Das Blunt: Berlin Wants to Experiment with Legal Marijuana

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Berlin is happy to be known as one of Europe’s most liberal and livable cities. Its club and arts scenes are notorious free-for-alls, and its economy is reliably productive and successful. (How German.) Emboldened by this dominance of night and day, business leaders in Berlin went as far as to openly court English companies upset over their country’s market-upsetting, nativist-encouraging Brexit—and British liberals admitted they made a strong case. 

Berlin has an enormous LGBT scene, Berlin has burritos. What could possibly make Germany’s capital even more tolerant and welcoming for a soon-to-be cultural refugee from, say, Donald Trump’s America? You guessed it: Marijuana, of course, and Berlin is working on making that happen.

Berlin’s ruling government—a coalition of Social Democrats, Greens, and the Left Party, or the kind of people you’d expect to find at a pipeline protest in America—are working on a plan to launch a “scientifically monitored pilot project for the controlled distribution of cannabis to adults,” according to multiple reports quoting 34-year-old Bendikt Lux, a Berlin-based Green Party leader.

Weed is illegal in Angela Merkel’s Germany, though anyone possessing less than 15 grams is not prosecuted. Like in the US, Germany has a national federal law that bans cannabis, but each of the country’s 16 federal states can set priorities. And the various websites that are into that kind of thing say that cannabis is remarkably easy to buy in Berlin.

Exactly what Berlin’s official cannabis-dealing program would entail—and how they plan to get the federal government on board—remains to be seen, but it will likely follow an American model to some extent.

German cannabis advocates say that successful legalization efforts in the United States are creating the “pressure” for German weed to try and go legit.

“It’s an attempt to advance the discussion, a chance to show politicians and the press that the topic isn’t such a big deal,” German hemp advocate Max Plenert told reporters. “And that could kick-start larger changes.”

Just in time for us to flee.

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