• Germany edition
 
Lawmakers ready to approve use of medical marijuana
Photo: DPA

Lawmakers ready to approve use of medical marijuana

Published: 17 Aug 2010 15:07 GMT+02:00
Updated: 17 Aug 2010 15:07 GMT+02:00

Doctors could write prescriptions for cannabis, and pharmacies would be authorised to sell the plant once the law had been adjusted, a member of the junior coalition party, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), said Monday.

Marijuana would also be permitted for use as a pain reliever for the terminally ill in hospices and other care facilities, making it a legal part of their emergency pain-relief stocks.

“With this, the sickest people will always have a pain-relieving substance available,” said Ulrike Flack, the FDP’s health policy spokesperson.

The new law will end a long-running struggle between German officials, doctors and health insurers over use of the proven herbal therapy for treating the pain stemming from diseases such as cancer and multiple sclerosis.

According to the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (ACM), only 40 patients in the country are currently allowed a medical marijuana prescription – even though law enforcement generally tolerates small amounts for personal use.

Almost two years ago, the conservative Christian Democrats, the FDP and the centre-left Social Democrats all voted against loosening medical marijuana laws. Opponents had warned of the drug’s alleged potential for addiction and doubted its medical benefits.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:27 August 17, 2010 by Prufrock2010
This is legislation that is long overdue. Marijuana is NOT addictive, and its pain-relieving benefits are universally accepted within the mainstream medical and scientific communities. No doubt the self-proclaimed moralists will do everything in their power to oppose this enlightened policy shift, as they always do.
20:54 August 17, 2010 by MonkeyMania
Now that would make the €10 Euro Praxisgebühr worth it.
10:37 August 18, 2010 by Joshontour
I have to agree with Prufrock on this. When my Grandma was dying of lung cancer, she became addicted to the narcotic based pain medication she was prescribed. Narcotics are proven to be addictive, they are treated like poison by your body, and have an appetite suppressing side effect...what a triple whammy to terminal patients! Marijuana is not only proven to manage pain, but also is not addictive, not poisonous, and it doesn't suppress your appetite. My Grandma died weighing only 34 kilos. Her body couldn't fight the cancer, and at the same time handle the poisonous narcotics and lack of nourishment all at the same time. I wonder if things would have been different if Marijuana had been available for her.
13:56 August 18, 2010 by NYsteve
This law and allowing euthanasia....2 of the most progressive, modern and forward thinking ideas...little by little here in the US, states are finally allowing medical marijuana....for years the beer and alcohol lobbyists kept the law-makers minds tied up with the "evils of marijuana"...but the voices of intelligent people are finally being heard.......one thing I don't understand tho....I've smoked for 36 years...I have NEVER met a marijuana addict!!!
10:17 August 19, 2010 by Don Marijuano
sorry guys, but this information ISN'T TRUE at all. The German Government just decided to authorize the Pharma-Industry to distribute their products as Sativex in the country.

It is not about Cannabis (medical marijuana) in its natural state (plant)!!
17:50 August 19, 2010 by catjones
As with everything else in Germany, there will be only one flavor of weed to choose from and it will be the same price everywhere. Only the Germans could make marijuana boring.
00:20 August 20, 2010 by Prufrock2010
That's why god created the Netherlands.
18:33 August 20, 2010 by NYsteve
That's ONE good thing about the US...we do have some damn fine munchies/chips/crisps/cooikes/brownies/cakes/etc..etc...etc!!

and yes Prufrock....TGFA....thank god for Amsterdam!!!!!
14:41 August 21, 2010 by Johnny Cash
Oh wonderful. At last in Germany adults might be allowed to choose something for themselves. And you don't smoke it dummy, you bake it and eat it. That way these mediocre (at best) egos on legs, that call themselves our leaders, can never claim it affects your health.Of course no human being should have the right to stop another human being from partaking of what nature provides, it has to be the most basic human rights and maybe any budding law graduates reading this might make a name for themselves by challenging marijuana laws wordwide in the world human rights court on that premiss. If authorities are allowed to carry on this way,what is next`? Sorry carrots are not allowed now,begonias,tomatoes etc
20:34 August 22, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Actually, I've found the vaporizer to be the best delivery system. Edibles are too inconsistent, and smoking does have some deleterious health effects.
18:04 August 23, 2010 by Don Marijuano
THE FACTS about the misleading information medical cannabis in germany , a statement by Dr.Franjo Grotenhermen:

"There are media reports that the German government is intending to ease the access to cannabis for medicinal purposes. Most of the reports are misleading. The German government has agreed on allowing for pharmaceutical companies to apply for approvals on cannabis-based medicines in Germany. This is necessary to allow the British company GWPharmaceuticals to apply for an approval of their cannabis extract Sativex in Germany. Sativex is already available in the UK and Spain for the treatment of spasticity in multiple sclerosis sufferers,and the company announced in July that applications for this indication have also been made in Italy, France, Germany and other European countries. Approvals are expected in 2011.

No other changes with regard to the medical use of cannabis are intended by the German government. The German Association for Cannabis as Medicine is calling the media reports initiated by the German Government as "misleading", since they suggest that cannabis will be available in Germany soon for many patients,while it is only for spasticity in MS after the approval of Sativex for this indication.

Currently two possibilities exist for a treatment with cannabis based medicines in Germany:(1) Prescription of dronabinol or nabilone by physicians. Unfortunately, the health insurances are usually not obligated to pay for such a treatment.(2) Special permission by the government to use cannabis for medicinal purposes. Currently, only about 40 patients are permitted to do so and can buy cannabis in pharmacies imported from the Netherlands."
23:50 August 23, 2010 by Prufrock2010
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, or something to that effect. Sooner or later Germany will enter the 21st century, kicking and screaming no doubt. This is a rising tide that can't be turned back.
18:59 August 24, 2010 by BarryNorton
Why does the English translation of a German news outlet feel the need to use a Spanish word for cannabis?
Today's headlines
JobTalk Germany
How to become an au pair in Germany
Photo: DPA

How to become an au pair in Germany

It’s not quite as romantic as the Nanny Diaries, nor is it as magical as Mary Poppins. But being an au pair in Germany can be fun, as Emma Anderson finds out. READ  

Merkel hails 'impressive' French reform plans
Merkel and Valls on Monday in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Merkel hails 'impressive' French reform plans

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls visited Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Monday, hoping to gain Germany's blessing for his revised economic reform programme. READ  

German Fifa exec: 'Qatar won't host World Cup'
Theo Zwanziger and one of the planned stadiums in Qatar. Photo: DPA

German Fifa exec: 'Qatar won't host World Cup'

Germany's top Fifa official said on Monday Qatar will not host the 2022 World Cup as planned, due to climate conditions. Qatar's successful bid to host the tournament has been marred by corruption and human rights concerns. READ  

Germany plans air lifts to help fight Ebola
A Liberian man holds his daughter as they wait for treatment for suspected Ebola symptoms in Monrovia. Photo: DPA

Germany plans air lifts to help fight Ebola

Germany and France will send military transport planes to West Africa to help efforts to contain the Ebola epidemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel and military officials said on Friday. READ  

Amazon workers walk out again
Amazon workers striking in Graben, Bavaria, on Monday. Photo: DPA

Amazon workers walk out again

Four Amazon shipping centres in Germany were the target of fresh walkouts on Monday in a long-running wage dispute with the US online retail giant. READ  

Half of German navy helicopters grounded
A German navy Sea Lynx helicopter. Photo: DPA

Half of German navy helicopters grounded

Half of the German navy helicopter fleet has been grounded after engineers found large tears in the panelling of a British-made machine on deployment. READ  

Germans say 'bah humbug' to early Xmas
Photo: DPA

Germans say 'bah humbug' to early Xmas

Christmas treats have already hit the supermarket shelves, but Germans surveyed by YouGov say "too soon!", while a third of respondents are for the government taking action to name a release date for holiday wares. READ  

Hoeneß pays tax bill, takes day off prison
Photo: DPA

Hoeneß pays tax bill, takes day off prison

The disgraced former president of Bayern Munich FC, Uli Hoeneß has paid €30 million of his outstanding taxes, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Monday, and has taken a day off prison. READ  

Oktoberfest 2014
Fights and a skinny dip kick off Oktoberfest
Photo: DPA

Fights and a skinny dip kick off Oktoberfest

UPDATE: Paramedics and police were kept busy at the opening weekend of Munich's Oktoberfest, treating hundreds of revellers and arresting dozens, though it was still considered a peaceful start. READ  

Child warriors, 13, leave Germany for jihad
A photograph from the jihadist affiliated group Albaraka News allegedly shows a fighter from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) tying up an Iraqi soldier Photo: DPA/EPA

Child warriors, 13, leave Germany for jihad

Children as young as 13 are travelling from Germany to Syria and Iraq to join Islamic jihadists, according to German intelligence agencies. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
DPA
Gallery
The best photos from Oktoberfest's opening weekend
Photo: DPA
Munich
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's food
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
Photo: Joanna Drath, University of Tübingen
Society
Europeans descended from three tribes
Photo: DPA
Culture
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Oktoberfest 2014: The best and worst in dirndl fashion
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Education
German universities tumble in global rankings
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,328
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd