• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Five things to know about weed in Germany

The Local · 20 Apr 2016, 16:21

Published: 20 Apr 2015 18:08 GMT+02:00
Updated: 20 Apr 2016 16:21 GMT+02:00

April 20th has become an unofficial holiday dedicated to smoking weed, which started in the United States and has slowly started to pop up in other countries worldwide

The debate about legalizing cannabis continues - court cases in recent years have granted permission to grow the drug for medical purposes, and leftwing politicians have proposed new legislation in recent months. But what else is there to know about the mystical herb in Germany?

1. Who can smoke?

Cannabis in Germany is illegal, but a few people - most of them people who suffer from terminal cancer - have been granted permission to grow it by the German Ministry for Drugs and Medical devices, .

In the country of 80 million people, just 382 Germans were legally taking cannabis as a painkiller in 2015, according to figures released then by the Federal Institute for Medicines and Medical Products (BfArM).

A total of 424 licenses had at the time been granted for doctor-supervised medical use of cannabis since a 2005 Supreme Court decision, although 42 of those patients had since died.

Photo: DPA.

2. When will it be legalized?

Green party members presented legislation in 2015 to allow adults to consume cannabis under strict conditions. The Greens reckon that a tax of €6-7 per gram of cannabis could also bring in €1-2 billion per year to state coffers, based on current average street prices of €10-12 per gram.

Still, as Georg Wurth of the German Hemp Federation (DHV) previously told The Local, the country’s two major parties may not quite be ready for such laws.

A poll by infratest dimap on behalf of the DHV showed that only 30 percent of people believed cannabis should be made completely legal, although 80 percent were in favour of legalizing cannabis as a medicine.

Officials have pushed for expanding access for those with terminal illness, with Federal Drugs Commissioner Marlene Mortler saying in February 2015 that seriously sick patients should have access to cannabis through their health insurance provider.

The Hanfparade for cannabis legalisation in Berlin last year. Photo: DPA.

3. How much can you possess?

The amount that an individual can possess without being prosecuted varies across the 16 states.

In capital city Berlin, the rules are much more liberal, with the possession limit being 15 grams. In most other states, the limit is six grams.

Story continues below…

4. How widespread is marijuana use?

A Eurostat study released last week showed that more German young men smoke weed than young women with roughly 18 percent of men aged between 15 and 24 reporting using cannabis in 2012, compared to a little more than 10 percent of women in that age group.

According to the 2011 World Drug Report, just 4.8 percent of people aged between 18 and 64 reported using marijuana at least once that year.

5. What about German stoner culture?

Before there was ever Harold and Kumar there was Stefan and Kai, the stars of the hilarious 2001 German stoner flick Lammbock about two friends who own a gourmet pizza delivery service as a front for selling marijuana.

The film was something of a hit with critics, and also had moderate success at the box office, taking in €2.2 million Europe-wide.  

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

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Train evacuated as passenger flips out during ticket check
Police at the scene in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

A regional train was evacuated in Leipzig on Wednesday after a passenger became aggressive during a ticket inspection.

Man arrested in Wuppertal as part of Spanish Isis raids
Police detain the suspect in Wuppertal. Photo: DPA

Police have arrested five suspected members of an Isis cell in Spain, Belgium and Germany that spread propaganda for the group online, the Spanish interior ministry said Wednesday.

Germans cut home energy usage by six percent in a year
Hamburg at night. Photo: DPA

The Energiewende is the German government's ambitious policy of drastically reducing carbon emissions. New figures show one remarkable success.

Merkel party MP under fire for using Nazi propaganda term
Bettina Kudla. Photo: Büro Bettina Kudla MdB/DPA.

A member of Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party is in hot water after tweeting over the weekend a Nazi propaganda term in her criticism of the country’s refugee policies.

Govt denies planning bailout for troubled Deutsche Bank
Photo: DPA

Germany's finance ministry on Wednesday said the government was "not preparing rescue plans" for Deutsche Bank, denying a newspaper report that state aid was being considered for the embattled lender.

Munich at high risk of housing bubble: report
A view of Munich. Photo: Pexels.com

Considering buying property in Munich? This report might make you think twice.

After fatal hail storm, south Germany set to see sun
The hail storm in Baden-Württemberg on Monday night left the streets looking like a winter landscape. Photo: DPA.

A hail storm in southwest Germany on Monday night led to the death of one woman, but forecasters predict a bit more sun in the days to come.

Police shoot dead father who attacked daughter's abuser
Police at the scene of the shooting in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Berlin police on Tuesday night shot and killed the father of a young girl at a refugee home as he tried to attack a man who allegedly sexually abused his daughter.

TV celebrity criticized for claiming 70 kg is overweight
Sophie Thomalla. Photo: DPA

Model Sophie Thomalla claimed that promoting models who weigh over 70 kg sets as dangerous an example as skinny supermodels.

UK files show how Spanish spy tricked Nazis over D-Day
Photo: DPA

Secret files released in Britain Wednesday shed new light on how a Spaniard dubbed the greatest double agent of World War II tricked Germany with false intelligence about the D-Day Normandy landings.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,545
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd