German City in Full Marijuana Bloom; Pro-Pot Activists Question City's Pot-Ban RuleBy Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
The German university city of Göttingen is brimming with marijuana plants everywhere from parks to planter boxes, gardens and even the city police station!
The city overflowing with cannabis is neither part of a green movement nor an official beautification project; but they were planted by pro-pot activists to protest over the plant's illegal status, early last month.
'A Few Autonomous Flower Children' group, who planted the seeds across town, claimed the responsibility of this unique protest in a letter.
"We can't set eyes on this useful and beautiful plant because it's absolutely forbidden in Germany to grow it," the group said in the letter.
The group questioned Germany's ridiculously strict 'restrictive drug policies,' that allows citizens to purchase alcohol and tobacco legally, but not cannabis. In fact, the government has introduced an absolute ban on the cultivation of marijuana plants even with low levels of the psychoactive agent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Calling their actions a 'sign against the demonization of cannabis,' the group claimed that the plants sprouting up throughout the city has low THC content.
Apart from the Flower Children group, the local chapter of the Green Youth (GJ), the youth wing of the Green Party is also taking part in the pro- marijuana protest.
"The legalization of hemp is a matter of interest for us," a spokesman of the party said. A similar pot-planting protest took place last year in Göttingen, but on a much smaller scale. Now the plants are spread out across the whole city."
The debate over the legality of marijuana has been raging across the country for years. While various opponents are content with the illegal status of the harmful drug, the proponents claim that legalised drugs such as alcohol and tobacco are far more hazardous than cannabis. They state that many people die every year in Germany from alcohol and tobacco consumption.
Dr. Joseph Shrand, a treatment expert in the U.S., said that people feel that weed is safe. But if they are consuming it from a young age, they have high chances of suffering from psychotic disorders during later stages of life.
Further, proponents argue that by implementing an official ban on marijuana, people will obtain the drug through illegal sources, bringing them close to crime rings.
Meanwhile, police officials are uprooting the marijuana plants they see while on duty. They have also launched an investigation for violation of narcotics laws.
"Everything that looks like hemp is torn out. This action is a big deal, people really put effort into it," said Jasmin Kaatz, Göttingen police spokeswoman. "Everywhere seeds could be sown, hemp plants are sprouting."
On the other hand, Detlef Johannson, spokesman for the city government said that so far, around 70 marijuana plants that have been planted in the parks, have been destroyed.