Marijuana is the big winner of this year’s election. Recreational marijuana found allies in voters from California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts while residents in Montana, North Dakota, Arkansas, and Florida legalized weed for medical use. A strong push for cannabis reform is also underway in Berlin, Germany.
Berlin’s Social Democrats have begun a push to decriminalize cannabis as they look for a “scientifically monitored pilot project for the controlled distribution of cannabis to adults.”
Although the push for reform does not mean people in the German capital can start sparking up joints in the streets just yet, the announcement is a major step forward in the worldwide movement to de-stigmatize the beloved and harmless plant.
Historically, proponents of any type of pro pot referendum have been shut down by the Federal Intoxicants Law, which includes cannabis. Max Plenert of the German Hemp Association clarifies the current strategy.
“The legal code is decided at the federal level, and this is about a local attempt to try to do things differently,” Plenert told Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster. “The Intoxicants Law provides for such experiments. You can apply for exceptions, although the Minister of Health also has influence over the final decision. The state of Berlin has far broader possibilities than a city district in terms of setting up a pilot project. We can make a far more powerful appeal for an exception.”
The German news outlet goes on to explain that proponents are simply trying to bring the archaic law more in line with modern day reality, since it is fairly simple to purchase weed in Berlin with little to no repercussions for possession in small amounts.
Berlin is the largest city in Germany and the second largest city in the European Union. A successful push for cannabis decriminalization there could have far-reaching effects across the continent.