Your latest cannabis business info from Europe

Your latest cannabis business info from Europe

2024-03-28

Germany: Expert commission proposes higher THC limit in traffic

Germany: Expert commission proposes higher THC limit in traffic

The Federal Minister of Transport Volker Wissing (FDP) is leading an expert commission that has proposed a new THC limit in traffic that might have a big impact on road safety and cannabis users. In a major change from earlier guidelines, the commission suggests increasing the limit to 3.5 nanograms of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per millilitre of blood serum.

Background of new proposal

The previous situation was characterised by strict regulations that practically excluded the consumption of cannabis and driving. Once the THC level reached 1.0 nanogram, fines and licence revocation were threatened. Many deemed this regulation disproportionate as it didn’t differentiate between occasional and regular consumption and imposed penalties even for traces of THC in the bloodstream.

The proposed increase in the THC limit to 3.5 nanograms per millilitre of blood serum is viewed positively by some politicians and experts. Kristine Lütke, the drug policy spokesperson for the FDP parliamentary group, emphasises that this threshold protects both road safety and the freedom of consumers. Similarly, Isabel Cademartori, the transport policy spokesperson for the SPD parliamentary group, views the previous regulation as disproportionate.

The expert commission argues that the new limit better identifies cannabis consumers who are actually under the influence of the substance and therefore pose an increased risk in traffic. In contrast, an absolute zero limit for THC in the blood, as some have demanded, would not be practical and would amount to a ban on consumption. It’s important to note that THC can still be detectable in the blood days after the last use with regular consumption.

The new limit, nevertheless, intends to penalize only those whose use is directly associated with driving. The expert panel advises against allowing any cannabis users to drive after consuming alcohol because doing so increases the likelihood of an accident. This emphasizes the necessity of a comprehensive strategy for road safety when it comes to the use of cannabis and other drugs.

Next actions

It is necessary to alter the Road Traffic Act in order to formally set the new THC level. The earlier one-nanogram cutoff will hold true till then.

All things considered, the suggested adjustment to the traffic limit for THC may be a more sensible solution to the problem, considering both the safety of the roads and the personal liberties of cannabis users. It is unclear how lawmakers will respond to this suggestion and what precise steps will be done in the end to increase traffic safety while establishing the legal parameters surrounding cannabis use.

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