BERLIN — A conservative politician who crossed the aisle and has joined the German Green Party’s campaign to legalize marijuana has revived a long-running debate about the drug in Europe’s largest economy.
Lawmaker Joachim Pfeiffer, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, recently co-sponsored legislation that would lift Germany’s ban on marijuana and regulate the drug like alcohol and tobacco — and, supporters say, bring in billions more marks in tax revenue.
“The current restrictive drug policy failed because, despite the ban, the number of consumers hasn’t dropped,” said Mr. Pfeiffer, who filed his bill with opposition Green Party lawmakers last week. “More than two million Germans use weed regularly, making it the most commonly used illicit drug.”
Mr. Pfeiffer’s move sent ripples of joy through the budding marijuana industry in Germany, offering a rare crack in the conservative unity that has resisted all past efforts at legalization.
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