By Kojo Koram / Novara Media

A key element of Britain’s self-identity is that we are a nation of innovation. As far back as the early 17th century, the philosopher and poet John Milton declared: “Let not England forget her precedence of teaching nations how to live”. Since then, the image of Britain as a world leader – always at the cutting-edge of history, always providing the legal, economic and cultural templates for others to follow – has become a sacred national truism, repeatedly reiterated by politicians from Tony Blair to Theresa May.

But when one considers Britain’s regressive drug policy, this self-assessment couldn’t be further from the truth  – a fact that Germany’s recent announcement about its new drug policy reforms has made even clearer. 

Last week, Germany’s incoming government – a coalition of Social Democrats, Greens and the centre-right Free Democrat party – confirmed it plans to legalise the sale of recreational cannabis. With this decision, Germany is following the likes of Uruguay, Canada, Mexico, South Africa and a plethora of states in the US, which have made similar reforms since 2012.