HR, our local state-run TV network, did a news report from last night to cover the developing episode in Frankfurt over marijuana. The Linke Party has pushed the subject to the top of the discussion stage within the local city hall, and there's going to be some debate over the next week or two of a pilot-program.....which more or less opens the door for Frankfurt to become the first city in Germany with an open-policy on marijuana usage.
What you see lining up....is a group of different political parties finding common ground. The Linke Party, the Greens, the SPD, and the FDP.....all appear to agree on this open-door policy. The CDU? Without enough numbers to oppose it, will simply be the minority. The CDU has strongly hinted that there is no cause to rush into this or develop this as a fast-paced project. At this point, I think they've lost the argument, and the pro-marijuana crowd have the numbers to approve just about any program they desire.
Based on commentary so far, I'd take a guess that it'll be a step-by-step process, with some relaxed rules going into effect by spring of 2015. Another round of talks by fall of 2015, with more relaxation. And by summer of 2016....pot shops will be in full operation within Frankfurt city limits....taxed by the city....and selling to adults.
No one in Wiesbaden or Mainz will care much. Mostly because if you needed a joint.....you already have your local guy that you buy from. But, if you felt the need to be legal.....it's a 30-minute train ride to Frankfurt and you could buy your weed from the legit city dealer there.
What's all this say? Society has changed over the past five decades, and a majority of voters (I think) have smoked marijuana and don't think it's a big deal. The Linke Party is pressing a topic that people connect with.....and are getting more local support than they did five years ago. This in turn.....takes votes away from the SPD.
All of this would lead a person to ask if the voting public is changing. I noted this morning that a new poll suggest eighty-percent of Germans are in favor of assisted suicide now, which means it'll come up in 2015 as a major political topic. If you had a listing of significant topics that people were generally against in 1984.....here thirty years later....they'd be mostly approved by the general public. It's a trend. Society is more accepting of things that were not acceptable years ago.
With the trend, I'd say by 2016....Frankfurt will have legal pot shops, and Wiesbaden might see the same thing by 2018.