The German Cannabis Protocols: Medicine, Politics and Science Put to the Test

· Stephan Schleim

About this ebook

A plant divides the nation: Does cannabis use cause psychosis? Does it damage the brain? Does smoking "weed" make you stupid? Does hemp endanger young people? How great is the risk of addiction and what is "addiction" anyway? Until the decisive vote in the German Federal Council on March 22, 2024, the Cannabis Act was on the brink. Politicians and doctors argued vehemently about these issues. The result of the vote is shown on the book cover.

The author has been researching the use of psychoactive substances in society for 20 years. From 2022 to 2024, he accompanied Germany's drug policy paradigm shift in the media. In this book, his most important contributions are compiled for the first time and in revised form. There are also new chapters that provide important basic knowledge.

An independent perspective is important: While 100 years ago large parts of the medical profession defended cannabis as a medicinal plant, today many have internalized the false conclusions and demonization of the prohibition policy. Those who are against the legal relaxation of cannabis and other drugs are often exaggerating the risks. And some medical experts are clearly misrepresenting scientific studies.

From the content: What is a "drug", what is a "psychoactive substance"? How old is cannabis use in mankind? What do we know about brain development? What does the "cannabis brain" of long-term users look like? What do we make of the age limits that are often set? How does the relaxation of the law influence the frequency of use? What is the risk of psychosis or schizophrenia? A fact check by medical experts. How did the Federal Constitutional Court uphold the ban? Is there really no "right to intoxication"? How did the prohibition policy come about in the 20th century and why do political actors cling to it so stubbornly? What are the risks of prohibition? What would a better drug policy look like? What were the decisive steps leading up to decriminalization on April 1, 2024? What are the benefits and risks of cannabis use? And is the substance addictive?

Find out for yourself how much substance there is to the cannabis debate in Germany – and what that means for you.

About the author

Stephan Schimmel has a PhD in cognitive science and is an associate professor of theoretical psychology at the University of Groningen (Netherlands). Previously, he was a professor of neurophilosophy at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, a visitor to the Division of Biology at the California Institute of Technology and twice in pharmacopsychology at the University Hospital of Zurich, as well as an intern at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt am Main. For 20 years he has been informing the general public about topics from psychology, psychiatry and neuroscience in numerous print media, online, on radio and television. He is also the longest-serving blogger at SciLogs (Spektrum Verlag). With over 36,000 comments, it is widely discussed there. With his critical eye he has already uncovered many a neuro-myth.

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