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Europe: Berlin Set to Increase Legal Marijuana Possession Limits

Berlin has been a fairly cannabis-friendly city for some time now. It's about to become even more so. The city-state's top health official has told Der Spiegel magazine that she intends to raise the amount of marijuana or hashish a person can possess from 10 grams to 15 grams.

Under German federal law, possession of all but "small amounts" of marijuana is illegal, but the law leaves it up to the states to determine what a "small amount" is. Most states define it as six grams, including Brandenburg, which surrounds Berlin. The current standard in Berlin is 10 grams.

Berlin health administrator Katrin Lompscher told Der Spiegel she would soon sign a new regulation increasing the amount. She said the success of the 10-gram rule merited the increase, although she declined to answer the magazine's queries about what constituted success.

Lompscher is a member of the Left Party, which is the junior partner in a coalition city-state government with the center-left Social Democrats (SPD). While the Left Party has long advocated for marijuana legalization, the SPD is not so enthused with the herb, and a party spokeswoman, Stephanie Winde, grumbled to Der Spiegel that the SPD had not been consulted before Lompscher went public.

Berlin already has some of the most liberal pot possession laws on the continent. In Holland, you can possess only five grams without fear of prosecution, in Belgium, three grams. In the Czech Republic, you can have 20 joints. Soon, if the SPD doesn't block it, in Berlin you will be able to possess more than a half ounce.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Berlin, citadel of freedom

Berlin at least remembers the Nazis and doesn't want them back. Sixty years after the fascist tide was at its height, the freeest city in the world is now, probably, Berlin.

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