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German opposition asks President to block cannabis law

The Local Germany
The Local Germany - [email protected]
German opposition asks President to block cannabis law
A man smokes a joint at a cannabis legislation protest in Berlin in May. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Annette Riedl

In an unusual step, the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) have asked Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier not to sign the government's cannabis law - even though it's just cleared both chambers of German Parliament.

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Speaking to Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland, CDU health spokesperson Tino Sorge asked the President to stop the legislation for the time being.

"It's not too late for that," he said. 'The unanimous criticism from all the state justice and interior ministers is just too great."

Although both the Bundestag and the Bundesrat - which represents German states - have passed the law, all German legislation must pass a constitutional review by the Federal President before officially being signed into law.

A German President has only refused to sign a law in eight cases since 1949. In particularly busy times, that's the same amount of legislation that might cross a President's desk in a week or two. Although refusal to sign must be given only on constitutional grounds.

There's no indication so far that President Steinmeier - a Social Democrat like Chancellor Olaf Scholz - will hold up the law, which is supposed to come into effect April 1st. Again though, the President must sign it in time.

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From then - assuming signature happens in time - cultivation associations will be legal in Germany, while adults can grow up to three plants and possess up to 50 grams in their own homes.

In public, they'll be able to carry up to 25 grams.

READ ALSO: Germany gives green light to partially legalise cannabis from April

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