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Approved cannabis processing at a medical device company near Dresden (2022)

Photo: Jens Schlueter / AFP

Bavaria announces tough resistance to the legalization of cannabis decided by the federal government from spring 2024. "All possible legal steps" against the law are being examined, explains Bavarian Health Minister Judith Gerlach (CSU). We want to curb the use of this dangerous drug by enforcing the cannabis law as restrictively as possible – and prevent it as much as possible." According to her ministry, Bavaria wants to create a central control authority that is responsible for issuing permits for growers' associations and monitoring the requirements for joint cultivation. Details are currently being coordinated in the state government.

Gerlach also announced that he would "continue to expand addiction prevention and education, especially for young people." In addition to schoolchildren, she wants to focus on "students as part of a new project at vocational and colleges as well as universities" and educate them about the risks of cannabis use. Bavaria accuses the traffic light coalition of trivializing the dangers of the drug.

Warning of depression and psychosis

According to an agreement between the government factions, the Bundestag is expected to decide on decriminalization before Christmas. According to the latest version of the law from this week, a ban on consumption will apply around schools and youth facilities in a zone of 100 meters, not 200 meters as planned. The possession of up to 50 grams of home-grown cannabis will be allowed, initially there was talk of 25 grams. Bavaria takes a critical view of the latest amendments as well as the entire legislative project.

The Bavarian state government is calling on the federal government to refrain from legalizing cannabis. Health Minister Gerlach assesses the health risks of cannabis use as "high", especially for young people. It refers, for example, to an "increased risk of mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders, depression and psychosis". Therefore, "we must counter the easier availability of cannabis and the trivialization of the risks," said the CSU politician.