This Guy Wants to Be Berlin’s First Weed Van Man

By Matern Boeselager 

The purchase of marijuana is generally prohibited in Germany, the exception being Berlin’s Görlitzer Park, which has long been an oasis for weed consumers and served as a shining example of the capital’s rather lenient drug policy. Throughout the years, the residents of the traditionally left-wing Kreuzberg neighbourhood have co-existed in a kind of deceptive peace with the dealers and buyers frequenting the park, while the police—apart from the occasional raid—have mostly turned a blind eye.

However, the rising number of dealers—most of whom don’t have a residence permit and no other option to make a living than by selling drugs—has led to violence, harassment and increased media attention centred around the area. Last year, the mayor of Kreuzberg, Monika Hermann, proposed the opening of a legal coffee shop in order to get a grip on the situation. The senate rejected the idea, while the tension continues to build and police activity in the park swells.

The latest episode in this back-and-forth has been a YouTube video circulating on German social media for the past few days. The tape features a guy standing in front of a colorful bus, parked in the middle of the Sahara desert, announcing that on June 21, he is going to open a coffee shop in Görlitzer Park. He appears to have carefully considered his plan; he’s got a business registration with the “permit” to sell “Moroccan Hash” and a poster that shows the types of hash he plans to sell. “Come to Görlitzer Park!” he shouts into the camera. “I’ll have shitloads of hash on me!”

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