Freelance US Journalist Detained in Germany for Cannabis Following Barcelona Assignment.. she writes

Sitting on this airplane, not high, I am still distraught over what transpired this morning. Let me first start with the reflection that I take full responsibility for my actions and I’m in no way dismissing the fact that everyone needs to abide by the law of the country they are in. I am, however, trying to make sense of my experience of being detained for cannabis, as most of my professional work lies within the cannabis industry.

As a freelance journalist and on-camera host based in Los Angeles, I had the golden opportunity to host the International Cannabis Awards in Barcelona, Spain, just a few days ago before attending Spannabis, Europe’s most prominent cannabis event. The ICAs were deemed the “Oscars of the cannabis industry,” and I was definitely not taking the opportunity to host such a prestigious award ceremony overseas for granted.

Cannabis brought me to Spain, and I’ll forever be grateful. Beyond falling in love with the city in itself, Spannabis was something I’d never imagined to be taking place overseas—especially in a place where weed is not yet fully legal. A good handful of social clubs (what they call weed consumption lounges in Europe) got raided just this week.

Thanks to the good people at Royal Queen Seeds, I attended Day 1 of Spannabis on Friday, March 15. Working with such a well-respected brand has been a joy as one of their ambassadors. They had the biggest booth at the expo, although I’d label Spannabis more of a weed festival. Guests can buy a ticket for 25 Euros and attend, whereas trade shows in the US are much more expensive and sometimes only limited to vendors.

My flight back to the States was scheduled for 9:50 am on Saturday. I was supposed to fly back on the Air France airline, with a Paris layover. I typically am late to flights, so I scheduled a cab to pick me up from Axel Hotel at 6:50 am. Who knew that arriving 2.5 hours early would result in the nightmare that would ensue?

Upon arriving at the Air France counter, I learned my scheduled flight was overbooked by about seven to eight people. Without my consent, the counter’s airline representative informed me I was being switched to a 7:55 am flight via Lufthansa, which would now stop in Munich, Germany, instead of Paris.

So now, I’m on a two-hour flight from Barcelona to Germany. There was an hour’s transfer window to my next gate upon arrival, with my luggage taken care of in the backend. Side note: this might be a good time to note that I typically travel internationally with weed in my checked-in luggage. I’ve been everywhere, from Dubai to European countries to the Philippines. I’m not encouraging this behavior in any way, but I have never thought twice about bringing the plant with me.

I suffer from ADD/ADHD, so I tend to lag when it comes to boarding the flight. I like to be one of the last ones to board—and for this very reason, sitting down for long periods is my hell. As I approached the gate, I was suddenly stopped by two men who showed me their police badges.

They confirmed my name and told me they’d been waiting 30 minutes for me. Not knowing what I was being stopped for, one of them eventually pulled out all the weed from my checked-in luggage. It was all detained inside a see-through bag and held together by rubber bands. This honestly seemed unnecessary, as he essentially made it a point to throw it in my face that he had caught me red-handed.

They then asked if I had any “marijuana” on me, to which I admitted yes and handed over the pre-rolls in the backpack. That wasn’t enough. They proceeded to search through every inch of my backpack (literally every inch) and confiscated the edibles I had brought for my trip from the US to Barcelona to help me sleep on the long flight. I honestly forgot they were still there in the front pocket.

Now, they became upset and made me turn my pockets inside out to ensure I didn’t have anything on me. They didn’t even have the courtesy to return my belongings where they found them, not to mention the main agent commented: “You were coming from the expo, huh?” I’m not quite sure if he used the word cannabis or not, but he was definitely addressing Spannabis. The comment seemed contradictory in that he knew this was for work purposes, yet I was still being treated like I did something incredibly wrong. I was instructed to take my belongings and follow them to their office so they could process this as a criminal record. Great.

After doing my research, I learned that as of today, The Cannabis Act legalizes the use of cannabis for German residents aged 18 and above, with possession of up to 25 grams allowed in public and up to 50 grams in private or at home. To drive the point even further, cannabis in Germany will be legalized for adult-use starting April 1 of this year. What are the chances?

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US Journalist Detained in Germany for Cannabis Following Barcelona Assignment

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