Berlin Ready To Relax Cannabis Laws


The Hanf Hemp Museum in Berlin is a tourist destination for marijuana lovers. Now the city may become even more attractive to potheads.

​A new marijuana policy could make it legal for individuals to possess up to 15 grams (a little more than half an ounce) of pot in Berlin, the capital city of Germany. The rule would make Berlin among the most cannabis friendly cities in Europe.

Berliners have long enjoyed their city’s soft stance on marijuana, reports Spiegel Online. It’s not rare to see people hitting a joint in a city parka, or rolling one up in the back of a café.
But the German capital may take another step toward becoming one of the most pot-tolerant cities in the European Union. The city’s top health official, Katrin Lompscher, said she plans to raise the amount of marijuana and hashish one can legally possess to 15 grams.

Photo: Oliver Wolters
Katrin Lompscher plans to sign a new regulation increasing the amount of cannabis Berliners can legally possess to 15 grams

​It is unlawful in Germany to have more than a “small amount” of marijuana, but it is left up to the states to decide exactly what that means. Most states, including Brandenburg — the state which surrounds Berlin — define a “small amount” as six grams. Berlin already allows possession of up to 10 grams in the city.
Lompscher plans to sign a new regulation increasing the amount; she says the success of the 10-gram rule warrants an increase.
Lompscher’s liberal Left Party is the junior coalition party in the Berlin city-state, paired with the center-left Social Democrats (SPD). The Left Party has advocated marijuana legalization for a long time, but Stephanie Winde, a spokeswoman for the Berlin SPD, said the Left Party hadn’t discussed the new 15-gram cannabis policy with them before going public.
Sounding rather petulant and left out, Winde said the SPD “would prefer to be part of a joint decision” on cannabis policy in Berlin.
If the proposed measure is adopted, Berlin’s marijuana laws would become perhaps the second most liberal in Europe. In the Netherlands, famed for its lax cannabis policies, individuals are allowed to possess only five grams for personal use without fearing arrest. In Belgium, the limit is just three grams.
The Czech Republic recently passed the most liberal drug laws in Europe, allowing individuals to grow up to five cannabis plants or possess as many as 20 joints.