Drug policy: Update for cannabis law and limit for drivers

Drug policy: Update for cannabis law and limit for drivers

Cannabis has been legal for adults under certain conditions since April. Now there are subsequent changes and rules for drivers. The Bundestag is discussing this in its first reading.

One and a half months after the release of cannabis for adults, the traffic light in the Bundestag is now introducing subsequent changes and additions, as promised. These include a limit for drivers, a ban on driving while drinking cannabis while consuming cannabis, rules for novice drivers and new regulations for cultivation clubs that will be possible from July.

Among other things, the aim is to prevent large cannabis plantations from being created in Germany. To this end, the Consumer Cannabis Act, which just came into force in April, the Road Traffic Act, the Driving License Ordinance and the Catalog of Fines Ordinance will be changed.

The federal states only allowed the cannabis law to pass in the Federal Council with great stomachache. The federal government had promised them subsequent changes. The current draft laws will not yet be passed in the Bundestag this Thursday, but will be debated for the first time. The exact date of entry into force is still unclear. The following is planned:

Limit for drivers

Similar to the 0.5 per mille mark for alcohol, a limit should also be introduced for cannabis. So far, the mere proof of the active ingredient has been enough for fines or points in Flensburg; the case law has established a low value of 1 nanogram of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC – the intoxicating active ingredient in cannabis) per milliliter of blood.

In the future, the limit will be 3.5 nanograms. According to the change to the catalog of fines proposed in the draft law, anyone who still drives a car usually risks a fine of 500 euros and a driving ban for a month. However, the fines can be even higher. The draft mentions a framework of up to 3,000 euros.

Comparable to 0.2 per mille alcohol in the blood

From a value of 3.5 nanograms, “according to the current state of science, a traffic safety-relevant effect when driving a motor vehicle is not remote, but is well below the threshold at which a general risk of accident begins,” it says. The limit should not apply to people who are prescribed and use cannabis for an illness.

How many hits on a joint result in a THC concentration of this level depends on various factors. The draft law assumes that the traffic impairment at 3.5 nanograms for occasional users is approximately equivalent to that of someone with 0.2 per mille of alcohol in their blood. Control should be carried out – where available, as it is said – with saliva tests.

Mixed consumption is taboo before driving and prohibited for new drivers

An alcohol ban for cannabis users is also to be introduced. If you smoke a joint and drink a beer, you should leave your car behind. According to the draft law, if the 3.5 nanogram limit is reached and alcohol is also detected, there is usually a fine of 1,000 euros and a one-month driving ban; the fine range even goes up to 5,000 euros.

This is intended to take into account the “particular risk posed by mixed consumption of cannabis and alcohol”. As with alcohol, there should be a ban on cannabis for novice drivers on probation and driving license holders under 21. There is usually a fine of 250 euros next to the point in Flensburg.

Plantation ban, further training and more evaluation

In addition to the traffic law adjustments, the rules for the cannabis clubs that will be possible from summer and other details are to be changed. The traffic light had assured the states of this. From July 1st, according to the cannabis law, the drug can be cultivated collectively in special clubs and distributed to club members.

In order to address the concern that plantation-like cultivation areas will be created, the current draft law stipulates that authorities may refuse approval to associations if their cultivation areas or greenhouses are “in a structural group” or are close to one another. In addition, the requirements for the local authorities will be relaxed somewhat: instead of checking the cultivation associations once a year, as is currently the case, it is now said that this should happen “regularly”.

According to the draft, the Federal Center for Health Education will also offer further training for addiction prevention counselors in the future and the evaluation of the cannabis law will be expanded. The controversial law should be examined by “independent third parties” not only to see how it affects child and youth protection and the consumption behavior of children and young people, but also to see whether the specified amounts for private cannabis possession and the The amounts passed on by the cultivation associations are of the correct magnitude.

Source: Stern

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