No cannabis model project in Berlin for the time being

No cannabis model project in Berlin for the time being

The Berlin district of Friedrichshain / Kreuzberg will not file a lawsuit against the rejection of the application for a cannabis model project. This means that the discussion about coffee shops at Görlitzer Park has been settled for the time being, although the majority of Berliners had opted for the project. Now the other interested cities are asked to spend more money on a larger scientific substructure. And legislators are required to amend the Narcotics Act to give cities more scope.

“Friedrichshain / Kreuzberg has given a strong political impetus. The district started as a pioneer, model projects for cannabis delivery are being discussed everywhere in the cities. The debate is not over, but is just beginning, ”comments Georg Wurth from the German Hemp Association about the end of the Berlin project.
After the Berlin district decided, Bremen, Düsseldorf and Münster joined the call for a model project, as did district parliaments in Hamburg, Cologne and Frankfurt.

The city of Frankfurt was a pioneer in the 1990s when it asked for a model project for heroin delivery. This attempt also initially failed. But then the political pressure increased and more and more cities joined until heroin was given to 1,000 severely dependent in seven cities. After the successful completion of the accompanying scientific research, heroin prescription was regulated by law a few years later. The German Hemp Association is now expecting a similar trend with regard to the cannabis model project.

“It is difficult to understand why it should not be possible to supply cannabis as part of a model project if it has been approved for heroin. Apparently, this is only about the ideological requirements of the federal government, ”said Wurth.

“The legal discussion between the district and the Federal Institute for Drugs provides the other cities with important information for another attempt. For example, you could try again with a stronger scientific evaluation and a limited number of participants with problematic consumption patterns. The project failed in Kreuzberg due to the district's financial resources. Bremen, Düsseldorf and Münster could now present much more complex accompanying research. And they can put more political pressure together. ”
Increasing political pressure from the municipalities could also result in an amendment to the Narcotics Act. The Bremen criminal law professor Lorenz Böllinger had announced last year that he would like to submit corresponding proposals to amend the BtMG in order to introduce an “experimental clause”. Four cities in Switzerland also want to apply for similar model projects this year. (pm)

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Video: Berlins Görlitzer Park: The park keeper and the drug dealers. DW English