Addiction and drug experts generally expect an increase in cannabis use as part of the planned legalization and also warn of a long-term increase in consumption among young people.
A corresponding paper from the Institute for Interdisciplinary Addiction and Drug Research in Hamburg was sent by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) to the government factions in the Bundestag and the other ministries. It is available from the German Press Agency, among others. The report refers to experiences in Canada, Uruguay or some US states where cannabis has already been legalized.
It is to be expected that consumption will continue to increase in Germany after legalization, it says. Health protection for adults is likely to change "only slightly, at least in the short term," the authors also write. They also point to a slight increase in the number of traffic accidents "in many regions" after legalization.
Consumption among young people will increase in the long term
With regard to young people, the experts warn that legalization will increase "the subjective availability" of cannabis for them. The greatest risk for the protection of minors is that consumption among young people will increase in the long term.
The quality of the substance and better information for consumers are highlighted as positive effects of legalization. In addition, it can be assumed that the number of cases of poisoning can be reduced by added substances. "The aim of legalization should be to create a legal offer for people who are currently consuming without increasing the attractiveness of starting consumption," recommends the report.
Lauterbach recently submitted his cannabis legalization bill to the government's internal vote. In the letter, he says the study results confirm plans for controlled distribution of the drug to adults. It is right to put the protection of children, young people and health and the containment of the illegal market at the center of the project.