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9,800 files must be examined due to cannabis legalization

By Volker Hartmann

OG Link Published April 5, 2024, 10:19

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MAINZ – In Rhineland-Palatinate, around 9,800 criminal files have to be checked as part of cannabis legalization. Inmates were released in the first few days after the law came into force.




As part of the partial legalization of cannabis, eleven people have so far been released from prison in Rhineland-Palatinate. The Ministry of Justice in Mainz announced that the dismissals were made in cases where sentences had not yet been fully enforced for actions that had no longer been punishable since April 1st. The “Rhein-Zeitung” had previously reported on it. The majority of the releases took place last week in connection with an Easter holiday amnesty; one prisoner was released on April 1st and two more on Tuesday (as of the afternoon of April 4th).

In total, around 9,800 criminal files have to be examined in Rhineland-Palatinate because of the cannabis law because of the amnesty regulation for old cases provided for in the law. According to the Ministry of Justice, it cannot yet be said when the review of all these procedures will be completed. In many cases, court decisions are necessary.


The public prosecutor's office must not be overburdened

This is always the case when total penalties have been imposed, i.e. penalties for multiple offenses such as cannabis possession and bodily harm. These penalties may now have to be reduced. “These court decisions must be preceded by a regulated procedure that takes into account the rights of those affected,” explained the ministry. “That could take a few weeks.”

A certain priority will be given to the procedures concerned. However, because the prosecution of serious crime is not becoming less important for public prosecutors, there is currently less time left to deal with less serious crime, the ministry said.

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