The five hearings, which will be held through the end of this month, will address what measures are needed to ensure the best protection for young people and of health and consumers, government drug czar Burkhard Blienert said.
“Like many others, I have worked for years toward us in Germany finally ending the criminalization of cannabis consumers and beginning a modern and health-oriented cannabis policy,” he said in a statement.
Among other liberalizing plans, the government has launched a drive to remove from Germany's criminal code a ban on doctors "advertising" abortion services. It also wants to ease the path to German citizenship, lift restrictions on dual citizenship and reduce the minimum age for voting in national and European elections from 18 to 16.
The government also wants to scrap 40-year-old legislation that requires transsexual people to get a psychological assessment and a court decision before officially changing gender, a process that often involves intimate questions. It is due to be replaced with a new “self-determination law.”