For the time being, no cannabis model project in Berlin

For a long time it was assumed that there was a connection between the consumption of cannabis and the risk of depression or anxiety disorder. However, the current study results contradict this assessment. (Image: camilledcsx /

The Berlin district of Friedrichshain / Kreuzberg will not file a lawsuit against the renewed 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 spoken out in favor of the project. Now the other interested cities are asked to spend more money on a larger scientific foundation. And the legislature is required to adapt the Narcotics Act to give cities more leeway.


(Image: William Casey /

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

In the 1990s, the city of Frankfurt pioneered the call for a model project for heroin distribution. This attempt also initially failed. But then the political pressure grew and more and more cities joined in, until heroin was distributed to 1,000 severely addicted people in seven cities. After the successful completion of the accompanying scientific research, the prescription of heroin was regulated by law a few years later. The German Hemp Association is now expecting a similar course for the cannabis model project.

“It is hard to understand why it should not be possible to sell cannabis as part of a model project if this has been approved for heroin. Apparently this is only about the ideological guidelines 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 a further attempt. For example, you could take another approach with a stronger scientific evaluation and a limited number of participants with problematic consumption patterns. The project in Kreuzberg also failed due to the financial resources of the district. Bremen, Düsseldorf and Münster could now present significantly more complex accompanying research. And together they can put more political pressure on. "
Increasing political pressure from the municipalities could also result in an amendment to the Narcotics Act. The Bremen criminal law professor Lorenz Böllinger announced last year that he wanted to submit appropriate proposals to amend the BtMG in order to introduce an “experimentation clause”. In Switzerland, too, four cities want to apply for similar model projects this year. (pm)

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