Cannabis Use in Germany
Regardless of whether you are a resident in Germany or a tourist planning to visit the country, it is important that you are informed about their marijuana laws. Many countries have legalized certain activities related to weed, but it is not safe to just assume that those now apply to Germany as well. Here are the things to keep in mind before selling, distributing, growing, or using weed (recreational and medical) in Germany.
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Medical Marijuana in Germany
Smoking and growing cannabis plants in Germany is allowed by the government given that it is for medical reasons. Patients suffering from multiple sclerosis and other debilitating illnesses can obtain and use weed with a valid prescription.
According to the Federal Ministry of Health of Germany, doctors are allowed to prescribe medical cannabis for patients to help ease such symptoms as nausea and chronic pain. They can also prescribe weed if they believe that it can benefit the overall condition of the patient.
However, even this development is not all good or beneficial to patients that need marijuana for certain medical conditions. This is because the population that is permitted by the German government to procure and use medical cannabis is very small. In a country of 80 million people, less than a thousand are allowed to use weed for pain relief by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices.
This pathetic ratio means that a lot of people who have valid conditions are not getting the help or relief they need. These overly strict policies may be putting lives in danger.
Right now, the country is in the process of finalizing a state-regulated cultivation program for medical marijuana. Meanwhile, it is importing its medical cannabis, and prescriptions and sales are all heavily regulated.
Recreational Cannabis and German Laws
Like in many other countries, recreational weed is not allowed in Germany just yet. The good (somehow) news, though, is that German laws are relatively lax in comparison with those in neighboring countries.
One important thing to take note of is that Germany has a total of 16 states, and these states have varying laws and regulations that revolve around the use of marijuana. What is legal in one state may not be in another. You can be penalized even as a perfectly valid medical marijuana patient if you happen to get the laws mixed up when traveling across states, for example.
In most of the country, you can get caught in possession of a minimal amount of weed and not have to face criminal charges. In this case, it is the definition of “minimal” that you have to pay a lot of attention to because it is what varies among states.
In Berlin, for example, the threshold is 15 grams. It means that you can possess up to 15 grams of cannabis without risking prosecution. However, in many states, possession of merely 6 grams of marijuana already entails criminal penalties.
Take note that the possession of recreational cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, as it is declared in the Federal Narcotics law. If caught in possession of more than the permissible amount of weed for recreational purposes, you risk jail time of up to 5 years.
It follows that selling cannabis seeds in Germany is also illegal. Currently, certain activist groups in the country are pushing for the legalization of selling and consuming recreational marijuana. The Green Party, Left Party, and the Free Democratic Party are among the most notable ones.
The Green Party is proposing that adults in Germany be permitted to consume recreational marijuana under specific conditions. Their reasoning is that allowing recreational marijuana use to some extent will help the economy by bringing in additional tax revenue.
One of the prominent rationales behind the legalization movement in Germany mirror those used by lobbyists in the United States. First, German marijuana activists point out the additional tax revenue that legalization or decriminalization is expected to bring.
The estimated size of the cannabis market is so large that legitimate tax revenue from it will surely bring about a noticeable change. This additional revenue can be used for public structures, security, healthcare, education, and social welfare, just to name a few.
Many lawyers and doctors are voicing support for the legalization and/or decriminalization of cannabis, including growing and buying seeds in Germany, for the same reason that is related to tax revenue.
These professionals present one more powerful rationale: legalizing the use of cannabis can help rectify the damage that has already been done. This way, addicts can have easier access to intervention and those engaged in illegal activities related to the marijuana industry can make a legitimate living by paying taxes.
Right now, though, only medical marijuana is allowed in Germany. There are many suppliers of cannabis, seeds, and derivatives for recreational purposes, but all of these are illegal. If you decide to transact with them, exercise caution.
The Future of Marijuana in Germany
Many surveys and studies that have been conducted over the past couple of years show that an overwhelming percentage of Germans are in favor of the legalization of cannabis. They differ in terms of extent, though.
Not all of them are for the complete legalization and/or decriminalization of cannabis. Many are merely hoping for more lenient regulations regarding the procurement of medical marijuana. A few are for total legalization of cannabis for all purposes.]
At the same time, the underground market for marijuana continues to flourish increasingly. The stringent laws and slow progress concerning legalization or decriminalization are only helping feed this illegal market. If you have the right connections and are careful enough, then you can get quality weed for a competitive price safely.
However, these developments still say a lot about the acceptability of marijuana, its use, and its culture in the country. Activists and enthusiasts are hoping that as more countries start to relax their own laws regarding marijuana use, Germany will soon follow suit.