Published: October 6th, 2015
A while back, proposals were tabled that would see Amsterdam style coffeeshops spring up in the Kreuzberg-Friedrichshain district of Berlin. It would seem, unsurprisingly, that the pharmaceutical industry is not happy about the idea, leading to the Federal Institute of Pharmaceuticals rejecting the plans.
Probably not much of a shock to anyone involved, really. Who would expect a pharmaceutical based body to accept plans for a safe herbal alternative to become readily available? The cannabis campaigners responsible for the plans certainly weren’t, and they don’t see the rejection as a setback. In fact, it was likely planned all along, as they can now challenge the decision in a court of law – which is going to take a much more objective view of the case.
According to Georg Wurth, a spokesman for the German Hemp Association, “political pressure is rising from below.” In addition to the current rejection being taken to court, there are now similar proposals being put forward in other cities, such as Hamburg, Bremen, and Düsseldorf.
"Why was a heroin pilot project possible in Germany, but a similar scheme for cannabis prohibited?" Wurth asked.
Berlin: The New Amsterdam
Should the proposals be accepted by the courts, it will allow licensed pharmacies, headshops, and addiction centres to start supplying cannabis. Anyone over the age of 18 will be eligible to purchase it for private use. It means coffee shops like the ones found in Amsterdam would become legal.
It is hoped the move will cut down on illegal trade, especially to underage user – a trend that is being seen in Colorado where cannabis has been legalised.
It would seem the road to legalisation for Germany is going to be a rocky one, but the perseverance of campaigners is steadily bringing politicians around, and public support continues to grow. It will only be a matter of time!