SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

Germany to ban trendy herb drug ‘Spice’

Germany plans to ban a popular new drug called “Spice” sold as a harmless mix of herbs that has raised concerns about its safety in recent months.

Germany to ban trendy herb drug 'Spice'
Photo: DPA

“It’s not the harmless herbal drug that its always being claimed to be,” the government’s drug policy coordinator Sabine Bätzing told the DPA news agency on Tuesday.

She said Health Minister Ulla Schmidt would sign a decree making the drug – sold as incense or to smoke – illegal by mid January.

“Several tests show it to be a cannabis-like substance, said Bätzing. “It has affects similar to cannabis, but the affect can be four times as strong.

Officials are worried the new recreational drug trend to smoke “Spice” among youths could lead to permanent physical damage. But because Spice, unlike marijuana, is sold legally in head shops across the country, authorities hands have been tied when it comes to preventing kids from buying it.

Recent weeks have shown a steep increase in reports of Spice misuse and health officials consider it a psychoactive substance that can lead to hallucinations and psychological problems.

GERMANY AND ISRAEL

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.

SHOW COMMENTS