Photograph by Alexodus

Councillors in Berlin have voted to follow in the steps of Amsterdam and launch the first cannabis cafe.

In an effort to curb local drug dealings, councillors in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg have voted to legalise cannabis cafes. This moves comes in the ongoing realisation around the world that the “war on drugs” has been a failure. District Mayor Monika Herrmann told the local Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that after the decades of failure of drug criminalisation “we now have to think about offbeat solutions”.

Currently exceptions to Germany’s ban on drugs are only for research purposes and times when it is in the “public interest” – a clause which the Berlin councillors intend to focus on by explaining that decriminalisation may be in the German public’s best interest.

The war on drugs has seen hundreds of thousands of people sent to jail around the world for using the banned narcotics, but has had no impact at all on the volume of drugs being sold on the streets. Under these proposed plans, Berlin joins a number of cities around the world that have begun to move towards treating drugs as a health issue rather than a crime issue.



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