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The History of Marijuana in Germany

Germany has a history with marijuana that dates back to the Late Stone Age, when cannabis seeds were planted at least 7,500 years ago in Thuringia. More archaeological evidence of cannabis seeds from the early Germanic period were discovered in Wilmersdorf and in southern Germany graves from the 5th century. Many southern Germanic tribes were using hemp in rituals, which continued well into the 19th century, when cannabis became well-established in medical practice.

By the 12th century, cannabis became integral to the lives of many rural Germans, including Hildegard von Bingen, who wrote extensively of the medicinal properties of cannabis. Hildegard is often depicted as “the first German visionary” who believed the “green power” spread and animated the world, so many believe that Hildegard’s visions were influenced by marijuana. By the 19th century, Hildegard’s medicinal hemp practices continued to influence Germany, as cannabis is still used as a source of fiber, food, ritual, and possibly recreation. These practices changed when hemp cultivation was prohibited in Germany in 1982, which remained the law for another 14 years, until the government lifted the ban in 1996 in response to intensifying protests from hemp advocates. Now, cannabis continues to be cultivated and consumed in Germany for medical purposes.

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