Germany legalizes Marijuana for medicinal use

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on January 23, 2017.

Doctors in Germany will soon prescribe marijuana to alleviate the suffering of qualified patients after the lower house of country’s Parliament on Thursday unanimously passed a law legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The law will come into effect on March after a procedural reading by the upper house of Parliament.

Under the new law, people with serious illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis and chronic pain, or a lack of appetite or nausea, could be offered marijuana. Patients will only have the right to be treated with marijuana “in very limited exceptional cases” and they will not be allowed to grow their own marijuana, according to the bill.

Health Minister Hermann Groehe said, “Those who are severely ill need to get the best possible treatment and that includes health insurance funds paying for marijuana as a medicine for those who are chronically ill if they can't be effectively treated any other way."

However, Groehe has considered that the move does not mean marijuana will be legal for non-medical purposes or recreational purposes.

Marijuana would only be used as a last resort when nothing else seemed to work, and a scientific study would simultaneously be carried out to assess the effects of marijuana use in such cases, said a Health Ministry spokeswoman. State-supervised marijuana plantations will be set up in Germany in future and until then marijuana will be imported.

In last April, a multiple sclerosis patient from Mannheim in Germany won a case against the German government which allowed him to grow his own medical marijuana at home. Though the use of medical marijuana was already permitted in Germany, it was limited to very few instances. Before the new law, only about 1,000 people in the entire country had access to legal marijuana for medicinal purpose.

Apart from Germany, other European countries that allow marijuana use for medical purposes include Italy and the Czech Republic.

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