Germany, for the past years has gradually started rethinking the legal status of Cannabis for Medical purposes. After a lot of discussions and debates last year, their government announced their plan to liberalize its cannabis laws. They decided that all the changes they are about to happen in the medical marijuana legislation “will focus mainly to the patient’s needs, trying to make their lives easier” as the German Minister of Health noted.
This is good news for the patients living in Germany who would have to acquire a license, which allows them to use their medicine. They had to import from the Netherlands at their own cost, and then claim their money back from their insurance companies. One of the results of the debate was that the economists and politicians realized that their system was not profitable and that by moving towards a regulated production and distribution of the medicine would be a solution that could save them a lot of money.
economists and politicians realized that their system was not profitable and that by moving towards a regulated production and distribution of the medicine would be a solution that could save them a lot of money.
The Parliament’s lower house passed the bill unanimously: a bill to legalize medical use of cannabis 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.
Although the government has stressed in all possible ways that the move does not mean marijuana will be legal for non-medical purposes. This is a fact of big importance, not only for Germany (Europe’s largest country by population), but also for the rest of Europe. It might work as an example and a precedent for other European countries. Moreover, the patients will not be allowed to cultivate their strain of preference from the cannabis seeds that they prefer. The law is strict.
“Seriously ill people must be cared for in the best way possible and that includes allowing the public health system to fund cannabis prescriptions for patients…if they cannot effectively be helped any other way. That means that Medical Cannabis would be the last resort for the patients, when nothing else works.
The law will take effect most probably around March after the Upper House of the Parliament make a procedural reading of the bill. Additionally, there is a provision in the plan to expand the cannabis medical related scientific research.
A very important detail of the Medical Cannabis Distribution Program is that patients should get a prescription from their doctor, and can be filled at local pharmacies.
What is even more interesting is that health insurance funds will be paying for the expenses of medical Marijuana for those who are chronically ill if they can’t be effectively treated any other way,” said Health Minister Hermann Groehe.
Until the Governmental Cannabis Plantation starts producing the valuable medicine, it must be imported. It is good to know that Germany, is not the only country that has legalized some form of cannabis or decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. There are also positive liberal changes gearing up in Italy, Portugal, Croatia, Spain, Austria, England, the Czech Republic, Romania, Finland, Slovenia, France and Holland.
It would be very interesting to see how Europeans follow the huge developments that took place for the past few years in the USA.