Cannabis may soon be legal in Germany, symbolising a historic development. A major concern remains big as Germany eagerly anticipates this long-awaited change: how will THC limits in road traffic be adjusted? Surprisingly, Volker Wissing, the transport minister, has become an advocate of the issue and has indicated a willingness to examine and maybe change these limits.
Is changing the THC limit even possible in Germany?
As of yet, the Ministry of Transport, Building, and Urban Development (BMDV) is not showing much interest in modifying the strict THC levels. In answer to a question from LTO, the ministry claimed that there was no legal justification for changes. Now it is 1.0 nanograms (ng) of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per millilitre of blood serum.
The existing THC limit in Germany, according to traffic law specialists and forensic scientists, just detects cannabis usage. However, it is not necessarily showing impairments that are important for driving safety. As a result, drivers who have taken cannabis face severe penalties even if they are no longer high.
Recent events indicate a possible change in the Ministry’s stance. The BMDV has stated its goal to develop a solid scientific foundation for choosing an appropriate THC limit for cannabis. For the purpose of examining and establishing the THC limit under the Road Traffic Act, the BMDV will establish a scientific working group including specialists from the fields of health, law, and transportation.
What can we expect within THC limits on the roads?
It was the Federal Constitutional Court’s 2004 decision to establish the present threshold of 1 ng/ml THC in serum. But it is no longer valid according to the threshold commission (GWK). According to Prof. Stefan Tönnes, Chairman of the GWK, there is no valid scientific justification for establishing a THC threshold based on effects, risks, or dangers. He believes that the only way to reach an agreement that is acceptable to society involves political action.
We can expect modifications of the Cannabis Supply Act. According to experts from the German Bar Association the limit can be increased to 3.5 ng/ml. With this level, cases that don’t actually threaten the flow of traffic might be handled effectively. It will help to avoid unnecessary enforcement of the law.
The BMDV refuses to make forecasts about the suggested rise, claiming that the key question under the Road Traffic Act is whether it was possible for there to be any loss of driving ability. Before making a final decision, the planned working group will need to have fruitful conversations.
Cannabis legalisation supporters are excited about the possible change. According to FDP delegate Kristine Lütke, as part of the cannabis legalisation process, Transport Minister Wissing will study and modify the THC limits in vehicle traffic. This means that the working group will not be debating whether to raise the threshold. They will concentrate on defining the exact level of increase.
Germany seems prepared to find a balance between traffic safety and the evolving legal status of cannabis. This country has also created special alliance to analyse all scenarios within cultivation. Thus, Germany is looking at all aspects of cannabis legalisation. The creation of a scientific working committee and Transport Minister Volker Wissing’s willingness to reexamine THC standards show a forward-thinking approach to the legalisation of cannabis and improving traffic safety. The country looks forward to a time when using cannabis won’t result in unnecessary punishments. Responsible people will still be able to drive safely thanks to effective anti-impaired driving policies.