Germany Plans to Legalize Medical Marijuana

Top policy makers in the German government have agreed on plans to allow prescriptions for medical marijuana for seriously ill patients, according to an announcement by the German health ministry.

Speaking to reporters in Berlin on Tuesday, Health Minister Philipp Roesler said the plan could be carried out by a simple change in the ministry’s policy, and that no change in German law was necessary.

He added that because many other European countries already allow medical cannibis, the process in Germany could go “quickly in comparison.”

Many health professionals consider marijuana useful for the relief of nausea and the stimulation of appetite in chemotherapy or AIDS patients, and for general pain relief. But medical marijuana has been effectively illegal in Germany, with only 40 patients in the entire country having obtained cannabis prescriptions.

Praise from medical community

Health professionals and advocates for the seriously ill welcomed the change, with Eugen Brysch of the German Hospice Foundation saying cannabis can play “an important role” in the treatment of the critically ill.

“Because it is disproportionately difficult to obtain cannabis as medicine, many patients with chronic pain are currently forced into illegality,” he said.

Gerhard Mueller-Schwefe, president of the German Society for Pain Therapy, said that the policy change would open up new drug therapy options for patients with chronic pain diseases like multiple sclerosis, and that “it’s time to bring cannabis out from the shadows.”

The change in policy is also to allow hospices and specialized ambulances to use certain high-strength anesthetics like morphine, and to store surplus supplies for emergencies.

This “will legalize a practice that pain therapists and palliative health professionals have long administered out of necessity,” Mueller-Schwefe said. “It would always happen that doctors needed to order opioids for patients on the weekend, when pharmacies didn’t have any in stock.”

– Article from Deutsche Welle.

Comments

3 Comments

  1. michael on

    hi,
    this is michael, chief editor of Hanf Journal, germanys biggest hemp magazine.
    plz. jodie and folks….why don’t you ask an activist you know in germany before you publish such a b…s…?
    the new law makes it worse for patients, nobody plans to legalize marihuana or the extract (called dronabinol) used by patients. the extract is kind of half-legal…the new law is just about the legalisation of sativex, with just o n e indication. so germany fullfills what the eu expects without improving the patients situaion.

    gw pharma, the license holder of sativex, released a statement:
    http://www.gwpharm.com/Sativex%20Mutual%20Recognition%20Procedure%20Closes%20with%20Recommendation%20for%20Approval%20in%20all%20Six%20European%20Countries%20Involved.aspx

    in english, you see its all about sativex.

    the german government does everythimg not to legalize natural thc, all the new laws are for artificial cannabinoids or for sativex, not even thc-pharm, the producers of dronabinol receive a proper licence since 12 years.
    last time i commented on a false report about legalisation in berlin. we still go to court for 1 plant, even 1 gramm leads to criminal report, if youre lucky. so plz. select the news before you publish them, because cc creates a totally wrong picture of german patients and laws.
    we patients are dreaming of the canadian modell, nevertheless we know it is full of mistakes. but here we cannot even receive a legal bud from the state, the doctor or ourselves. any bud is forbidden, artificial thc is hard to get from the doc and very expensive, the insurance never pays. so please do not write our conservative government plans to legalize anything but more supervision.

  2. german guy on

    sadly, the original article is completly wrong…

    greetings from germany!
    (not everybody drinks beer here :-)