• Germany's news in English

Düsseldorf moots cannabis legalization

The Local · 21 Aug 2015, 11:39

Published: 21 Aug 2015 11:39 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The move is the result of a joint push by the three parties which form the city's governing coalition, the Social Democratic Party (SPD), Greens and Free Democratic Party (FDP), the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports.

The "traffic-light coalition" (red, green and yellow are the parties' respective colours) in the North Rhine-Westphalian capital came together on Wednesday to pass a plan providing for a strictly-regulated cannabis trade that would provide the drug to adults.

"Study, prevention and aid fall short because of criminalization," Green councillors Angela Hebeler and Norbert Czerwinski wrote on their party's blog on Thursday, adding that "the number of [cannabis] consumers fell drastically after it was decriminalized, for example in Portugal and the Netherlands."

"Controlled trade in cannabis products... opens up a possibility for sensible regulation that the black market obviously doesn't permit. This would undermine the foundations of illegal trade," they go on.

"We must investigate whether people with problematic consumption patterns can be more easily reached with this form of access and whether harm to health can be reduced by more effective consumer protection."

Now civil servants in Düsseldorf must apply to the Federal Institute for Medicines (BfArM) for a license.

Councillors from the Düsseldorf faction of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) have vowed to oppose the plans for the pilot project.

Following Berlin's footsteps

They'll be following in the footsteps of Berlin district Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, which was the first local authority in Germany to apply for a cannabis license at the end of June this year.

Faced with an intensive cannabis trade in the district's parks, the Green party mayor asked the BfArM for permission to offer the drug legally so as to reduce crime in the area and limit health risks and sales to minors.

The capital's branch of the SPD may also ask members whether they are in favour of the policy in a survey planned for later this year.

Greens are the grass-friendliest party

The Green party has traditionally been at the forefront of calls for cannabis legalization.

Green state leaders in Baden-Württemberg and Bremen have also called for the drug to be legalized.

Story continues below…

And the party introduced draft legislation in the Bundestag (German parliament) earlier this year in a bid to focus attention on the issue.

It would allow adults to possess up to 30 grammes of cannabis legally and grow up to three plants in their home, as well as providing for trade in the drug to be taxed.

There is almost no chance of the Green bill passing, however, with MPs in the CDU strictly opposed to the idea of legalization.

They argue that cannabis is not the harmless drug that its proponents believe, and that it can trigger serious mental illnesses like depression.

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

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd