German lawmaker Volker Beck apologizes for drug scandal | News | DW | 13.04.2016
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German lawmaker Volker Beck apologizes for drug scandal

High-profile Greens politician Volker Beck has paid a 7,000-euro fine for drug possession, effectively ending the case in the investigation stage. The lawmaker lamented his actions, calling them "wrong and dumb."

German authorities ended the probe against Beck, describing the possession charges as a "minor offense," a spokesman for Berlin prosecutors said on Wednesday.

The long-time Bundestag member was arrested in early March with 0.6 grams of a "suspicious substance," which the media claimed to have been crystal meth.

On Wednesday, Beck confirmed that the officials had ended the preliminary proceedings after agreeing on a 7,000 euro ($7,900) fine.

"My behavior was wrong, and dumb," the lawmaker said, reading out a statement to reporters in Berlin.

Beck also apologized for a statement he made after the arrest, where he referred to his liberal political attitudes towards drug use. His colleagues have since accused the politician of trying to justify breaking the law with party policy.

Marijuana vs. meth

Deutschland Politiker Volker Beck - PK nach Einstellung des Verfahrens

Beck is a well-known fighter for minority rights

Like many members of the Greens party, Beck has called for legalization of cannabis and drug consumption in general. Crystal meth, however, is a highly addictive and damaging drug.

In his address on Wednesday, Beck said that he did not mean to say that his behavior had been harmless.

The earlier statement "could have been misconstrued, and I apologize for it," he told reporters.

Still in Bundestag

After the arrest, Beck resigned from several of his posts, including his role as Chair of the German-Israeli Parliamentary Friendship Group, and the Greens party spokesman for internal and religious affairs.

At the same time, Beck did not give up his parliamentary mandate and remains on sick leave.

According to sources cited by the AFP news agency, Beck now intends to discuss his political future with other Greens party lawmakers. His return to the spokesman post, however, remains unlikely.

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