Laws surrounding the marijuana industry in Germany are paradoxical and limiting in their own ways. While the legislation allows private consumption and possession of the drug in ‘small amounts’, unauthorized personal use can land convicts in jail for a period ranging from 2 to 5 years.
Sighting these discrepancies, marijuana advocates have been trying hard to get adult-use of the drug legalized in the country. However, to the dismay of these patrons, their efforts were met with a firm rejection from the German parliament.
This rejection from the parliament was unsolicited for the population because apart from a few parties, the Bundestag largely favors policy reforms in some form.
Marijuana legalization faces Rejection By the Parliament
This repudiation was mainly made possible by a coalition formed with the joining of The Union (CDU/CSU) and SPD parties.
Although members of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) were in favor of introducing marijuana policy reforms but after receiving criticism from members of The Union, it preferred voting in the direction adopted by their coalition partner.
As of February 2020, members of SPD had shown an inclination towards decriminalizing marijuana possession. In addition to this, the party also favored allowing pilot programs that would permit the legal distribution of recreational marijuana.
“We see the regulated distribution of cannabis to adults in Germany as a good chance for a successful policy, ideally supported by simultaneous strengthening prevention and early intervention as well as counseling and treatment,” said the SDP paper.
However, Daniela Ludwig from the Christian Social Union (CSU) was particularly critical about this stance of SPD. She immediately took to Twitter to express her condemnation and established that ”prevention” was the only approach to deal with the bill legalizing recreational marijuana.
Parties Constituting the German Parliament and their stance on the marijuana legalization bill
There are six main political parties that constitute the German parliament. Here is what was their stance on the bill that proposed the legalization of adult-use marijuana in Germany:
This party constitutes about 69 seats from the 709 seats of Bundestag. This party was in favor of the legalization initiative. It also made a separate cannabis policy reform suggesting to decriminalize possessing up to 15 grams of the drug.
SPD – Social Democratic Party of Germany
SPD is one of the most popular parties in Germany and constitutes about 152 seats in the German parliament. Despite of having substantial support for the initiative, the party voted in tandem with its coalition partner.
This party had been in a coalition with the SPD from 1998 to 2005. The coalition ended after disagreements with Gerhard Schröder upon early elections, leading to scoring only about 8.3% of votes.
As of now, The Greens hold about 67 seats in the government. This party was the second to support the legalization of the adult-use bill, bringing the total number of supporters to 136.
The Union – Christian Democratic Union of Germany + Christian Social Union in Bavaria
The Union is a coalition of two parties namely CDU and CSU that underwent a brief separation in 1976. Although they have had their fair share of tensions and disagreements, the coalition has survived almost 71 years of partnership together.
With each other, they form a huge majority in the German government making it next to impossible for any initiative to pass unless votes are cast from members of coalition parties.
The same was seen in this effort of legalizing adult-use marijuana in Germany. The combined votes of The Left party ad Green Party fell short to defeat the stance of The Union, which was against the bill. The party holds 246 seats in the parliament currently.
FDP – Free Democratic Party
Led by Christian Linder, FDP is a liberal political party of Germany. Holding 80 seats in the government, the party chose to abstain from voting on the issue of marijuana legalization.
In contrast to this, the opposition party had proposed several cannabis reforms that met the same fate as the bill. It had made a case for allowing recreational marijuana experiments in the country. In addition to this, an increase in the percentage of medical marijuana cultivated in Germany was also suggested.
Both of these proposals were rejected.
AFD – Alternative for Germany
Represented first time in the parliament in 2017, AFD is characterized as a far-right political party. When the proposals of the bill were put forth, it was the only opposition party that was against the bill.
Like FDP, AFD also made separate recommendations for marijuana policy reforms. This suggested treating medical marijuana in a similar way to other medicines for testing the success of treatment.
These suggestions were also dismissed.
Texas A&M Freshman Desires To Expand Cannabis Medical Use
Cannabis is an illicit drug that is applicable for treating certain medical conditions. Moreover, marijuana is effective in treating psychological disorders but due to its dependency nature and ability to cause addiction, its use is restricted.
The cannabis industry continues to explore new products, lines of administration, and much more. Furthermore, researchers are working on finding possibilities to expand the medical use of cannabis. Research and development projects continue to work and explore marijuana deeply.
Julia Patterson is a Texas A&M freshman and has a political science major. She is the first to become one of the youngest registered lobbyists in Texas, reports The Eagle. Medical use of cannabis to treat epileptic seizures was an effective approach for Julia as she was able to recover from epileptic seizures with marijuana use.
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Julia Efforts For Expanding Medical Use Of Cannabis In Texas
Julia is currently working on expanding the state’s Compassionate Use Program, and for that, she seeks to influence Texas-Legislatures. She has been very active to encourage and convince lawmakers to expand their medical use of cannabis. Moreover, she has devoted herself to the cause and has been doing so since 2019.
She is also a participant in the Texas Compassionate Use Program, which allows physicians and psychiatrists to use low-THC medicines and products. Moreover, doctors under the program rules can give specific small doses for treating various health-related conditions to those patients who qualify.
In 2015 she advocated for passing the Texas Compassionate Use Program to treat more people with cannabis. In 2019 more qualifying conditions became part of the program. At the time, Julia testified before legislators.
According to Julia Patterson, expanding the program will make a difference and improve the quality of life. Especially those that can recover from certain diseases with sufficient larger doses of marijuana. Her life altered after getting treatment with marijuana in the form of CBD-oil, and she wants to do the same for others.
Julia desires not only to expand the Compassionate Use Program but also increase the limits of THC. So far, individuals can get only 0.5% THC in any cannabis-based formulation as per the program instructions. However, the program allows for low THC % medication because it is psychoactive and capable of producing a high feeling. Moreover, according to Jayne Reuben, chronic use of high THC medications can lead to Cannabis-use disorder.
Julia Peterson Recovers From Epileptic Seizers By Using CBD-Oil
Peterson had brain surgery and three medical implants. She was on a ketogenic diet for five years and received various medications. However, of the things she does or eats, nothing was effective in treating or controlling the seizures.
She was missing a lot of normal-life and suffering due to epileptic seizures. In February 2018, she was given CBD-oil for treatment through the Compassionate Use Program. According to her, within two months, she was entirely seizure-free. She was able to have a healthy life.
Along with CBD-oil, she was on second-seizure medication, and the treatment made her life better for good. Moreover, her recovery via medical use of cannabis encourages and motivates her to convince lawmakers to expand the Compassionate Use Program. Furthermore, she suggests that some qualification-conditions shall be part of the list that includes allowing the use of marijuana for non-terminal cancer, PTSD, and chronic pain patients.
According to Julia, if an individual has a chance of recovery from any disease, by using marijuana, then the doctors shall have access to give the doses.
According to Julia, increasing the THC percentage from 0.5% to between 1% and 5% will be effective and safe. Julia elaborates that monitoring of patients who receive cannabis-medication always occurs. Furthermore, prescribers monitor, supervise, and administer medication to such patients. The prescriber keeps in check alterations in the condition to ensure intoxication does not occur. They work to improve the quality of life of the patient.
Denver’s Cannabis Ordinance Will Jeopardize Hard Earned Public Health And Safety
Public health and safety are the priority of both the government and citizens both. According to Colorado Sun, the allowance of cannabis smoking and vaping indoors will increase health hazards.
Cannabis is an illegal drug on the federal level, but some states have legalized it for recreational and medical use. Moreover, efforts are being made by lawmakers to legalize marijuana on the state and federal levels. some states have legalized marijuana for recreational and medical use.
The government has an emphasis on public safety and health for years. However, in Denver, an ordinance was put forward recommending legalizing the use of cannabis for smoking and vaping within public places.
According to the drafted ordinance, marijuana smoking and vaping shall be allowed throughout Mile High City, inside every restaurant and establishment.
Opinions vary towards passing the Bill to Enact Marijuana Hospitality Program for Denver. Moreover, most Coloradoans do not agree with the Bill as they consider there is no need for people to vape or smoke causing harm to others.
Denver Efforts For Public Safety And Health
Authorities in Denver have been working hard to create a work environment free from smoking e-cigarettes and cigarettes containing tobacco and cannabis. Moreover, the public appreciates these measures. Furthermore, protective measures against the use of second-hand smoking and vaping within establishments protect public safety and health.
Authorities, to increase public health, closed the last smoking room at Denver International airport. As a result, it becomes 100% smoke-free and enables enhanced protection for public health and safety.
Over the years, Colorado was able to become a state free from smoking cannabis and tobacco. Moreover, after much effort over a decade, all restaurants, bars, retail stores, and most public places become free from every type of smoking.
In 2006 Colorado adopted the State’s Clean Indoor Air Act, which sets rules and regulations for indoor activities. However, some gaps allowed smoking in small indoor places, long-term care facilities, and small hotels.
Two years back, Colorado lawmakers made amendments to the Clean Indoor Air Act. According to new amendments, the smoking of tobacco and cannabis within any establishment was not permitted. Moreover, the amendments ensure that no one does e-cigarettes smoking or uses smoking and vaping devices.
Effects Of Second Hand Cannabis Smoke
Legalizing or allowing individuals to smoke or vape freely indoors increases exposure to second-hand smoke or vapor. Moreover, it puts the health of the public at risk. Smoking is dangerous to the health of both the smoker and those who are present in the surroundings sharing the same environment. Furthermore, allowing smoking indoors pollutes the air inside and creates serious health hazards.
According to research, second-hand smoke of cannabis and tobacco is both lethal and hazardous. Due to marijuana smoke, the individual inhales PM2.5 fine-particulate matter. The PM 2.5 present in marijuana smoke is hazardous. Moreover, PM2.5 comes from wildfires and air pollution. Exposure to PM2.5, directly and indirectly, affects the lungs and cardiovascular system badly.
Furthermore, secondary exposure to cannabis smoke increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Marijuana smoke also contains 33 carcinogens and thousands of chemicals. Carcinogens can increase the risk of developing cancer to a greater extent.
In a few words, there is no safe second-hand smoking. Thus, allowing indoor smoking and vaping will affect other individuals within the premises. Moreover, regular workers or visitors who are non-smokers and non-vapors their health will suffer.
Thus many in Colorado have the opinion that it is not wise to allow indoor smoking and vaping in restaurants, shops, retail stores, and other establishments. Furthermore, individuals think that Denver City Council must take a stand for public safety and health. Moreover, the Denver City Council must opt into the Bill to Enact Marijuana Hospitality Program for Denver.
Marijuana Uses Not Sufficient Reason For Disqualification from White House Jobs
Marijuana legalization and decriminalization bills are under discussion. Other resolutions regarding cannabis to improve the working of the cannabis system also happened, reported nbc news.
It was highlighted that the individuals cannot face disqualification solely because the individual used marijuana. Such measures are unfit and unacceptable. The office of Joe Biden allows individuals to apply for an administrative-job without any limitations on recreational-cannabis use. In addition, the White House has updated its hiring policies and guidelines. According to the new rules for hiring, recreational marijuana use will not prohibit anyone from applying and obtaining a position in the office
Cannabis is still illegal at the federal level and drug use was a barrier to getting a job in administration in the White House. The Office of Personnel Management Recommendations changes hiring policies. The use of marijuana, even though it is illegal, but its use cannot be the only reason for rejecting an employee or disqualifying one.
New Guidelines For Hiring And Recreational Use Of Marijuana
The White House allows the selection of candidates on a case-by-case basis. Moreover, marijuana infrequent users will be under consideration for top-secret security clearance selection. Furthermore, the Personnel Security Division and security officials will help in the selection of candidates.
Kathleen McGettigan is the current director for the Office of Personnel Management. McGettigan released a memorandum about hiring recreational users of marijuana. Shortly after the memorandum, the release of new guidelines occurred.
According to it, 49% of Americans use marijuana off and on. Moreover, the SAMHSA’s 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health runs a survey according to which nearly half of the participants have used cannabis.
Some individuals are disqualified for a job merely based on using marijuana. Moreover, individuals with the best qualification characteristics for a job do not get a job because they use cannabis from time to time. As a result, suitable candidates for jobs are unemployed despite their experience, education, and other skills.
What is the Vetting Process and How it Helps in Selection?
The appointed individuals for a staff position in the White House undergo a process called the vetting process. During vetting, process officials determine whether individuals qualify for a security clearance or not.
Moreover, applicants that apply for the staff position must be honest about marijuana and other drug use. The extent of drug use determines for which job the individual is suitable.
According to the new policy, individuals will not get disqualification for using cannabis from their office immediately. Moreover, such individuals will receive a waiver. Individuals with a waiver must agree that they will never use marijuana again during their government job and they will not hesitate to perform random drug testing. Such individuals will work remotely for some duration. However, the White House did not specify the extent of the duration.
What to Monitor?
Monitoring and selection of employees is the responsibility of McGettigan. The applicants are to be considered on a case-by-case basis. There are certain things about applicants that the officials must know.
Gathering information about drug use and other characteristics of applicants makes the selection process easy. Moreover, applicants must be honest about their character, conduct, and personalities. The officials selecting employees must know the nature of the job for which the applicant applies. And also, the job in which the person is employed. Furthermore, individuals must acquire the nature, seriousness, and circumstances of conduct.
It is essential to determine whether the applicant has gone to rehabilitation centers at any age. Knowing about applicants and understanding them enables selecting the best candidate for the job. Moreover, individuals with talent, experience, and suitable qualifications will not lose their job only because of infrequent marijuana use.
Biden’s efforts towards bringing the most suitable administrative workers through amending hiring guidelines will enable them to gather individuals with the highest standards for providing services to individuals.
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