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Hanfparade 2014: Cannabis Legalization in Germany and Beyond

On August 9th, Paradise Seeds will be adding to the voice of the thousands of people who will take to the streets of Berlin to smile, shout and dance for cannabis legalization when the 18th annual Hanfparade (Hemp Parade) comes to town.

This is the biggest cannabis legalization demonstration in Europe and has long been a central focus for the legalization battle. For one day Berlin becomes a colourful protest for all the benefits of marijuana and hemp, combining live music, speeches and a parade of floats through the city.

We are calling out to all our friends in the European Paradise Seeds community to come and join the Hanfparade, which we are sponsoring, and make this year’s event the best supported yet. Green Light for the Legalization is the motto this year, and it is a message that carries an extra significance after an incredible year’s events in the world of cannabis legalization.

Hanfparade 2014 Reflects Cannabis Law World Change

Since the last Hanfparade more US states have de-criminalized medical cannabis use, Colorado has legalized recreational use, Uruguay has legalized sale, consumption and distribution (from cannabis seed to bud) and, as we detailed in an earlier Paradise Seeds news article, Jamaica has voted to de-criminalize weed too.

Meanwhile, in Europe there have also been significant changes. Spain continues to be a focal point for marijuana reform, with an explosion of the social club scene in Barcelona, and countries such as Romania and Switzerland have revised their cannabis laws.

Cannabis and Legalization – The Situation in Germany

With these incredible changes happening so fast it feels almost as if we are riding through the mists of prohibition towards a time when cannabis criminality is a thing of the past. However, there is still much work to be done as the legal situation remains confused in many countries, as discussed in our article European Cannabis Laws.

This is also true in the land of the Hanfparade. There have been some interesting developments in Germany over the past year but unfortunately there has been nothing concrete to emerge, as yet, in line with international developments.

It is estimated that there are 3 million regular cannabis users in Germany, however Stern magazine released a poll earlier this year which suggested that 65% of Germans were against more relaxed laws regarding cannabis. This is in contrast to supporters of the Green Party (one of the Hanfparade’s partners), for whom 51% were in favour of legalization.

On the flip side of this conservative attitude, is the reality. Although the limits vary between states, there is a general tolerance towards possession of small amounts (6-15 grams).However, the confusion is such that there have been discussions amongst politicians to standardize the amount of marijuana people are allowed to possess across the country, as Der Spiegel reported in May.

Anyone who lives in Berlin is well aware that official law or not, cannabis use is generally accepted around the city. Green party mayor, Monika Hermann, has been an outspoken advocate of the need for some kind of regulation – along the lines of Amsterdam’s coffee shop scene – to counter the rise in street drug dealing that is eating up valuable police time and resources.

This attitude has been echoed by the so-called Schildow Circle, a collection of 120 law professors, who have openly called for cannabis legalization in the country. Spokesperson, criminal law professor Lorenz Böllinger, claims legalization would stop the potential criminalization of so many German citizens, improve quality (thus decreasing the harmful health effects of ‘bad’ commercial weed), and allow open debate and education regarding the risks involved with using cannabis.

Green Light 2014?

Red… Amber… Green. These colours are internationally recognized as Stop… Wait… Go. They are the colours that appear on traffic lights, and we find ourselves not even consciously thinking about what they tells us. We just act according to the colour we see!
Green Light for the Legalization? Don’t think, just act. Come and join us.
Now is the time for change…


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