Germany has been discussing whether to legalize cannabis, especially in Berlin. Here’s a look at the basic facts. 

In January 2017 the Bundestag passed a law to officially legalise medical marijuana. However, that doesn’t really help with regards to recreational smokers. The 2017 law meant that medical marijuana can be prescribed to those patients who are seriously ill and would Benefit from this treatment. Some examples would be multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, serious appetite loss or nausea after chemotherapy. In reality this is a bit vague as the law doesn’t really tell us what seriously ill implies.

The Federal Institute for drugs and Medical Devides (BfArM) is charged with regulating the cultivation, manufacture and sale at chemists of medical cannabis

The 2017 law put the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) in charge of creating a ‘cannabis agency’ to regulate the cultivation, manufacture and sale at pharmacies of medical cannabis. As this is still a work in progress, imported products are to be used. Pharmacies can swell it in the dried bud form as an extract and as oil from the plant.

Regarding future legalisation. Currently there is no federal proposal to fully legalise marijuana, however Dusseldorf is planning a pilot project to sell recreational marijuana to adults and is hoping to launch this in the very near future.

How much can you possess for recreational use? The amount that an individual can possess without generally being prosecuted varies across the 16 states.

In y Berlin, the rules are relatively liberal, with the possession limit being 15 grams in most cases. In many other states, the limit is between 3-5 grams.

How widespread is marijuana use? A 2015 study estimated  that more German young men smoke weed than young women with roughly 18 percent of men aged between 15 and 24 reporting using cannabis in 2012, compared to a little more than 10 percent of women in that age group.

According to the 2011 World Drug Report, just 4.8 percent of people aged between 18 and 64 reported using marijuana at least once that year.

What about German head culture? Before there was ever Harold and Kumar there was Stefan and Kai, the stars of the hilarious 2001 German head flick Lammbock about two friends who own a gourmet pizza delivery service as a front for selling marijuana.

The film has an audience score of 81 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and made a little over half a million at the German box office in its opening weekend, according to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb).

There’s also a sequel – Lommbock – which was released in Germany in March 2017