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Pencil drawing of the law school Logo of the Humboldt Forum Recht The logo reflects the ground plan of the Humboldt-University to Berlin
ISSN 1862-7617
Publications - Essays - 3-2015
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Prof. Dr. Lorenz Böllinger

Das Scheitern strafrechtlicher Drogenprohibition

Zur Notwendigkeit einer Reform des Drogenstrafrechts

Abstract from the author

Portrait des AutorsIn 1994 the German Supreme Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) declared the constitutionality of criminal law drug prohibition by the Betäubungsmittelgesetz. More than twenty years thereafter the state of art in legal and social sciences demands a paradigm change. On principles of German criminal as well as constitutional law theory the factual criminalization of any drug related behavior even if it constitutes harm of oneself is not legit-imate as it does not harm or endanger any constitutionally defined values (Rechtsgüter) of others. It is therefore unconstitutional. In 1971 drug criminalization was legitimized as neces-sary for the protection of „public health“ and „social togetherness“. Such definitions do not comply with constitutional and generally accepted criteria of certainty and non-arbitrariness. The second part of the article follows up on the results of empirical drug sciences. They show that the „drug war“ has utterly failed because the state has virtually no control over produc-tion and distribution of potentially risky substances. Criminal law as a means for gaining such control is inept, unnecessary and unproportional. Therefore the principle of commensurate-ness as the salient constitutional maxim is violated. Both criticisms constitute the necessity of total decriminalization of drug use, drug specific regulation and a public health approach in dealing with drug risks.

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Index of contents

Criminal Law

Betäubungsmittelgesetz | Bundestag | Bundesverfassungsgericht | certainty | commensurateness | constitutionality | constitutional law | control | criminalization | criminal law | decriminalization | distribution | drugs | drug use | drug war | empirical drug sciences | German Supreme Constitutional Court | health | inept | law theory | legalization | legislative | marihuana | non-arbitrariness | paradigm change | production | prohibition | public health | social sciences | social togetherness | state | substances | the Netherlands | U.S.A. | unconstitutional | unnecessary | unproportional

Quotation reference:
Lorenz Böllinger, HFR 2015, S. 23 et seqq.

Linking reference:

Edited by Theresa Tschenker