The new mayor of Berlin’s trendy Kreuzberg district has her eye on legalizing cannabis. The pot topic is causing a buzz in Germany, especially since German federal elections take place on September 22.
Mayor Monika Herrmann, who is, appropriately, a Green Party politico, wants to eradicate illegal drug dealing in her district by opening city-run pot stores for cannabis consumers. Under current German law, buying and selling marijuana is illegal, but consumption is more of a grey area; each state sets its own amount of pot a person can possess without fear of arrest. In Berlin, police tolerate possession of up to 15 grams of pot for personal use.
Herrmann’s push for legal pot has yet to gain strong political support. Conservatives want to maintain the status quo, and keep marijuana illegal. However, residents of Berlin Kreuzberg say they would welcome coffeeshops or cannabis clubs in their district as a healthy alternative to the current illegal drug trade in Görlitzer Park, the go-to spot to purchase weed.
The legalization initiative is currently being debated in the regional parliament of Berlin, and will ultimately be ruled on by Germany’s answer to the FDA, the Federal Institute for Drugs in Bonn. Hopeful Berliners believe that reason will prevail, and that cannabis will soon be coming to a storefront near them.