Guten Tag ihr 20 Prozenter!
If you followed the German news this week, you’d think Germany was a country of pot smokers. The current ruling coalition unveiled plans to legalize the drug — Kiffer (pot smokers) will soon be able to keep 25 grams of the drug and grow up to three plants, if the law passes.
And, most importantly, they will be able to buy it in non-profit clubs. Apparently it’s largely how it is in Spain. But at some point I thought: I don’t really like the stuff so how many Germans actually partake? Not many, it turns out. The German hemp association said a 2021 study showed just 8.8% of adults had smoked in the last year, of course that will climb when it’s legal.
So what’s the big deal? I’m not against it — the two states I consider home in the US (Colorado and Oregon) legalized it and, to be honest, it turned out to be a non-issue, probably because so few people actually smoke.
I wondered because when I accidentally emigrated to Germany over 20 years ago (I’m just staying for three years!), it felt like everyone smoked cigarettes. But when I looked it up, it turned out not that many smoke — it’s now 23.8% of the adult population, according to the ministry of health.
I’m not sure I have a point here. Like my father, I sometimes just like to impart trivial knowledge with no angle or hidden agenda. And I thought those stats were interesting. And trivial.
Have a good weekend Leute!
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More room on the Ringbahn
Berlin’s carotid artery, the Ringbahn, will soon be bigger and more comfortable, according to the Berlin-Brandenburg transit association. Beginning April 14 (today) S-Bahn Berlin will replace the aging six-car trains on its main service with new eight-car trains that not only have about a third more seats but also air conditioning. For train nerds: They’re 484s that were built by Siemens and Stadler in Hungary and Brandenburg. The main service runs every 10 minutes in both directions (and every 15 minutes at night). They’re the same trains as those already on the S46, 47 and 8. New trains will be added to peak service (every five minutes) as they’re delivered to S-Bahn Berlin, which is run by Deutsche Bahn. The Ring (S41 and 42) will be 100% 484s by October 13 at the latest. Some things in Berlin do get better.
Should e-scooters be banned?
Four out of five Berliners would like to see rental kick scooters banned in Berlin, just as they were recently in Paris, Tagesspiegel reported (paywall), citing a survey it paid for. In a follow-up report, Tier rentals spokesman Patrick Grundmann said more regulation won’t help solve the problem of poorly parked scooters: “If we want to stop having conflicts about how spaces are used, then we really need to transform parking spaces for cars into spaces for micro-mobility. This would lead to a fair distribution of infrastructure.” Yes, please. But also: get your scooters out of the way, bro.
Updates to a murder and a stabbing
A man suspected of murdering a taxi driver in Grunewald earlier this month was arrested Saturday in northern Germany as part of extradition proceedings to send the man to Belgium, where he’s suspected of killing his girlfriend April 4. Berlin officials will gain priority in the murder investigation, putting the Belgian crime on the backburner, according to RBB24. Berlin investigators first tracked the suspect to Südkreuz, where he got into the taxi. And, in the unrelated case of a woman who was stabbed on a bus in Wedding earlier this month — in front of her two daughters — officers arrested her half-brother, who is now charged with attempted murder, also according to RBB24. Motive remains unknown (to us) and the victim is still in the hospital — gute Besserung.
Berlin is home to the world’s oldest gorilla, and her story is wild. Fatou turned 65 Thursday and has lived in the Hauptstadt since 1959. She was supposedly captured in the wild and then used to pay a sailor’s debt in Marseille when she was about two. The Berlin Zoo had a reputation for treating apes well so the owner brought her here. Fatou had one child, Dufte, who died in 2001. Happy birthday!
Those new trains with air conditioning have quite a problem--the windows are locked closed. That's not desirable when the train car is sheltering a street person who has not had recent access to a shower and laundry facilities.
Minor correction, Patrick Grundmann is not a founder of Tier Mobility