Smoking Weed in Berlin: the 420 deal for a chilled life

What’s new with Weed in Berlin: the 420 etiquette for a chilled life

Well, here’s a thing – our parliament has as-good-as legalised weed in Berlin. Here’s another – nothing much has changed.

In fairness, we are neither number-crunchers nor retailers of cigarette papers and chocolate bars, but on the face of it, we haven’t witnessed a large uptick in stoners roaming the streets.

That might change as the evenings lengthen and the temptation for a toke in the park becomes just too irresistible. So, if you are on a visit, it is well worth understanding the legal landscape and getting a steer on Berlin weed etiquette.

It’s essential to be mindful of the laws and cultural norms, so here are some tips for a relaxing experience:

Legalities: Understand the laws surrounding cannabis in Berlin. While personal use is decriminalised, buying/selling and public consumption are illegal. Be discreet and mindful of where you smoke to avoid any unwanted attention from law enforcement.

The modern maxim, “f**k around, find out” applies here, and Berlin cops really are not known for their party spirit.

Private Spaces:
Enjoy a smoke in private spaces like homes or designated venues to respect public smoking restrictions. We are certainly not puritans at the Fabrik Hostel Hotel, although we don’t permit the smoking of anything in our gaff – thanks for asking!

Discretion: Be cool about consuming cannabis in public to avoid any unwanted attention or legal issues.

Respect Others: Be considerate of those around you who may not be comfortable with cannabis use. Not everyone enjoys the smell of weed, so be considerate of those around you when lighting up.

Social Settings: Share, but don’t pressure: Sharing is caring, but always respect someone’s choice if they decline your offer to smoke. Don’t pressure others into partaking if they’re not comfortable.

Keep it Clean: Dispose of your roaches and other smoking paraphernalia responsibly. Don’t leave a mess behind for others to clean up.

Know your Limits: Much of the weed on sale in Berlin is of weapons-grade strength, so avoid overindulging. Nobody is likely to bitch if you simply enjoy it in moderation and always prioritise your safety and well-being.

Berlin has decriminalised the possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use, but the public consumption of cannabis is still technically illegal and can result in legal consequences. Not surprisingly then, when it comes to purchasing weed in Berlin, there are few options available which don’t involve hanging around in parks…

Coffee Shops: Unlike cities like Amsterdam, Berlin does not have dedicated coffee shops where you can legally purchase and consume cannabis. However, there are some establishments known as “Hanfshops” or “Headshops” that sell cannabis-related paraphernalia, such as pipes, bongs, and vaporizers. These shops can provide information on where to find cannabis, but they do not sell it themselves.

weed berlinDispensaries: Currently, there is no Berlin retail scene akin to those in Denver, Colorado or other US cities. This lack of regulation or conformity is both very un-German and means that quality and provenance are anything but guaranteed. Worse still, fake cannabis is typically made from waste in filthy labs, toxins are sprayed onto dried plants which is all then packaged up and sold under various street names. Word to the wise; ask yourself, “is this worth the risk?”

Social Clubs: Berlin is home to emerging cannabis social clubs, where members can gather to consume cannabis in a safe and social environment. These clubs operate within a legal gray area, as they are not officially recognised by the government. To join a social club, you typically need to be referred by an existing member and pay a membership fee.

Personal Connections: Many smokerati in Berlin rely on personal connections to score. Networking within the local cannabis community or attending cannabis-related events can help you establish these connections. However, it’s important to exercise caution and ensure that you are dealing with trustworthy individuals.

This is all perhaps why very little has changed following the decriminalisation of weed in Berlin, and why there isn’t a massive upswing in consumption. These changes have essentially removed the legal jeopardy from those who want to do something which is, let’s face it, relatively harmless, but that’s about it.

We haven’t gone all Woodstock. We’re far too cool for that.


Images: Generously made available by Unspash & Creative Commons