Will Legalization of Marijuana in Germany Push the DEA?

Another major country has legalized marijuana – hopefully the DEA is paying attention. Here are some expert opinions on the situation.

Another major country has committed to this, but will legalizing marijuana in Germany prompt the DEA to act? Germany joined Malta and Luxembourg in Europe. Legalization, officials shared, would undermine the criminal trade in the drug, protect against harmful contaminants and give police the ability to pursue more serious crimes. In doing so, they ignore the UN ban and join other countries such as Canada, Uruguay and South Africa.

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In the United States, the cannabis market is still awaiting the Drug Enforcement Agency's (DEA) decision regarding debt restructuring. After a very slow start to his campaign, President Biden is now making good on his campaign promise and giving younger voters another reason to support him. But according to the Pew Research Center, an overwhelming 88% of U.S. adults say either that marijuana should be legal for medical and adult recreational use (59%) or that it should be legal for medical purposes only (30%). Only one in ten respondents (10%) say marijuana use should not be legal. It is a popular decision and is commonly used in blue and red states as well as legal and illegal states. Key experts have pondered whether Germany's move will prompt early action from the DEA.

“We do not believe that Germany’s progress will have a major impact on the DEA. Our thesis is that we are witnessing a coordinated Democratic effort to advance cannabis reform ahead of the election to mobilize and influence younger voters. We continue to believe that it is unlikely that the head of the DEA (a Biden appointee) will violate the HHS recommendation in an election year. “So we remain optimistic that we will end up at Schedule III, but we do not see Germany as the main driver of US reform,” says Jesse Redmond, managing partner of Water Tower Research.

Andrew Cooper, partner at Falcon Rappaport & Berkman LLP, one of the leading cannabis law firms, believes: “If anything, the fact that Germany has approved cannabis for adult use despite all the hurdles (including not only the Single Convention, but also the Schengen Agreement) is legalized, a consequence of 1985, the EU Framework Decision 2004/757/JHA of 2004 and the Narcotic Drug Act (BtMG), where the USA actually only has to deal with the Single Convention (and probably ignore it), could the DEA give a certain impetus to follow her suit”.

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Tom Zuber, managing partner of Zuber Lawler, whose company has a strong cannabis division on the West Coast, said: “It is exciting to see Germany making history as the largest economy in the European Union by legalizing cannabis for recreational use. “I hope that Germany's leadership on this front will inspire other countries around the world to do the same, including the United States.

Time will tell whether the legalization of marijuana in Germany will persuade the DEA to take action.

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