Germany’s cannabis laws

There has been a lot of talk, in the media recently, about law reforms in USA states & Canada. USA still has Prohibition (Sch #1) at the federal level, but allows ‘more relaxed laws’ at the state levels; currently 29 states allow medicinal use & 8 states plus Washington DC have regulated/decrim. personal use too. Canada has had medicinal use since 2001 & is set to go with national laws to regulate personal, adults use this year.
One country that has had, a relaxed attitude, since the 1970s is Holland. There seems to be varied drug policy across the EU, from eff. Prohibition in a few to, all drugs are decriminalised in Portugal.. BUT I recently got some info. on the legal status in Germany. Here are some details, from a press release & a map I found:

‘Cannabis is illegal in Germany, but there are exceptions to the rule. DW (German Media) looks at what’s legal and what isn’t when it comes to the private consumption of pot — plus, who says it’s high time to legalize marijuana ?’

‘The private consumption of cannabis, for example, is commonly known to be relatively relaxed. A police officer stops someone on the street for smoking a joint, and — as many people during lazy summer months can confirm — it will probably be taken away without further repercussions.’

‘Germany’s Narcotics Act classifies cannabis as an Appendix III drug: neither too dangerous to market, nor too dangerous to prescribe. LSD and heroin fall, by contrast, under Appendix I — not to be distributed for any reason, while Appendix II narcotics, such as cocaine, may not be prescribed.’ (sounds similar to the A,B,C classes in Aotearoa/NZ, but all these classes are eff. Prohibition only, for any/all uses)

‘Advocates of legalization want to see Germany open pot boutiques similar to those popping up in California’

‘The punishment for drug possession or selling drugs varies depending on the circumstances and can range from a fine of up to €25,000 ($30,000) to two years in prison for offenders over the age of 21.’

‘Although cannabis falls under a comparatively less serious category of drugs, the law prohibits the growing, sale and distribution of it due to its effect on the brain, particularly regarding addiction.’

‘Three little words have eased prohibition of cannabis considerably since the early 1990s: “a small amount.” As in, a person in possession of only “a small amount” of a drug, according to Paragraph 31 of the 1992 reform of the Narcotics Law can avoid prosecution.’

‘The public prosecutor may drop a case if the offender’s guilt “can be seen as minimal, if there is no public interest in pursuing criminal prosecution and if the offender has only for his or her own use grown, produced, imported, exported, transported or acquired, or is in any other manner in possession of a small amount of the narcotic.”

‘However, federal law does not define what that small amount is. The Supreme Court set the limit at 7.5 g of the mind-altering ingredient in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But, ultimately, the states have the final say….’

‘Medical marijuana became legal in March 2017. Prior to the law’s passage, an estimated 1,000 patients across the country had received special permission to use the drug for medical treatment.’

‘Pharmacists prepared an estimated 10,600 remedies containing cannabis or unprocessed cannabis flowers. A further 12,500 finished medical products containing cannabis or cannabis extract were distributed.’

‘With consumption on the rise and Germany’s law enforcement needed for more pressing security issues, politicians favoring decriminalization are taking aim at cannabis prohibition once again.’

‘The neoliberal FDP joined forces in February with both the Green Party and the Left Party to call attention back to what it says is an outdated and dangerous attitude toward marijuana.’

‘Pointing to the widespread use of the drug — by at least 4 million Germans, says the FDP — the trio want the government to legalize regulation of cannabis for private consumption. This, they say, would protect adult consumers from a product laced with other harmful chemicals.’

* It seems that Germany is moving towards, a similar model, to other OECD countries; still illegal or heavily regulated at the Federal/National level, but a more relaxed or decrim. model in the various states. A map I found lists the following (as mentioned above):

** Most of the states allow possession/use of a ‘small amount for personal use’ up to 6 grams (similar to the level sold in Dutch coffeeshops), whilst three states allow up to 10 grams & Berlin allows up to 15 grams (about half an ounce).

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4 Responses to Germany’s cannabis laws

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