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International Drug Policies





Afaceinthematrix
Does anyone know anything about the drug policies in Germany?

A few weeks ago I was coming back from Amsterdam and was going to Munich - where I was staying. I had to change trains in Frankfurt. These ****** custom agents (as ALL German custom agents are. They are all a bunch of f****ing a**holes from what I learned during my few weeks in Germany) stopped me to check my passport. Whatever. I don't care; I showed it to them. They asked me where I was coming from. I told them. I came from Amsterdam. They told me that I had to come with them. I asked, "Why? I've done nothing. Besides, my train leaves in 6 minutes." They told me that they did not care if I missed my train. They took me to a back room and searched my stuff. They asked me if I had visited any coffee shops. If this had been the U.S. - where I am a citizen and I know what I can get away with - I would have told them to f*** off and mind their own business about what I do in a country that they don't have jurisdiction in. But I am a foreign tourist so I just said no. I hadn't smoked pot because I can get that very easily here in California and I was more interested in the Red Light District (AMAZING btw) and in the night clubs. They kept telling me that it was going to be so much better for me if I just admitted it and that I would be in so much less trouble. I kept telling those ****** no. They then said they were going to drug test me. Fine. Drug test me. They dabbed some stuff on my forehead. They then kept trying to get me to admit to smoking pot. I kept denying it and finally I just shouted, "CHECK YOUR F***ING DRUG TEST AND TELL ME IF I SMOKED!" He then looked at his computer and said, "It's negative. Get out of here."

First off, I think their test was bullshit. He puts some liquid on my forehead and then looks at his computer? Furthermore, if it was a real test he wouldn't have had to try so hard to get me to admit something. He would have just read the test results. Secondly, why would they care if I had smoked pot in a place that tolerates it (for now)? It wasn't in his country. The Netherlands doesn't care if you smoke pot in their coffee shops because pot is decriminalized (although technically still illegal from what I understand). I looked up drug policies of Germany to see if it was maybe illegal to have it in your system. But according to one source, it is only illegal to be in possession of it. Therefore, I would have broken no laws. So does anyone know what could have happened if I had admitted to it or if they had a real test that found pot in me?

I loved Germany and the one time I met the police I found that they were nice (some police officers searched* me on the day of the Bayern Munchen vs. Chelsea England European championship game; I think that they heard me and my friend speaking English but once they saw our US passports and realized that we weren't English they laughed and said, "Oh you guys are Americans; you don't care about the game. You guys can go"). Although the customs were complete ******. They searched me every time I stepped onto a train. And they'd always try to get me to admit to having something and I'd keep telling them just search my bag; you'll see I have nothing. And when they wouldn't find anything, they'd get all pissy. Oh, I'm sorry that I don't have a bomb or drugs. Heaven forbid that I'm a decent good person. I'm sorry that I couldn't be your 1000th terrorist that gets you your promotion!</sarcasm> My friend and I separated a few times. But he never had any issues. He has blond hair and blue eyes and speaks German...

So anyways.... Does anyone know anything about drug policies of that area?

*Those police officers searched me. If a police officer in the U.S. wanted to search me I'd tell them to f*** off and come back when they have both a probable cause and a warrant. But I know what I can get away with here. I was a tourist there - not a citizen. I also don't know their laws. So I just had to make sure that I had nothing incriminating and then just go with the flow...
tingkagol
Quote:
coffee shops

Can't seem to get the connection between coffee shops and pot. Do kids smoke pot in coffee shops now? Those two come hand-in-hand?

Also, if you don't mind me asking - what do you think made them suspect you smoked pot?
Afaceinthematrix
tingkagol wrote:
Quote:
coffee shops

Can't seem to get the connection between coffee shops and pot. Do kids smoke pot in coffee shops now? Those two come hand-in-hand?


In The Netherlands, you buy coffee in cafes and pot in coffee shops.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_coffee_shop

Quote:
Coffeeshops are establishments in the Netherlands where the sale of cannabis for personal consumption by the public is tolerated by the local authorities (in Dutch called gedoogbeleid).

Under the drug policy of the Netherlands, the sale of cannabis products in small quantities is allowed by 'licensed' coffee shops. The majority of these "coffeeshops" (in Dutch written as one word) also serve drinks and food. Coffeeshops are not allowed to serve alcohol (although in the past some coffeeshops in central Amsterdam have transgressed this law without reproach)[citation needed] or other drugs, and risk closure if they are found to be selling soft drugs to minors, hard drugs or selling alcohol. The idea of coffeeshops was introduced in the 1970s for the explicit purpose of keeping hard and soft drugs separated.




Quote:
Also, if you don't mind me asking - what do you think made them suspect you smoked pot?


I have hair down my back and a beard down past my nipples... And I'm 22-years-old. It probably didn't help that I was wearing skin tight black jeans and a Slayer shirt with a giant pentagram and devil and that said "Show No Mercy." I look like a pot head. More importantly, I look like someone that they'd be able to get an easy bust for. I am sure that their job performance is based on how much they find and how many people they catch and I look like I'd have something. That is probably why every custom agent that ever saw me would run up to me and no matter how polite I was (the first 10 I was very polite to) they'd get super pissed when they didn't find anything. That is what truly bothered me. Go ahead. Search me. I look like an American, I look like a good for nothing metalhead, and I look suspicious. But don't get pissed because you find out that I am a good hard working tax paying (in the States) citizen that never has weapons and doesn't use any drugs for the most part... I felt that it was the same thing as an investigator hoping that some innocent person would get murdered just so that he could have another job and potential capture...
andro_king
what drugs are you guys talking about..?
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I have hair down my back and a beard down past my nipples... And I'm 22-years-old. It probably didn't help that I was wearing skin tight black jeans and a Slayer shirt with a giant pentagram and devil and that said "Show No Mercy." I look like a pot head. More importantly, I look like someone that they'd be able to get an easy bust for. I am sure that their job performance is based on how much they find and how many people they catch and I look like I'd have something. That is probably why every custom agent that ever saw me would run up to me and no matter how polite I was (the first 10 I was very polite to) they'd get super pissed when they didn't find anything. That is what truly bothered me. Go ahead. Search me. I look like an American, I look like a good for nothing metalhead, and I look suspicious. But don't get pissed because you find out that I am a good hard working tax paying (in the States) citizen that never has weapons and doesn't use any drugs for the most part... I felt that it was the same thing as an investigator hoping that some innocent person would get murdered just so that he could have another job and potential capture...
I guess that must be the reason they went for you. I'd put a complaint in somewhere though if I were you. That was abuse plain and simple of a US visitor.

My experience with customs people every where including Europe has always been good. The ONLY bad experiences I've ever had have been ironically with US customs. I remember when I missed a connecting flight having flown in from Switzerland via Atlanta, to Dallas, due to this kind of idiocy. It was not about drugs, it was just treating me like a criminal and checking through every bit of paper and then some. That was when I was still on a South African passport. Friends of mine from Sudan are treated REALLY bad. Like guilty until proven innocent even when they have legit visas that have been obtained with great pain from the local US Embassy in Abu Dhabi. The application of a visa is rigorous. You've got to virtually have a ream of documentation and authentication from your employer, proof of destination, plenty of other things and a personal interview. Then when one arrives at Customs in the US given the third degree all over again. And then when I emigrated to Canada, DiTTO at the immigration border with the US entering the US from Canada. Canadian customs and immigration officials are also thorough in checking documentation and applications for visas but much better trained in doing it according to standard procedure with a friendly and firm face. I don't like US customs and immigration officials at all. And I'm basing that not only on one experience but a few.
Afaceinthematrix
deanhills wrote:
I guess that must be the reason they went for you. I'd put a complaint in somewhere though if I were you. That was abuse plain and simple of a US visitor.

My experience with customs people every where including Europe has always been good. The ONLY bad experiences I've ever had have been ironically with US customs. I remember when I missed a connecting flight having flown in from Switzerland via Atlanta, to Dallas, due to this kind of idiocy. It was not about drugs, it was just treating me like a criminal and checking through every bit of paper and then some. That was when I was still on a South African passport. Friends of mine from Sudan are treated REALLY bad. Like guilty until proven innocent even when they have legit visas that have been obtained with great pain from the local US Embassy in Abu Dhabi. The application of a visa is rigorous. You've got to virtually have a ream of documentation and authentication from your employer, proof of destination, plenty of other things and a personal interview. Then when one arrives at Customs in the US given the third degree all over again. And then when I emigrated to Canada, DiTTO at the immigration border with the US entering the US from Canada. Canadian customs and immigration officials are also thorough in checking documentation and applications for visas but much better trained in doing it according to standard procedure with a friendly and firm face. I don't like US customs and immigration officials at all. And I'm basing that not only on one experience but a few.


And the ironic thing is that when you come into the states there's a sign at many airports that says, "We welcome you to the U.S..... We will treat you with respect and dignity... Etc."

I was talking about this with a guy named Mark Jansen. He's in a very popular band called Epica and so he tours North America a lot when their albums come out. He's a friend of my friend and so when Epica tours the states I can hang out with him for a while. While I was in Germany Epica was on their European tour so I went to one of their shows. After the show we were drinking some beer and he was telling me about all of the bad experiences he has had with U.S. customs when Epica has come over to tour. I never have problems with the U.S. customs but that is because I am a U.S. citizen...

I've also had issues with Moroccan customs. They confiscated my passport and made me bribe them up the ass to get it back. I couldn't argue with them because this was minutes before my boat to Spain was leaving and I desperately needed to get on that boat. But this didn't surprise me a bit because I was on my way out of the country which means that I had just spent time in the country and so I already knew how corrupt it was. That also didn't surprise me because it is a third world country in North Africa so it is what you should expect...


I don't mind customs stopping me. I get it. I look suspicious. I don't mind them checking my passport. I don't even mind them checking my small little day pack that I had. I didn't have much in it. Just my jacket and a couple of snacks.

What pissed me off was that they would get mad and angry every time I didn't help them meet their quota by having them catch me with something. Furthermore, I am not convinced that they would have a right to prosecute me for having drugs in my system if I had smoked the pot in Amsterdam. Pot is tolerated there throughout the rest of this year (when they successfully kill their tourism industry by only allowing Dutch citizens to visit the coffeeshops) and from what I understand, possession is illegal in Germany but having it in your system is not.
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:

I've also had issues with Moroccan customs. They confiscated my passport and made me bribe them up the ass to get it back. I couldn't argue with them because this was minutes before my boat to Spain was leaving and I desperately needed to get on that boat. But this didn't surprise me a bit because I was on my way out of the country which means that I had just spent time in the country and so I already knew how corrupt it was. That also didn't surprise me because it is a third world country in North Africa so it is what you should expect...
I've heard about this too. I haven't travelled to Morocco yet, probably because it's expensive for how I travel, air fare and accommodation. But yes, they're not the best at all at customs. UAE is much better. Particularly when you're from the BIG countries like US, Canada and Europe. Some of the African countries may be a great pain too. The rules are applied differently to different people. I've travelled to a few African countries on my Canadian passport and have been OK so far but I've heard from others that it could be arduous.


Afaceinthematrix wrote:
What pissed me off was that they would get mad and angry every time I didn't help them meet their quota by having them catch me with something. Furthermore, I am not convinced that they would have a right to prosecute me for having drugs in my system if I had smoked the pot in Amsterdam. Pot is tolerated there throughout the rest of this year (when they successfully kill their tourism industry by only allowing Dutch citizens to visit the coffeeshops) and from what I understand, possession is illegal in Germany but having it in your system is not.
That would piss me off as well. Were they only like that in Frankfurt though, as I've heard they're much more uptight in Northern Germany than in the South. Good to know however for people thinking of smoking pot and travelling to Germany.
Afaceinthematrix
deanhills wrote:
I've heard about this too. I haven't travelled to Morocco yet, probably because it's expensive for how I travel, air fare and accommodation. But yes, they're not the best at all at customs. UAE is much better. Particularly when you're from the BIG countries like US, Canada and Europe. Some of the African countries may be a great pain too. The rules are applied differently to different people. I've travelled to a few African countries on my Canadian passport and have been OK so far but I've heard from others that it could be arduous.


Morocco was relatively cheap - must cheaper than Western Europe. It's just boring. They have lots of little shopping areas where you can buy stuff but I'm not much of a shopper and you can get that in Mexico - about two hours away from where I live. There are also lots of mosques but it's not exactly a secret that I hate religion... I would go back to Morocco because I would have liked to go and see the Sahara desert and Erg Chebbi... But I'd only go back with someone I know that is from there or an organized tour. You'll get ripped off every time you breathe otherwise. By the way, our vacation started in Morocco and this vacation was my first ever trip overseas... So I wasn't exactly an experienced traveler.


Quote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
What pissed me off was that they would get mad and angry every time I didn't help them meet their quota by having them catch me with something. Furthermore, I am not convinced that they would have a right to prosecute me for having drugs in my system if I had smoked the pot in Amsterdam. Pot is tolerated there throughout the rest of this year (when they successfully kill their tourism industry by only allowing Dutch citizens to visit the coffeeshops) and from what I understand, possession is illegal in Germany but having it in your system is not.
That would piss me off as well. Were they only like that in Frankfurt though, as I've heard they're much more uptight in Northern Germany than in the South. Good to know however for people thinking of smoking pot and travelling to Germany.


The customs were like that everywhere in Germany. It's not a huge deal - it's just annoying. I seriously would have had absolutely no issue if they stopped me to look at my passport and even search my bag. I was on vacation more than a month and so I had the time. But to seriously get mad just because you couldn't find something on me? That's seriously like an investigator getting mad because no innocent people have been murdered this week and so their job is boring. Hoping for crime to happen just for the benefit of your job is just terrible.

And I didn't smoke pot but I highly doubt that I would have had problems even if I did. I wouldn't have admitted to anything and like I said, I think that their drug test was bullshit and not real. Furthermore, what crime would they have been able to bust me for? Like I said, from my understanding German law prohibits possession but not actual consumption. And I didn't have anything on me and so what could they have gotten? I want to verify this which is why I started this topic. I was hoping that someone would have more information and share it here...
tingkagol
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I don't mind customs stopping me. I get it. I look suspicious. I don't mind them checking my passport. I don't even mind them checking my small little day pack that I had. I didn't have much in it. Just my jacket and a couple of snacks.

I'm just glad no one's crooked enough to plant drugs in your bag so that they can reach their quota. That would be a disaster.

Quote:
The majority of these "coffeeshops" (in Dutch written as one word) also serve drinks and food. Coffeeshops are not allowed to serve alcohol (although in the past some coffeeshops in central Amsterdam have transgressed this law without reproach)

This makes a lot of sense. ^_^
Afaceinthematrix
tingkagol wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I don't mind customs stopping me. I get it. I look suspicious. I don't mind them checking my passport. I don't even mind them checking my small little day pack that I had. I didn't have much in it. Just my jacket and a couple of snacks.

I'm just glad no one's crooked enough to plant drugs in your bag so that they can reach their quota. That would be a disaster.


I never let my bag outside of my site for even a second. Like I said, all I had with me was a small pack with just my jacket and a couple of snacks. I am extremely careful about who's around me as well and I am fairly certain that if someone would touch my bag while it is on my back I would notice pretty quickly because I constantly observe as many people as I can (this is partly because I love people watching) and because I hate being touched (handshakes are one of the many things that I hate about our culture) for the most part.
Josso
That sucks I've heard similar stories - never been to Germany myself but I think I've never had any europe customs issue because my passport is UK. I dunno if you guys are aware of this but to visit the US you get the most ridiculous form ever. Not sure if it's other countries or just us but it asks lots of yes or no questions like were you part of the nazi party etc. If you answer yes to any it can just be an instant flight back. The one that is annoying is "have you ever been arrested"? not have you ever been charged - just because I've been arrested does not mean I'm a criminal. Apart from minor 1984 vibes coming from Washington I've luckily never encountered anything like happened to you. I suppose they get a LOT of smuggling around there. American tourists probably take bud over the border all the time for roadtrips and whatnot.
ocalhoun
*must resist posting stereotype about German law enforcement*

Maybe they were fishing for bribes?
Afaceinthematrix
ocalhoun wrote:
*must resist posting stereotype about German law enforcement*

Maybe they were fishing for bribes?


I don't think so because they never went for the money. I basically kept telling them that I didn't have anything on me and we went back and forth about that. If they were fishing for brides then they absolutely sucked at it. When custom officials confiscated my passport in Morocco they didn't exactly beat around the bush. They took my wallet out of my pocket and literally took all of my money and told me that they needed it to give me back my passport. They also knew they could get away with it because I was leaving the country and I desperately wanted to get out. If I wasn't in a hurry I would have fought with them for my money back.
D'Artagnan
well congratulations, now you get how is to be a brazilian tourist in most developed countries
Hello_World
Quote:
I dunno if you guys are aware of this but to visit the US you get the most ridiculous form ever. Not sure if it's other countries or just us but it asks lots of yes or no questions like were you part of the nazi party etc. If you answer yes to any it can just be an instant flight back. The one that is annoying is "have you ever been arrested"? not have you ever been charged - just because I've been arrested does not mean I'm a criminal.


Really? What if you are just a tourist? Imagine spending all that money to get a flight and they send you back. Do they at least let you fly onto another country? Like Mexico? I just ask, because maybe on these grounds I'd not be allowed in...

Here in Australia people seem to be really surprised about our rules about food and plants and wood and don't think we are serious and then when they bring diseased plants and stuff in they are shocked to get a huge fine...

I have no idea about Germany sorry.
deanhills
As far as I know food and plants are pretty much a problem for all countries and not only regulated in Australia. Sort of an international rule not to take plants from any country or to carry it into another country without going through formal procedures.

I remember when I visited Australia I had to go through plenty of hoops to get a Visa. My reception by Customs and Immigration was however OK. They reminded me very much of Canada. Plenty of bureaucracy and enormous complicated rules but at least the reception is not unfriendly. Customs and Immigration Officials are usually well trained to deal with visitors. There is also plenty of information available on Websites.
Josso
Hello_World wrote:
Quote:
I dunno if you guys are aware of this but to visit the US you get the most ridiculous form ever. Not sure if it's other countries or just us but it asks lots of yes or no questions like were you part of the nazi party etc. If you answer yes to any it can just be an instant flight back. The one that is annoying is "have you ever been arrested"? not have you ever been charged - just because I've been arrested does not mean I'm a criminal.


Really? What if you are just a tourist? Imagine spending all that money to get a flight and they send you back. Do they at least let you fly onto another country? Like Mexico? I just ask, because maybe on these grounds I'd not be allowed in...


Yeah doesn't matter the airline companies aren't responsible. No refunds. It's easy to just put no for all.
capricornis
hahahah, there is no drug test when they put liquid on your forehead.. they guy was playing you.. and you sound like a teen
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