consumers, although real organized crime should be the focus of our efforts,” they wrote in a position paper. The pair believe that a state-regulated cannabis market would bring in between one and two billion euros of tax revenue annually, based on the examples of countries that have successfully liberalized their rules.
The Institute for the German Economy (IdW) goes even further, suggesting that legalization could bring in up to €3.5 billion annually – putting the economists firmly in the pro-legalization camp. But the MPs also emphasized that the law would be aimed at protecting young people.
“Instead of signalling to young adults that they're criminals, we should engage in a more productive dialogue with potential and actual consumers through a better-financed prevention programme,” they wrote. The move is an unusual alliance between an MP from a party in the governing coalition and another from an opposition party.
Green party leaders recently presented a draft law laying out their ideas for how cannabis legalization could work in practice, and the party has a long history of being pro-legalization. But it will be tough for Pfeiffer to convince conservative colleagues of his position, even with the recent success of cannabis legalization in several US states to point to.
The Local de/May 13, 2015
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