Sat, Jul. 10, 2004

Cannabis Statutes Constitutional

CK - Washington.   The German criminal statutes prohibiting the possession, importation and distribution of Cannabis remain on the books. The Constitutional Supreme Court in Karlsruhe published an order of June 29, 1004 with a press release dated today in the matter 2 BvL 8/02. The order is based on a referral from a criminal court which requested that the court determine whether--in light of more recent scientific evidence disputing the danger formerly associated with cannabis--the current prohibition could remain constitutional. The lower court had to determine whether the possession of 3 grams of cannabis were still of any criminal significance. The Supreme Court addressed the issue of proportionality as well as the broad statutory question. It found the existing laws, and precedent developed thereunder, to control the instant facts. It determined the question presented to be overbroad in terms of covering the entire range of criminally sanctioned substances. As a result, it declined to reinterpret the law. This ruling does not appear to foreclose a more limited submission of the cannabis issue to the Supreme Court for constitutional review. Handakte Weblawg has additional links.

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