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Global Economy

Drug commissioner for alcohol purchase only from the age of 18

The federal government commissioner for addiction and drug issues, Burkhard Blienert (SPD), does not think it makes sense for 16-year-olds to be allowed to buy beer and wine. "For me, there are many medical arguments in favor of raising the working age for beer, wine and sparkling wine to 18," Blienert told the "Welt". "We'll see what's politically possible."

The coalition agreement of the traffic light government only stipulates that young people should be better informed about alcohol and cigarettes – and that the rules for tobacco and alcohol advertising be tightened.

"Accompanied drinking" from 14 "does not work at all"

"In any case, what is not possible is the so-called accompanied drinking," Blienert told the "Welt". According to the Youth Protection Act, young people from the age of 14 may drink beer, wine or sparkling wine in the presence of a person with custody. "We have to gradually move from a free rampant growth to a regulated, controlled use of tobacco and alcohol," he said. "The availability is too low threshold."

He also called it "paradoxical that you can buy tobacco from vending machines around the clock, almost anywhere. We also need a well-founded debate on this." Among other things, the introduction of neutral standard packaging should be examined.

In addition, the drug commissioner said that alcohol and tobacco should not be advertised. "I think it is necessary to clearly limit the advertising opportunities for alcohol and tobacco." He also considers advertising for gambling inappropriate. “However, the responsibility here does not lie with the federal government, but with the states. Personally, I would say: This advertising should be stopped.”

Blienert for realignment of drug policy

At the same time, the federal government is committed to the legalization of cannabis – albeit in a controlled form. In addition, Blienert called for a reorientation of drug policy in the "Welt". "In health issues, criminal law is not therapy, but rather problematic and disabling," he stated.

The focus should be on health, not criminal law. Drug users should not be stigmatized, but should be heard and accepted. Blienert announced that he would talk to the states and municipalities "about the expansion and support of drug consumption rooms".

With information from Jim-Bob Nickschas, ARD capital studio

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