Smoking weed may soon be banned at bars, festivals and parks in Bavaria

Smoking weed may soon be banned at bars, festivals and parks in Bavaria

State Premier of Bavaria Marcus Söder (CDU) has announced that the southern German state will ban smoking weed in beer gardens, at festivals and in certain public parks. Here’s what you need to know:

Bavaria moves to ban cannabis in certain public spaces

According to a statement from the Bavarian government, the German federal state is planning to “limit the public consumption of cannabis despite the federal government's dangerous legalisation law”. 

In a tweet, Bavarian Premier Marcus Söder elaborated that current plans include a “ban on smoking weed in beer gardens and at public festivals” (Volksfeste). Söder added that local authorities would be given the power to “ban smoking and vaping cannabis products in places where there are many people in a small area, such as at tourist attractions, outdoor swimming pools and parks”. 

The famous Englischer Garten in Munich and Hofgarten in Bayreuth are the first large establishments to make plans to take part in the ban. Head organiser of Oktoberfest Clemens Baumgartner has told that the beer festival will also forbid marijuana.

While the cannabis legalisation law that was passed on March 22 now means that anyone over 18 can legally carry up to 25 grams of cannabis on their person in public spaces, Germany’s federal state system means that states still have the authority to limit when and where cannabis consumption is allowed.

It is expected that the new rules will be presented before the Whitsun public holiday on May 19, but it is unknown when they will be voted on in the Bavarian state parliament.

Bavaria claims ban will protect children and young people

In late 2023, when the specifics of the cannabis law were still being debated, Bavaria vowed to continue controlling consumption if the law were passed.

Now, Bavarian politicians cite the same motivations to ban smoking at bars and festivals as before the law was passed, to “strengthen protection for children and young people”. 

Cannabis consumption among teens has remained a consistent sticking point between pro and anti-legalisation parties since the law was first published in 2022. In an attempt to address concerns, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) announced in August 2023 that the government would publish an extensive public health campaign targeted at young people in advance of legalisation.

In response to criticism from parties that oppose legalisation, Lauterbach has maintained that “every fight against the black market further protects young people," and often cites that cannabis legalisation in Canada has led to a decrease in consumption among young people.

Thumb image credit: Kemedo /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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