Following German Elections, Green, Yellow and Even Red All Mean Go for Cannabis

Germans have delightful ways of describing political coalitions. My favorite is the Jamaica coalition, called this way because the colors of the political parties involved are those of the Jamaican flag: green, yellow and black. Following Germany’s elections on September 26, the most likely outcome is a traffic light coalition, made up by the Social Democrats (red), Free Democrats (yellow) and Greens. And such an Ampelkoalition is likely to be good news for cannabis legalization.

A few weeks ago, we discussed the likely implications for cannabis if the pro-legalization Greens joined the new German government. At the time, a coalition between the Greens and the then-ruling Christian Democrats appeared to be a likely outcome. Given that the Christian Democrats were “the last of the major political parties in Germany to maintain a strictly prohibitive stance on drug policy,” we wondered if they could compromise with the Greens on cannabis.

The prospects for cannabis legalization under an Ampelkoalition are completely different. In addition to the Greens, the government would feature a second pro-legalization party, the Free Democratic Party (FDP). According to the FDP’s leader, Christian Lindner, legalizing cannabis “is about the only thing [the FDP] could easily agree with” the Social

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