When German police came upon a six-foot tall marijuana plant during a recent drug bust in Rheinland-Pfalz, they probably couldn’t help but be a little cheered by the plant’s holiday spirit. Adorned with tinsel and decorations, this little marijuana tree was part of one German’s Christmas “tradition”—that is, before the plant and 150 grams of its green companions were confiscated by the police.
Later, the police report read, “A hippie celebrates Christmas too… just differently.”
This comes after another German got busted for a home-made Advent Calendar with – Surprise! – little green buds behind each door instead of candy. According to the Suddeutsche Zeitung, the police actually only wanted to take the 21-year-old Bavarian’s driver’s license (at his home?) but the drug-sniffing canine they brought with them detected other “delectables“ hidden in the calendar. The man claimed the calendar was a gift for someone else, but nevertheless got written up for possession of an illegal substance.
All in all, Germany seems to have a love-hate relationship with the jolly green plant. In 1994, the federal government said it’s okay for adults to have small amounts of marijuana for personal use and left it up to the individual German states to decide how much is too much.
In Berlin, for example, hashish and hemp fans enjoy some of the most lenient marijuana laws around.
Berliners have long enjoyed their city’s soft stance on marijuana. It’s not uncommon to see someone taking a deep drag on a joint in a city park or rolling one in the back of a café.
While most states define a “small amount” as up to 6 grams, Berlin has traditionally allowed 10 grams. Now, a new law stands to change that amount to 15 grams, but at the same time, Berlin is trying to crack down on drug dealers. Some Berliners are worried that upping the acceptable amount will make it easier for dealers to get away with it.
One popular Youtube video that had more than 750,000 views argues a pretty strong pro-legalization case. The song is called “The Magical Tax” (Die Zaubersteuer) and argues that marijuana should legalized, if not for pleasure, then at least for the sake of the economy!
As in America (most notably California), the Great Hemp Debate is likely to continue in Germany. It’s just that German officials seem more likely to look the other way when it comes to prosecution for mere possession. In fact, as an article on German drug policy points out:
Public prosecutors may decline prosecution of drug offenses — without consent by the court — if the prosecutor considers the offender’s guilt to be minor or if there is no compelling public interest in prosecution.
Unfortunately for the hippie in Rheinland-Pfalz, that didn’t stop the police from making the holiday hash bust.
So much for spreading some Christmas cheer. Christmas brownies, anyone?