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No weed, just beer: Bavaria bans smoking cannabis at Oktoberfest and beer gardens

BERLIN (AP) — You can get drunk at Bavaria's world-famous Oktoberfest, but don't get high.

The southern German state will ban smoking cannabis at public festivals, inside beer gardens, and even at the Oktoberfest, the world's most popular beer festival, the state's government announced Tuesday.

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Local authorities in Bavaria will also be allowed to prohibit cannabis consumption in public areas such as outdoor swimming pools and leisure parks such as Munich's Englischer Garten, German news agency dpa reported.

“Our aim is to limit cannabis consumption in public spaces," said Bavarian Health Minister Judith Gerlach. “That is important for health protection and especially for protecting children and young people.”

Bavaria's move comes after Germany legalized possession of small amounts of cannabis for recreational use all over the country at the beginning of this month.

Bavaria's conservative-led state government has been particularly vocal in its opposition to the partial legalization of cannabis.

Germany’s nationwide new rules went into force on April 1, legalizing possession by adults of up to 25 grams (nearly 1 ounce) of marijuana for recreational purposes and allowing individuals to grow up to three plants for their personal use.

A second part of the legislation, under which German residents age 18 and older will be allowed to join nonprofit cannabis-growing clubs from which they can buy marijuana, takes effect July 1.

In its strict interpretation of the cannabis law, Bavaria's state government also wants to ban smoking cannabis in designated smoking rooms and smoking areas such as the outdoor areas in restaurants and cafes.

The ban will also extend to the heating and vaporization of cannabis and cannabis products, dpa reported.

Bavaria's state government argues that the ban of weed consumption at public festivals including the Oktoberfest is needed because consumers are not allowed to smoke cannabis near minors, and children and young people are regularly present there.



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