Marijuana Possession in Germany: Legal Advice

Lawyers for German Criminal Law

Marijuana Possession in Germany: Legal Advice

Lawyers for German Criminal Law

The legal status of marijuana possession in Germany is not straightforward. The use of medical cannabis is now permitted in some situations, and “small amounts” in a private capacity can be seen as “insignificant” for the purposes of criminal law. Regarding marijuana and the law in Germany, several factors can be involved in a case, such as the amount possessed, how it has been used, the purpose of the possession and even which German state you are in. Therefore, knowing the law in Germany is vital.

For up-to-date information regarding the legal situation as of November 2022, please read this blog post: Cannabis – The Current Legal Situation and Political Developments in Germany.

If you require expert legal advice, support and representation regarding marijuana possession and offences in Germany, please do not hesitate to contact the criminal law defence team at Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte.

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The Legal Status of Marijuana in Germany

Marijuana possession in Germany is illegal. However, it is deemed to be a lesser drug than heroin or cocaine, according to the Annexes of the German Narcotics Act. As marijuana features under Annex III of the Narcotics Act, there is more leeway as regards marijuana possession in comparison with harder drugs. However, the sale, distribution and growth of marijuana are illegal. If a case is brought to court and the defendant is found guilty of marijuana offences, they can face a fine or even imprisonment.

However, as stated, there is some leeway since marijuana is considered a lower-level drug than other “harder” substances. According to § 31a German Narcotics Act, criminal action can be discontinued for an “insignificant amount” used for personal purposes.

This “not insignificant amount” varies in the different states of Germany, and we will outline this in this article. Cases can also be dropped where no “public interest” exists in pursuing the case. Therefore, steps such as personal consumption by an individual may not be considered in the “public interest”. In contrast, the sale and distribution of the substance will be more likely seen as a potential offence. However, there are plans in place regarding how the government will legalise marijuana in Germany in the coming years.

“Insignificant amounts” for personal purposes varies between the different states in Germany; however, it may not be applicable in all cases. Essentially, the authorities will decide whether to bring further action, even if you have a small amount of marijuana in your possession. The values listed here apply to the weight of the product as opposed to the THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) value and refer to the amounts allowed for in the different states:

State Insignificant Amount
Thuringia / Thüringen Depends on the case
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania / Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Depends on the case
Baden-Württemberg Up to 6g
Bavaria / Bayern Up to 6g
Lower Saxony/ Niedersachsen Up to 6g
Hamburg Up to 6g
Saarland Up to 6g
Saxony-Anhalt/ Sachsen-Anhalt Up to 6g
Brandenburg Up to 6g
Hesse / Hessen Up to 6g