German CSU Politician Accuses Karl Lauterbach of Misleading Communications on EU Approval of Cannabis Legalization Legislation

A member of the Bavarian CSU has accused the health minister of merely “announcing” that cannabis legalization was being submitted to the EU for approval rather than any concrete, legal action occurring

In a sign that the CDU/CSU opponents of cannabis legalization are not letting up on their vocal opposition to cannabis legalization any time soon, a member of the Bavarian contingent at the Bundestag has decided to interject another distraction.

Namely, over the weekend reports broke that Stephan Pilsinger had again tried to embarrass if not confront German politicians who are directly tasked with implementing recreational cannabis reform.

The incident occurred after Pilsinger received an answer to a parliamentary question he posed. Namely the Ministry of Health confirmed that it was not legally possible for the key points adopted by the Federal Cabinet at the end of October to be approved by the EU. Only concrete draft regulations can be approved by the regional body.

The Ministry also clarified that a draft law is currently being worked on which is what will be submitted to the European Commission.

According to Pilsinger as quoted in the German RND, “Karl Lauterbach may be a good theorist, but he is a lousy practitioner.” He also dismissively remarked that Lautenbach was “nothing more than a pure announcement minister.”

This is not quite an accurate statement. The Ministry released the white paper on October 25 with a stated plan to run key points proposed domestically by the EU to minimize the risk that such a plan would be turned down at this level and presented the same to the German Bundestag the next day. Further at this point, the Ministry said clearly at the time that the intention to have a review in Brussels was to minimize embarrassment at this level after the regulation had already been drafted.

In other words, so what? This is just another tempest in a teapot.

Why Does This Development Matter?

The CSU from Bavaria, including the state Minister of Health has led frequently loud and inconsequential attacks on both Olaf Sholtz, the current German Chancellor, as well as those involved directly in crafting legalization legislation since this summer.

The attacks have often been inaccurate if not personal.

It also shows that politically, the CSU at least believes that this point of attack is a way to score political points against the ruling coalition.

Will it work? That is doubtful, although many insiders are also now saying that they do not believe that even if passed next summer there will be any real market in Germany before 2024 if not the year after. This is hardly putting the conversation on a fast track, although certainly, it is on a political agenda here that cannot either be dislodged entirely.

Germans are about equally split on the topic of legalization. In at least a smoldering economic post Pandemic environment, there are also many who have sat on the fence before who now see this avenue as a way to create a new industry if not tax revenue and jobs.

This kind of legal hair-splitting does not mean much to those who are not Parliamentarians. It so far has not worked to deter the pace of the government in moving forward on drafting the legislation it promised it would, on a schedule that so far, it has roughly stuck to since this summer’s hearings in June.

There is another shorter, easier way to describe this development, in other words. Noise.


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