• Germany's news in English

Left party wants to legalise 'all drugs'

The Local · 22 Oct 2011, 13:37

Published: 22 Oct 2011 13:37 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Delegates for the hard-line socialist Left, Die Linke, voted 211 in favour and 173 against, with 29 abstentions, to endorse a full-legalisation policy.

"We advocate a rational and humane drug policy," German daily Die Welt quoted the program as stating, including a "decriminalization of drug use."

The vote marked a departure from a proposal put forth by party leadership, which had suggested only allowing the use of milder illegal drugs, such as hashish.

Though most experts consider harder drugs like heroin and cocaine especially dangerous due to their addictive potential and effects on the brain, delegates opted not to distinguish between "hard" and "soft" drugs.

The Left's first comprehensive policy document has been four years in the making.

The party's endorsement was met with staunch criticism from the conservative camp. Stephan Mayer, a domestic policy spokesman for the Bavarian conservatives, the Christian Social Union, described it as "preposterous," calling it a "completely wrong signal for prevention efforts."

Story continues below…

"With this, the Left party has again provided proof that it cannot and may not take on any governmental responsibility," Mayer said.

DAPD/The Local/arp

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

15:21 October 22, 2011 by jstar100
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
15:47 October 22, 2011 by derExDeutsche
The War on Drugs has been an abject failure. Many more people are killed as a result of the violence associated with prohibition, than from the prohibited drugs. Its time to end the human tragedy that is Prohibition.
16:10 October 22, 2011 by b-c
"hard-line socialist Left" - What a joke, Die Linke are actually some kind of social democrats nowadays. Anyway, this is a great proposal. People who have read some about the war on drugs will understand why.
16:40 October 22, 2011 by asteriks
All drugs should be decriminalized, cocaine was prescribed by doctors before American war on drugs which has aim to militarize dictators in South America and to imprison poor Afroamericans who sell drugs on the streets of USA (of course, they don't touch rich Hollywood). Price of drugs would be much lower if it is not illegal to buy it and drug addicts would not need to do something criminal to gather money to buy drugs. They should get it from doctors for free, such program already exist many years in Basel.
17:00 October 22, 2011 by pepsionice
Actually....I think that over five million Germans would easily vote in agreement with their position. Toss in the youth vote that might be convinced.....they might carry twenty percent of the national vote.
18:20 October 22, 2011 by Englishted

"When will this party be banned or at the very least treated with the same disdain as the NPD?"

When people of your ilk finally get rid of democracy
21:04 October 22, 2011 by SteveK
Legalizing Heroin, come on. I can see a case for cannabis sure but not distinguishing between the the two? I am a liberal but this as they say where I come from is 'taking the pi**!'
21:33 October 22, 2011 by Wobinidan
Legalising heroin is a good idea. Heroin itself isn't particularly dangerous when taken correctly. 90% of the problems with Heroin are caused by it's illegality - the fact that it is cut with very nasty other products, that addicts use dirty needles, that they have to steal to pay for their habit because the dealer controls the price.

It's the taxpayer that has to pick up the bill for these people - it's far cheaper just to give them heroin than it is to constantly clean up the consequences of the absolutely failed drug war.
21:55 October 22, 2011 by derExDeutsche
@ SteveK

Heroin is already available. If you wanted some, you can find it.

Or a prescription opiate from your doctor, for that matter. Nothing is to stop you. SO now that we see that Prohibition is a complete failure,

There is a drastic need for Harm Reduction. The Harm of Prohibition far outweigh its benefits.
23:38 October 22, 2011 by Bill Simpson
With computers and electronic fingerprint recognition it could be controlled enough to keep too much of it from being sold to teens. The government could give it away. Computers could limit the amount one addict could get so as to limit diversion. Addicts might be given treatment if they wanted it. Crime would be reduced, as would violence and prison cost. Just about any drug is safer than alcohol. Cold turkey withdrawal from alcohol and barbiturate addiction can kill you. I can assure you that you won't experience the latter twice. The little pills sneak up on you. But I must admit the rock music positively sounds better.
00:13 October 23, 2011 by AbhilashD
@jstar100 - you have no idea what you#re talking about.

I agree with die Linke's position. Decriminalising drugs will go a long way in controlled prescriptions and busting of the drug mafia. Also, generation of revenue.
01:44 October 23, 2011 by Talonx
The following is an iodeologically motivated (perhaps unconsciously) weasel phrase from The Local:

"Though most experts consider harder drugs like heroin and cocaine especially dangerous due to their addictive potential and effects on the brain, delegates opted not to distinguish between "hard" and "soft" drugs"

Working as a anthropologist and psychologist interested in the effects of policy as well as the effects of drugs. I will agree that psychopharm and addiction literature shows that Coke and Heroine are particularly addictive, however that same research unilaterally calls for the legalisation of such drugs and the institution of Harm Reduction strategies such as those in place in Portugal, Norway, and to a lesser and lesser extent as they become more like America also the Netherlands.

The Local should be quote all of the consensus on the literature and not just the part that might make something look artificially contentious.
02:23 October 23, 2011 by toemag
What a topsy turvy world we live in, smoking in the work place and public places is being banned, and then these people come along and want to legalise the hard stuff, you just couldn't make it up.

Then there are the futures of out law enforcement agencies, people who work very hard to protect us from such substances.

Just how do parents convince their children that drugs are inherently bad when the Government legalise them...
04:06 October 23, 2011 by jstar100
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
12:06 October 23, 2011 by Englishted

You are right ,however following your path that if things are legalised they are not inherently bad , how do we as parents tell out children of the dangers of fast food,

playing in the street, swimming in lakes ,etc ,etc,etc.

Often making thing illegal only adds to the attraction.
12:57 October 23, 2011 by flipinwotsit
Well they legalised politicians, so we might as well legalise everything else...lol
13:40 October 23, 2011 by Gart Valenc
IT IS PROHIBITION ITSELF WHICH MUST BE ENDED. It should not be confined to a particular drug or to one side of the drug trade. It concerns not just marijuana, but all drugs; not just the legalisation and regulation of the demand but perhaps more importantly, the legalisation and regulation of the supply, too.

Legalising only one side of the drug market, in this case the demand, is akin to relieving drug consuming countries of any responsibility we may have, and we have a lot, in the state of affairs regarding Prohibition and the War on Drugs policies. We may not like it, we may even get angry with anybody suggesting it, but we must acknowledge that our demand, and our willingness and ability to pay for illegal drugs, are sufficient and necessary conditions to make the supply of drugs possible, and to sustain and stimulate its relentless growth.

Thus, I find it rather cynical the way some drug consuming countries have decided to concentrate exclusively on their side of the fence, the consumption, and completely ignore what is happening on the other side, the production. Never mind the havoc our demand for drugs is creating in drug producing countries, we have decided that what matters is what is happening at home.

It is highly hypocritical, indeed, that despite the fact that it is our demand which underpins and sustains the ¦#39;drug trafficking business¦#39;, we continue to show a total lack of commitment to seek real changes in the legislation, a state of affairs that, to be frank, is tantamount to turning a blind eye to the catastrophic consequences the WoD is having on drug producing countries.

I do not have any doubts that the decriminalisation of the demand for drugs is a sensible policy; but if we were serious about tackling the ¦#39;drug problem¦#39;, we should be accompanying those same policies with equally sensible policies towards the supply of drugs; we should also be promoting the legalisation of the supply; we should be the ones making all the noises calling for a change in the national and international legislation on drugs. In a nutshell, we should be spearheading the movement seeking to legalise the production and distribution of all drugs.

That¦#39;s why countries that have decriminalised or depenalised the demand, the likes of Germany, Holland, Portugal, Spain, etc., have the MORAL OBLIGATION to introduce, support and promote changes in national and international laws seeking the decriminalisation or depenalisation of the supply, too. Not to do so is hypocritical, cynical and frankly speaking, criminal.
13:46 October 23, 2011 by michelbisson
Prohibit something never really prevented anybody to give it a shot. Instead it becomes attractive to the young just for the kick of doing something prohibited. Anybody who had children has notice this reality. Prohibiting drugs forces then the young people to get the 'stuff' at high prices, often mixed with even more dangerous substances while losing the trust of young people because they have to hide and lie to be able to do what they want. Nobody can ever prevent any young and alive person to do what they want. Parents know that. The question will then be: will it happen under our watchful eyes and friendly advices and help or behind our backs and therefore much more dangerous. Prohibition although it looks good and seems simpler to manage has never been a practical solution. The new generation is capable of much more intelligence than we think, only if we would let them make their experiences having us by their side and not against.
16:45 October 23, 2011 by wenddiver
Excellent idea, only we should let the left make a more informed decision, we could give them a weeks supply of crocodile, some aids infected needles, and some high quality Mexican Meth (the kind you make by spraying Raid Roach spray on a cookie sheet or opening car batteries) to smoke, along with some date rape drug in their drink.

Reality, Druggies are losers on a one way ticket to destruction, legal or not legal won't change that. The only question is how many crimes will they commit against society, the weak and the elderly before they mercifully die.
14:50 October 24, 2011 by willowsdad
Wenddiver: and are you an example of a civilized individual?
20:01 October 24, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
@Wobinidan: " Heroin itself isn't particularly dangerous when taken correctly."

Right, so what is the "correct" way to take Heroin? Have you ever actually done heroin? If you had, you would know that it is impossible to take it "responsibly", and it is EXTREMELY dangerous, especially when one consideres the risk of an overdose. It is highly additive and a drug people use to numb themselves. Would you allow just anybody to use morphine (which is similar) if they weren't in severe physical pain? If legalized, this particular drugs, and indeed other hard drugs, will contribute to high death rates, homeless, and a significant number of disenfrachised youths that detroy their own lives due to addiction. An untold amount of other problems will result ofrm this as well. Why would any sane person promote the widespread availability of a dangerously addictive substance? The left is a party full of lunatics who obviously don't know what "social responsibility" is.
05:07 October 25, 2011 by Zobirdie
Walter Ulbricht must be spinning in his grave. Since when have communists ever been drug friendly?
17:48 October 29, 2011 by Sastry.M
Prohibition in general, is a cautious restriction to avoid harm resulting in indulgence of anything abusive to human well being. Legalizing by lifting any prohibitive restrictions is tantamount to accepting abuse and harm , which cannot be subjectively controlled. This is because of an inherent weakness in self control, and hence dependance on drugs seeking false invigoration.

Even if one should succeed in legislation legalizing as above, the extended trade fills in coffers of terrorists and drug mafia resulting in more harm to human life than the calculated acceptance of false drug abused amusement.
11:09 October 30, 2011 by shahislam
Legalising drug plant production and banning private gun production would be the beginning of a new generation politics.

Here is what I posted to Yahoo-news Re: Saif, if you'd like to read.

: Saif Gaddafi surely deserves a fair trial by the ICC in a very transparent way and hereditary leader-ship should be banned by immediate implementation of new ICC laws (need to be made and passed unquestionably ASAP) so that for the sake of facilitating non-risky and healthy United Nation's new Global politics; Sons and Daughters, regardless qualified or not, of proved greedy, unwise, bad leaders can never ever participate, as heirs apparent, in the continuation of political power handling again, under any circumstances.

Many lands of belief-blind public have got themselves confined in suffocating grips of childrens of bad leaders with "no way out" for decades after decades (e.g. Assad of Syria and too many others to become notice-able soon but for now "attitude of Amnesty' will work fine.

Mosquitoes have killed millions of humans but can we catch and kill a actual killer: mosquito? Cosmic power through inferior class creations, such as wild animals can kill other creations including humans but humans-gifted with conscience cannot or shouldn't kill other humans including killers (suspended death sentence with a condition of fighting wars against terrorists world-wide, when needed) for any reasons, instead, place them inside hard-labor camps to produce or earn their own food.

Human Rights and freedom is not applicable to other humans' Right violators: the killers of humans and innocence.

-Laws under new impartial UN power should be that simple with no arguments entertained.

16:51 November 21, 2011 by Bruno53
Much I dislike conservatives, the more "liberal" ones are also so narrowminded, stupid and irresponsibles. Now I see why I hate them as well.
Today's headlines
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd