Germany Legalized Medical Marijuana
Some find it hard to believe Germany legalized marijuana, but German parliament has taken this step for people with multiple sclerosis and other severe illnesses will be able to obtain the drug legally with a prescription. Doctors will also be able to prescribe marijuana or cannabis to patients for whom the drug could alleviate symptoms, such as chronic pain or nausea, or who may see a positive effect on their disease progression, according to a statement from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Health.
Patients will only have the right to be treated with cannabis “in very limited exceptional cases” and they will not be allowed to grow their own cannabis, according to the bill, but this is still a huge move for a country with traditionally conservative or even communist values, to take.
The minister of health said, “Those who are severely ill need to get the best possible treatment and that includes health insurance funds paying for cannabis as a medicine…” When Germany legalized medical cannabis, it paved the road for patients to have their treatment covered by insurance companies, for the first time.
We have known this day was coming and it’s good to finally see it.
Germany’s lower house of parliament passed a bill legalizing the production, sale and use of medical marijuana Thursday, Jan. 19 in Berlin.
The bill limits the sale and use of cannabis to those patients “in very limited exceptional cases,” such as with patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic pain, and lack of appetite or nausea related to cancer treatments. Those patients will not be allowed to grow their own medicine at home.
As restrictive as this program might sound, it is an improvement to what existed. Until this law was passed, medical cannabis was only available on a case-by-case basis, as allowed by German authorities. This bill allows patients to get a prescription from their doctor, which can be filled at local pharmacies.
Germany does not currently have a regulatory body or framework to license and oversee cannabis cultivators. The German government reached an agreement with Canada in July 2016 that would allow the European super-power to import medical cannabis from Canadian licensed producers, including Canopy Growth Corp.
Germany joins Austria, Britain, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Italy, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain on the list of European countries that have legalized some form of cannabis or decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana.