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Legalization of Recreational Use in Germany

This week, Germany made plans to legalize recreational cannabis use, making it one of the first countries in Europe to do so. While “[m]any countries of the region have already legalized cannabis for limited medicinal purposes, including Germany since 2017,” other countries have decriminalized it, “while stopping short of making it legal.”

This move of legalizing recreational marijuana use could “bring Germany annual tax revenues and cost savings of about 4.7 billion euros ($4.7 billion) and create 27,000 new jobs, a survey found last year,” which are clear benefits of legalization. Additionally, “[s]ome 4 million people consumed cannabis in Germany last year, 25% of whom were between ages 18 and 24, Lauterbach said, adding that the legalization would squeeze out the cannabis black market.”

With this change, Germany should be sure to learn from the OUI and DUI issues that the US and Canada have faced. OUI, or operating under the influence, is a broader term that encompasses marjiuana usage, as well as other impairing substances like alcohol while driving, operating heavy equipment, machinery, and more. DUI already exists in law, but this term must be expanded to include OUI, following recreational legalization, along with expanding the forms and efficiency of testing for impaired driving, operating of machinery, and more. Because they are not the first country to legalize recreational use, there is plenty to learn from precedent countries and policies.

Germany needs to be prepared for increased usage of marijuana and increased impaired driving. As we have explained in many previous blog posts, saliva tests and breathalyzers are insufficient forms of testing. Germany should anticipate the need to alter or create laws in order to keep everyone safe on the roads following the recreational legalization.

Otorize is also a tool Germans can utilize to test for impairment in the workplace, on the road, and more. The 5-second impairment test can be taken from any location on any digital device, including tablets, smartphones and more, and delivers instant, scientifically-proven results. It is important to consider every aspect of recreational legalization before the plans are finalized in order to address concerns before they arise.



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