Your latest cannabis business info from Europe

Your latest cannabis business info from Europe

2024-02-21

Driver’s license regulations & cannabis in Germany

Controversy over driver's license regulations & cannabis in Germany

Germany is in a heated debate over proposed amendments to its Driver’s License Regulations, particularly concerning the handling of cannabis use among drivers. Today, on February 21, 2024, the Health Committee of the German Bundestag convened to discuss these contentious changes, sparking concerns among safety advocates and industry experts alike.

Driving & cannabis consumers

The crux of the matter lies in the government’s proposal to align regulations governing the driving by cannabis consumers. Under these proposed changes, a Medical Psychological Assessment (MPU) may only be mandated after repeated instances of driving under the influence of cannabis, akin to the existing protocol for alcohol-related offenses. However, critics argue that such a blanket approach fails to account for the fundamental differences between the two substances and could potentially compromise road safety.

Richard Goebelt, Head of the Vehicle & Mobility Department at the TÜV Association, voiced his apprehensions regarding the proposed amendments. He emphasized the paramount importance of road safety, cautioning against the normalization of driving under the influence of cannabis. According to Goebelt, delaying the assessment of fitness to drive until after repeated instances of cannabis-related offenses could embolden unfit drivers to continue operating vehicles, posing grave risks to other road users.

Furthermore, professional associations, including the German Society for Traffic Psychology (DGVP) and the German Society for Traffic Medicine (DGVM), have issued a joint statement expressing their reservations about the proposed changes. They caution that the changes may unintentionally create a permissive atmosphere. According to this, frequent cannabis users may feel to be safe drivers.

Questions about appropriate approach

The proposed changes also raise questions about the efficacy of existing measures to combat drug-impaired driving. Critics argue that rather than trivializing the risks associated with driving under the influence of cannabis, the focus should be on implementing stricter regulations and lowering impairment thresholds, particularly for severe alcohol-related offenses. Advocates for road safety have long called for a reduction in the blood alcohol concentration threshold for mandating a Medical Psychological Assessment, citing the need to ensure the safety of all road users.

As the debate unfolds, we will see how policymakers will navigate the delicate balance between individual freedoms and public safety concerns. One thing is clear: in the pursuit of legislative reforms, safeguarding lives must always take precedence over accommodating personal liberties. Only through a judicious approach to regulation can Germany hope to achieve its vision of zero road fatalities.

Related

Improving patient care and access of medical cannabis in Germany

Cannabis in Italy: understanding different perspectives

POPULAR

Germany: protection zones with the “Bubatzkarte”

Promising future of medical cannabis in Spain: €335 Million by 2030