There are few projects on which the traffic light coalition is as united as on the legalization of cannabis. In fact, it is long overdue to curb the black market and end the criminalization of consumers. At the same time, the government's prestige project has energy and climate policy consequences that do not fit in with the self-proclaimed progressive coalition and raise questions about the coalition's priorities.
For legal reasons, the federal government is currently not planning to import cannabis, but only to cultivate it in Germany. For quality reasons, this should be done indoors under artificial light and in greenhouses.
The problem: The consistently well heated and illuminated interiors lead to enormously high energy consumption and CO₂ emissions. Researchers from the renowned Transnational Institute have calculated that the electricity requirement for the expected German annual harvest of around 400 tons corresponds approximately to the annual household electricity consumption of the city of Cologne.
A bill that is unlikely to be conveyed to citizens in times of energy and climate crises. Offices down to 18 degrees, indoor plantations to 25 degrees up? Street lights off, cannabis lamp on? If the traffic light is actually legalized, there will be plenty of explanations.
You should therefore take care of possible solutions in good time. For example, enabling climate-friendly outdoor cultivation and fighting at EU level to be able to import cannabis from climatically suitable countries. So-called Cannabis Social Clubs should also be made possible, whose members grow the plants together.
Critics keep saying that the production of cannabis for the black market is already harmful to the climate. That's right. However, illegal cultivation without quality requirements for THC and CBD content, for example, is less energy-intensive than controlled high-tech cultivation. In addition, some of the cannabis sold in Germany is grown outdoors abroad.
The traffic light coalition wants to allow the consumption of cannabis. The draft of the Ministry of Health, for example, provides for the acquisition and possession of up to 30 grams. A plan that met with a mixed response from the Germans.
The traffic lights are apparently aware of the consequences of their proposed legislation: in an original version of the paper presented, warnings were given of high power consumption and CO₂ emissions. The passage then disappeared from the official version of the document.
It seems as if the coalition wants to sweep the issue, which is uncomfortable for them, under the carpet. This scratches the government's credibility: the traffic light must not give the impression that your favorite project's own climate and energy saving goals are suddenly no longer valid.
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