Your latest cannabis business info from Europe

Your latest cannabis business info from Europe

2024-03-26

Discussions around cannabis and driving after 1st April in Germany

Discussions around cannabis and driving after 1st April in Germany

In Germany, discussions surrounding cannabis have gained momentum. With April 1st marking a significant change in cannabis legalisation, THC will no longer be classified as a controlled substance. While regulations regarding possession and personal use have largely been clarified, one question remains unanswered: What are the implications of driving under the influence of cannabis?

Driving vs cannabis in Germany

Presently, the THC threshold for drivers stands at 1.0 nanograms per millilitre of serum. However, according to the German Hemp Association, this limit is deemed too low, suggesting room for adjustment in cannabis laws. The current THC threshold often exceeds hours or even days after consumption. The ADAC (General German Automobile Club) has taken a firm stance on cannabis use while driving.

With the ongoing legalisation of cannabis, discussions are underway to establish new THC thresholds for driving. Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) is consulting with a panel of experts on this matter. It is anticipated that the THC threshold will be raised, primarily due to the extended detection period of the substance. Presently, drivers can be penalised even if the consumption no longer affects their driving. Minister Wissing explained to the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung: “The effect may have disappeared while the THC content in the body remains elevated. This phenomenon is not observed with alcohol.”

Emphasising that “road safety is paramount,” Minister Wissing stated that only those “capable of fully controlling their vehicle and not under the influence of alcohol or other drugs” should drive. The ADAC echoes this sentiment. Markus Schäpe, Head of the ADAC Legal Department, was quoted on their website: “Similar to alcohol, we need an indisputable threshold that solely reflects the effects of cannabis on road traffic.”

Alternative solutions

However, the ADAC suggests exploring alternative testing methods that might better determine the driving ability of consumers. One such method could involve analysing oral fluid. Nevertheless, the ADAC cautioned against experimentation with road safety, highlighting potential risks for first-time cannabis users who may be unaware of its effects. For this demographic, the ADAC recommends maintaining existing rules.

In conclusion, the debate over cannabis and driving underscores the complexities of legalisation and its implications for road safety. While adjusting THC thresholds may align with evolving societal norms, ensuring effective testing methods and safeguarding inexperienced users remain crucial considerations in navigating this contentious issue.

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