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UEFA Euro 2024: German Police Encourage British Football Fans to Smoke Cannabis Instead of Downing Pints

UEFA Euro 2024: German Police Encourage British Football Fans to Smoke Cannabis Instead of Downing Pints

Football season is in gear in Germany, and police, in a bid to reduce hooliganism, have encouraged British football fans to smoke cannabis instead of getting drunk

Benjamin M Adams, High Times

17 June 2024 at 10:00:00

This report from High Times, pubished on 7 June 2024 (and updated)


Anything is better than an invasion of arrogant, drunken football fans from England—including cannabis—at least according to German police who spoke out on the matter recently, as a major sporting event transforms the area.


UEFA Euro 2024 takes place in Germany from June 14 until July 14, and fans from all parts of Europe are preparing for a showdown. England and Scotland are two of 24 teams who will compete for the European Championship trophy. Around 40,000 Three Lions fans converged in Gelsenkirchen last weekend ahead for England’s opening 1 – 0 victory over Serbia.


Metro.co.uk reports that an unprecedented security operation has been launched in order to prevent potential “hooliganism.” England football fans have already been warned against taking part in offensive chants in an attempt to provoke the opposing fans.


The 2024 UEFA European Football Championship is now in the 17th edition of the UEFA European Championship, the quadrennial international football (soccer) championship organized by UEFA for the European men’s national teams of its member associations. The winner of UERA Euro 2024 will later compete in the 2025 CONMEBOL–UEFA Cup of Champions against the 2024 Copa América winner.


German police told England fans heading to UETA Euro 2024 this summer and encouraged them to smoke cannabis instead of downing pints. The Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen is set to serve low-alcohol beer in an attempt to keep potential trouble to a minimum but local police have another card up their sleeves: offering pot instead.


Instead of elevating emotions, potentially causing aggression and creating problems, pot induces a different, calmer state of mind—something that German police can deal with.


“It’s no problem for fans to smoke cannabis on the street,” a Gelsenkirchen Police spokesman told The Sun. “If we see a group of people drinking alcohol and looking a bit aggressive, and another group smoking cannabis, of course we’ll look at the group drinking alcohol. Drinking alcohol can make someone more aggressive, and smoking cannabis puts people in a chill mood. We want to prevent violence and keep people safe.”


“Our focus will be on fans who are drinking and potentially getting violent—that’s why we in place safety precautions on alcohol,” the spokesperson continued.


Chief Inspector Christof Burghardt told Sky News that he also agrees that England’s opening game will be “high-risk.”


“I think it’s a very high-risk game because of the history, because of the hooligans both sides have,” Burghardt said. “Serbia has many hooligans. The English guys, with alcohol, they are very aggressive. So it’s a great job to do this, to prepare, so that hopefully nothing will happen.’


He added: ‘The biggest challenge for us will be to identify violent, disruptive groups at an early stage, to separate them from peaceful and law-abiding fans.”


Germany Legalizes Cannabis for Personal Use


Earlier this year, Germany legalized cannabis for personal use. The German government in March adopted a bill to end the prohibition of cannabis for adults that will make possession and home cultivation of cannabis legal in the country, which began on 1 April 2024.


The legislation, which also allows for the establishment of cannabis clubs, was given final approval in March in the Bundesrat, Germany’s legislative chamber representing the country’s 16 federal states. The bill has already been approved by the second chamber of parliament known as the Bundestag, which voted to pass the legislation earlier this year.


Under the limited legalization bill known as CanG, adults ages 18 and older will be permitted to possess up to 25 grams of cannabis and store up to 50 grams of it at home beginning on 1 April 2024. The measure also permits adults to grow as many as three cannabis plants at their residences.


On 1 July 2023, Germany’s cannabis legalization plan kicked off, permitting non-commercial cannabis clubs, where members will have access to legally cultivated cannabis. Each cannabis club will be limited to no more than 500 members. The legislation does not include provisions that allow for-profit adult-use cannabis producers or retailers.


“The fight was worth it,” Health Minister Karl Lauterbach wrote on X, according to a translation from Politico. “Please use the new option responsibly.”


“Hopefully this is the beginning of the end for the black market today,” he added.


The Bundesrat then voted to approve the plan to legalize cannabis in Germany, which will join Malta and Switzerland in the small group of European nations that have approved limited cannabis legalization plans.


With legal cannabis for adults, it provides another way to get inebriated at football events without causing too many problems. It’s a chance for British football fans to reestablish their reputation.

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