Germany: Berlin To Trial Legal Marijuana Sales
By Derrick Stanley
Berlin is moving ahead with a plan to at least semi-legalize marijuana after a cross-party movement agreed on a ground-breaking pilot scheme.
The capital’s Social Democrats, the Greens and the Left Party have agreed on a “controlled distribution of cannabis to adults” project.
Marijuana possession is illegal in Germany, although people found with less than 15 grams are often not prosecuted.
Various German newspapers cited Green politician Benedikt Lux, on Election Day in the U.S., as saying “a scientifically accompanied pilot project for the controlled delivery of cannabis” was planned.
Berlin’s Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district has previously tried to legalize controlled cannabis dealing, but has been stopped by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices.
The city is one of 16 federal states in Germany with the authority to introduce its own laws.
The move follows marijuana legalization measures that passed in California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts, making marijuana possession of up to an ounce legal for adults over 21 years of age.
Max Plenert of the German Hemp Association, quoted by broadcaster Deutsche Welle, said: “The legal code is decided at the federal level, and this is about a local attempt to try to do things differently.
“This is a pilot project with limits. It’s an attempt to advance the discussion about how things could be different. It won’t have a massive effect on the market for drugs as a whole. But as with other pilot projects concerning drugs, it’s a chance to show politicians and the press that the topic isn’t such a big deal. And that could kick-start larger changes.”