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Scandal as MP sparks up joint on TV

The Local · 26 Oct 2012, 10:20

Published: 26 Oct 2012 10:20 GMT+02:00

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Martin Lindner - deputy chairman of the unpopular junior coalition party the Free Democratic Party (FDP) - was offered the choice between a bottle of red wine and a joint by talk show host Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre in a pre-recorded show aired Thursday night.

To his host's delight, Lindner immediately picked up the spliff, gave it a knowing sniff and dismissed it as tobacco before reaching for a lighter to prove his point. Stuckrad-Barre jumped in at this point, explaining the TV studio's smoking ban meant they would have to go outside for Lindner's exploratory toke.

After a long drag outside with the cameras rolling, Lindner decided it was cannabis after all - the possession of which is illegal under German law. “Scandal,” he exclaimed in an off-hand manner.

Watch the clip in question here (in German)

Unsurprisingly, his actions did not slip unseen into the realm of late-night television. Fellow FDP politicians caught a whiff and on Friday distanced themselves from Lindner's little indulgence.

“Publicly downplaying the consumption of marijuana sends out absolutely the wrong signal,” Mechthild Dyckmans, FDP politician responsible for drug policy, told Die Welt daily on Friday.

Filmed on Wednesday night, the show was not live, raising eyebrows and questions from the opposition about why Lindner let the programme go on air.

“He wants to establish the FDP as a fun party,” said Angelika Graf, drug policy spokeswoman for the Social Democratic Party (SPD). Smoking cannabis on television was careless behaviour, she added.

Lindner told the Bild daily on Friday that he was more interested in combating the abuse of harder, synthetic drugs and that he had a more relaxed attitude when it came to cannabis.

Story continues below…

“I did not experience any feelings of intoxication,” he added. Stuckrad-Barre, meanwhile, said the leading politician was the “ideal guest” for his chat show.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:26 October 26, 2012 by lucksi
So he had the choice between alcohol - from which arise thousands of deaths and dependences and uncounted number of alcohol induced violence - and weed - no recorded deaths and you might get mellow and hungry - and the outrage is that he chose the illegal "drug"?

It's only illegal because it isn't taxed.

Also, I don't smoke weed, but I clearly see it as less of a risk as alcohol. Or tobacco.
12:27 October 26, 2012 by Gilly58
OMG...He had a tug on a spliff, on TV, off with his head!
12:29 October 26, 2012 by keeps71
Seriously time to legalise drugs. http://youtu.be/sKhukbe_VkE?t=11s
13:29 October 26, 2012 by ghostwind
@lucksi: While I have no doubt that alcohol kills thousands of people indirectly each year in germany, and many hundreds of direct deaths, could you please provide some evidence that pot has not been responsible for even a single death?

Dont get me wrong, I am not against the decriminalization of pot; but I do think that it is a bit far fetched to say that pot is completely harmless. No drugs, including alcohol and pot are free from any side effects.
13:51 October 26, 2012 by lucksi
How am I to supply evidence that none have died? How about you google for marihuana/cannabis deaths and see if you find a single one that died do to overdose of weed (and only weed)
15:02 October 26, 2012 by Semtex
just seven cannabis-related deaths last year


The British Lung Foundation recently reported that smoking 3 cannabis 'joints' was equivalent to 20 cigarettes. When cannabis is smoked mixed with tobacco, the problems associated with tobacco smoking also become relevant.


Yup.....Everything is Bad for You.....Guess after we are born we should just choose what's going to kill us & enjoy the ride....................
15:19 October 26, 2012 by disease
Just take a look at or google Rick Simpson Oil

16:39 October 26, 2012 by mitanni
"could you please provide some evidence that pot has not been responsible for even a single death?"

Who cares whether pot kills? Even if it were deadlier than soft drinks, smoking, and alcohol combined, that's my business. If I want to consume a product that may kill me, that's my right. If we start outlawing everything that can kill someone, we'd be worse off than the people living in the GDR were.
17:30 October 26, 2012 by IchBinKönig

'The British Lung Foundation recently reported that smoking 3 cannabis 'joints' was equivalent to 20 cigarettes.'

This is only because the British Lung Foundation equated Marijuana Resin with Tobacco Tar. Apples and Oranges. Tobacco Tar is carcinogenic , while Marijuana Resin has been shown to kill cancer.

Marijuana resin does not cause the long term damage as Tobacco Tar does.
18:13 October 26, 2012 by Semtex
@IchBinKönig ,

They can make the statistics and studies read any way they like,

It don¦#39;t matter, what will kill you will be different to what kills me, I don¦#39;t beat my wife up after I¦#39;ve had a skin full of alcohol some do. I didn¦#39;t graduate on to Heroin or end up in a phyco ward after my experimental phase of life, some I knew did, Everyone is different and what effects us & how is different…….So pick your poison …Pay your Tax if applicable, and enjoy the Ride
19:43 October 26, 2012 by raandy
Wasn't it T.S. Elliot that said "nothing man makes is harmful only the way he uses it" ?
23:25 October 26, 2012 by hOU
Top notch.

He's a very brave and level-headed guy. This would be a career ender in the UK. Hats off to him.
15:08 October 27, 2012 by raandy
T.S.Eliot correct spelling
11:11 October 28, 2012 by steel jaws
This would appear to be just another indication that Germany is being run by Boozers and Junkies. Anybody shocked?
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