Germany Bundestag Votes To Make Amendments to Cannabis Law

The amendments include changes to driving under the influence of cannabis and new restrictions for cannabis clubs.
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On June 6, the German Bundestag (German federal parliament) voted to adjust the currently existing adult-use cannabis law, including changes to restrictions for driving and cannabis club associations.

The driving changes were made by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport, which amended the country’s Road Traffic Act. The change included a new maximum THC blood content, which is now set at 3.5 nanograms per milliliter. Previously, the limit was set at one nanogram per milliliter. According to DW.com, this was done to create a restriction that is similar to the maximum alcohol blood content limit, which in Germany is 20 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.

Prior to adopting this amendment, Bundestag member Kirsten Kappert-Gonther posted online about the thought behind the decision. “Today we are deciding on changes to the #Cannabis law. This was agreed with the Federal Council to prevent a blockade. The THC limit in road traffic will be set at 3.5ng/ml. This is how we create security and prevent #criminalization through the back door,” Kappert-Gonther said on June 6. “To curb the black market, competitive, legal and safe offers are needed. #CannabisClubs are essential for this. They support #health and #youth protection.”

The first time that a person is found in violation of the THC blood content maximum, they will be banned from driving for one month and receive a €500 fine. If violations continue, the fine is increased to €1,000 and individuals will receive a two-year ban on driving.

Currently, the method of testing a driver’s impairment is done through a saliva test. If a driver appears to be impaired, even if a saliva test is negative, they will be instructed to take a blood test.

Another recent amendment includes changes to rules for cultivation. Starting next month, cooperatives, or clubs, will be allowed to sell cannabis to members, and the amendment limits the canopy size of those cooperatives. “The new draft of the #CannabisLaw takes the concerns of the states into account. We are expanding the evaluation, making the control of cultivation associations more flexible, enabling adjustments to grow hubs and promoting training for addiction prevention specialists.” said Kristine Lütke, an addiction and drug policy spokesperson for Free Democrats Group. “Cannabis clubs play a central role in this. They enable legal, communal cultivation and thus contribute to the successful legalization. This ensures health and youth protection.” Cannabis clubs can have a maximum of 500 members.

Germany’s first day of legal adult-use cannabis was on April 1, which allows adults over 18 to possess up to 25 grams of cannabis in public, or 50 grams at home. Although cannabis clubs can dispense cannabis to members, cannabis sales have not yet been implemented.

In December 2023, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach told the German Bundestag that they were “currently examining” how to approach commercial sales, but there hasn’t been any solid plans announced yet. Kappert-Gonther spoke on June 7 about the necessity to get the ball rolling. “We need prevention and education instead of prohibition and ignorance!,” Kappert-Gonther said in a translation. “Unfortunately, the Union is often conspicuous by its ignorance. Criminalizing #cannabis, promoting alcohol and linking the increase in drug deaths to decriminalization lacks a clear #factual basis.”

Lütke also commented on the need to move forward. “It is now urgent that we move forward, as set out in the coalition agreement. The law on the second pillar with model projects for commercial supply chains to combat the black market and strengthen the cannabis economy must finally be presented,” Lütke said on social media. “On Sunday [June 9] there are elections to the EU Parliament: There must be a reform of EU law to enable the controlled legalisation of cannabis and independent drug policies in the member states. Freedom must apply throughout Europe!”

In April, the German state of Bavaria banned cannabis consumption at public festivals and inside beer gardens, which also extends to events like Oktoberfest. According to Bavarian Health Minister Judith Gerlach, the decision was made for public safety. “Our aim is to limit cannabis consumption in public spaces,” said Gerlach. “That is important for health protection and especially for protecting children and young people.”

Bavarian government officials have expressed their opposition to cannabis legalization. Minister-President of Bavaria Markus Söder posted online that he wouldn’t let the state turn into a “stoner’s paradise.”

Earlier this year, legislator Tino Sorge said that he doesn’t believe that cannabis legalization is a method of protecting youth. “You’re asserting here in all seriousness as health minister … that we will curb consumption among children and young people with the legalization of further drugs,” Sorge told Lauterbach. “That’s the biggest nonsense I’ve ever heard.”

Germany was the third country in the European Union to legalize cannabis. The first was Malta in December 2021, followed by Luxembourg in June 2023.

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  1. In Munich every morning there is shit a and puke everywhere. In the evening is not safe to walk outside city center because of so many evening alcoholics in the street. Broken glass everywhere in the mornings

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