“In the history of mankind there has never been a society without the use of drugs; this is something that has to be accepted.”
Those words were uttered earlier this week by none other than one of Germany’s top cops, Andre Schulz to a major German news publication, in reference to the public announcement recently made by the organization he represents. That organization is the Association of German Criminal Officers (BDK), and its members believe that the German State needs to put an end to the prohibition of cannabis and decriminalize all cannabis use. The current system, Schulz suggests, stigmatizes people promotes criminal careers.
According Germany publication TheLocal:
“Rather than focus largely on repression, according to Schulz, there are better opportunities in drug policy such as learning to deal with responsible drug use, helping consumers and addicts with aspects of welfare and making effective child and youth protection possible.
“For motorists, however, smoking cannabis must remain taboo, Schulz said, stating that for safety reasons, driving vehicles must not take place in an alcoholic or otherwise intoxicated state.”
Sensibly, Schulz points to the inconsistencies of laws between alcohol and cannabis, such as the fact cannabis users can lose their drivers licenses as punishment, even if they are not behind the wheel.
According to the article, “German courts have yet to come to a consensus on what quantity of cannabis can be consumed before a user can be considered unfit to drive.”
Yeah, well. Let us know when you figure that out, German courts. To date, there are no standard measurements of cannabis consumption related to impairment, and DUI studies have mixed results. In any case, it’s great to see Germany going through the initial throes of post-prohibition thinking. Like everywhere, local and state governments have to figure out what it means to actually control formerly “controlled substances”.
I won’t say that I wouldn’t still be somewhat intimidated if I ran into a German police officer on the street but, well, actually this does take quite the bite out of it. In my opinion, drug prohibition, especially for cannabis, has been the greatest dividing factor between communities and law enforcement across the globe. Removing the criminal element of consumption and of the illegal market allows transparency and the ability for oversight. That actually makes work easier and less dangerous for cops.
I’m glad to see more police are waking up to this reality in many parts of the world. Germany is going to be an exciting place to be this year for cannabis!
Want to see what the excitement is all about and learn how German and European activists are seizing the moment to implement cannabis law reforms across the EU? Join the International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin, Germany, April 11-13, 2018! Get your tickets for ICBC Berlin today!