• Germany's news in English
Top Green MP steps down after drug bust

Top Green MP steps down after drug bust

Tom Barfield · 2 Mar 2016, 16:24

Published: 02 Mar 2016 16:24 GMT+01:00

A spokesman for Berlin prosecutors confirmed to Bild that Beck had been arrested on Tuesday at around 11pm in possession of 0.6 grammes of a controlled substance.

The tabloid further reported that the drug was methamphetamine, otherwise known as crystal meth, although other German media have yet to confirm that.

Beck, who until Wednesday was the Green party's domestic policy spokesman, behaved "co-operatively", the tabloid reported, quoting anonymous police sources.

"I hereby make available my offices as domestic and religious policy spokesman of my parliamentary group and as chairman of the German-Israeli parliamentary friendship group," Beck told Bild.

"I have always argued for a liberal drugs policy," he added. "My lawyer will give a statement to prosecutors at the appropriate time. I will not comment publicly."

Politicians and commentators were quick to react online.

"If you make your offices available then you're saying to the group that you could take them up again, if they wanted you to," Berlin state parliamentarian Christopher Lauer wrote.

"Volker Beck is supposed to have had a "substance suspected of being a narcotic" on him. Maybe it was an essay by [Green parliamentary leader] Anton Hofreiter," quipped TV journalist Hajo Schuhmacher.

"What a shame, Volker Beck gives up his offices. There could have been other reasons for that," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung journalist Philip Plickert wrote, including a link to an article about the politician's support for decriminalizing paedophilia in the 1980s.


"If you look at the rancour here, Volker Beck must have done a bunch of things right up to now," Tom Strohschneider, editor of left-wing weekly Neues Deutschland wrote.


While the Green party has long argued for a more liberal drugs policy that would not criminalize users, it has more often been in the headlines for its pro-legalization stance on cannabis than harder substances.


Story continues below…

Party co-chair Cem Özdemir was filmed with a cannabis plant for his contribution to the "ice bucket challenge" social media craze in 2014, although he later denied that the plant belonged to him.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Tom Barfield (tom.barfield@thelocal.com)

Today's headlines
The Local List
13 (even more) thrilling facts you must know about Berlin
Berlin, du bist so wunderbar. Photo: DPA.

Berlin is just so gosh darn interesting, we couldn't fit it all into the first list on our website of infinite virtual space.

1000s of smashed beer bottles bring Autobahn to standstill
The clean up near Bayreuth. Photo: DPA

The main road artery between Munich and Berlin was completely shut down on Tuesday evening after a truck driver committed a cardinal sin.

Far-right leader Petry under investigation for perjury
Frauke Petry. Photo: DPA

Her right wing populist party’s electoral successes have struck the fear of God into the political mainstream. But Frauke Petry is now under investigation in Dresden for perjury.

We'll crush German airlines, boasts Ryanair boss
Michael O’Leary. Photo: DPA

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has told a German newspaper that German rivals Air Berlin and Eurowings are doomed.

All aboard the €3,000 train ride from Berlin to London
Hercule Poirot on the Orient Express. Photo: Arte/DPA

One imagines that there is more than one Londoner who has moved to Germany in pursuit of Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin. Now they have the chance to travel like him, too.

Adidas to bring production home with robot shoe factory
File photo: DPA

Adidas, the German maker of sportswear and equipment, announced Tuesday that it will start marketing its first series of sportshoes manufactured by robots in Germany from 2017.

Passersby spur on mob as they attack refugees
File Photo: DPA

When four refugees were attacked near a tram stop in a town on the German-Polish border on Monday evening, pedestrians egged on their assailants.

Pegida enraged by black children on chocolate bars
Screenshot: Facebook

Members of anti-Islam group Pegida were outraged this week to see photos of black and Middle Eastern children on packets of Kinder chocolate bars – until they found out who the kids really were.

Germany gets its way over fresh aid for Greece
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble appears to have got his way at a Brussels showdown. Photos: DPA

Greece will get extra cash in the coming months to cover its debt repayments – but there'll be no cut to the total amount before the next elections in Germany.

Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Chancellor Angela Merkel showing up French President François Hollande in a neighbourly battle of table manners. Photo: DPA.

Despite what stereotypes might have you believe, Germans aren't that different from the rest of us when it comes to social interactions. But these tips should at least help guide you through the minor quirks that come with your next dinner invitation.

Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
6 things about Munich that will stay with you forever
Church plans to connect with faithful at Wi-Fi 'Godspots'
Online hate speech can cost users thousands of Euros
Bavarians in rush for non-lethal weapons licenses
Here's Germany's Mannschaft for Euro 2016
The Syrian pianist playing his way into Germans' hearts
The parrot who flew fast enough to trigger a speed camera
Business & Money
Surprise results give Germany strongest growth in two years
New law could let free Wi-Fi bloom across Germany
Berlin's plans to beef up the German army
The bloody knife attack that shocked a Bavarian town
Supermarkets must pay massive fine for fixing beer prices
Lufthansa's Euro 2016 ad takes aim at England
The 6 German words you need to know for spring
6 weird and wonderful ways Germans celebrate May 1st
Feast your eyes on Germany in springtime bloom
4/20: Five things to know about weed in Germany
Police break up hipster swarm at vegan restaurant opening
Merkel allows Erdogan case against German satirist to go ahead
7 of Germany's most jaw-dropping national parks
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd