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Austria has taken swift action to reinforce its border controls with Germany

Austria has taken swift action to reinforce its border controls with Germany following Germany's recent decision to relax its cannabis regulations. Effective April 1, 2024, Germany announced the liberalization of small-scale cannabis possession for recreational use, prompting concerns in neighboring Austria.

Austria has taken swift action to reinforce its border controls with Germany

Gerhard Karner, Austria's Minister of Interior, affirmed the country's response, stating that intensified police checks would be implemented, particularly in areas adjoining the German border. Minister Karner emphasized that the primary objective of these heightened measures is to safeguard all road users. He declared, "The police will conduct intensified checks, especially in areas near the border, to take addictive substances and drivers under the influence of drugs out of circulation."

In addition to increased patrols, Austria plans to deploy additional personnel along its border with Germany. These officers will operate in plain clothes, and specialists trained to identify signs of drug impairment will assist in conducting checks, as disclosed by the Ministry of Interior.


Meanwhile, Germany's new regulations permit individuals over 18 years old to possess up to 25 grams of cannabis in public, with the allowance doubling within private residences to 50 grams and permitting cultivation of up to three marijuana plants. However, the legislation emphasizes prohibitions on advertising and consumption in the presence of or by minors, along with restrictions on smoking near schools, playgrounds, and sports fields.

Further amendments are anticipated to take effect from July, including the establishment of cannabis clubs with limited membership and controlled access to the substance. Despite these developments, the law has faced criticism from opposition lawmakers and police unions, who express concerns about potential repercussions and increased uncertainty.

Germany's decision to relax cannabis regulations has prompted rapid responses from neighboring countries like Austria, reflecting ongoing debates and considerations surrounding drug policy across Europe.



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