• 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
Train drivers vote in favour of strikes
A GDL strike in 2011 at Stuttgart station. Photo: DPA

Train drivers vote in favour of strikes

UPDATE: Germany's train drivers' union voted overwhelmingly in favour of widespread strikes on Thursday afternoon. READ  

SoundCloud faces wave of jihadi postings
Photo: DPA

SoundCloud faces wave of jihadi postings

Berlin-based SoundCloud, which allows anyone to share audio files online, plays host to huge numbers of jihadi accounts and postings supporting the Islamic State (Isis). But the uploads do not contravene German law and are not being caught by the startup's moderators. READ  

German of the Week
How 12 words helped bring down the Wall
Genscher on Tuesday on the balcony where he gave his speech 25 years ago (below). Photo: DPA

How 12 words helped bring down the Wall

Half a sentence uttered 25 years ago on Tuesday by the then West German foreign minister helped catalyze the reunification of Germany, which Germans celebrate on Friday. Now 87, Hans-Dietrich Genscher is The Local's German of the Week. READ  

Second Ebola patient to arrive in Germany
Medical personnel practice containment procedures in Stuttgart. Photo: DPA

Second Ebola patient to arrive in Germany

A second Ebola patient is set to arrive in Germany from western Africa on Thursday night in Frankfurt. The city's University Clinic hopes to treat the NGO worker on its isolation ward. READ  

Germany ranks third in world university list
Students at Munich's LMU. Photo: DPA

Germany ranks third in world university list

German universities have shot up the world's leading higher education rankings, with Germany now having more institutions among the world's best than any other country after the US and UK. READ  

Expats in Berlin walk Wall for refugees
David Gordon Smith by a stretch of the Wall. Photo: Submitted

Expats in Berlin walk Wall for refugees

A group of expats will walk part of the route of the Berlin Wall on German Unity Day this Friday, almost 25 years after it fell, to raise money for refugees exactly a year after the Lampedusa tragedy. READ  

Rocket Internet shares disappoint on first day
It was more of a bear than a bull market for Rocket Internet co-founder Oliver Samwer (centre). Photo: DPA

Rocket Internet shares disappoint on first day

Start-up platform Rocket Internet entered the Frankfurt stock market on Thursday, in what was hailed as a milestone for German online firms, but the company's share price immediately fell by more than ten percent. READ  

How good is Germany for the elderly?
Photo: DPA

How good is Germany for the elderly?

A study comparing quality of life for older people around the world has ranked Germany 5th out of 96 countries. How good a place is Germany for the elderly? READ  

Cars set on fire across Berlin overnight
A burnt out car on Alten Jakobstraße, Kreuzberg, on Thursday morning.

Cars set on fire across Berlin overnight

Ten cars were set on fire across Berlin on Wednesday night and Thursday morning in the second night of disturbances in the city. READ  

Organized crime on the rise in Germany
Police escort a motorcycle gang in Schleswig-Holstein. Photo: DPA

Organized crime on the rise in Germany

Organized criminals are increasingly active in Germany, with the mafia as well as biker and international gangs making headway in the country, according to a government report. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Eight expat groups to save you
Munich
Bavarian independence becomes a reality... (online)
Photo: DPA/Police
National
'Criminals are at work in refugee homes'
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Immigrants have created how many German jobs?
Photo: DPA
National
Revealed: Germany's military feet of clay
Photo: Shutterstock
Society
Quiz: How good is your German?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Thousands take to Berlin's streets for marathon
Photo: DPA
Society
QUIZ: Can you pass the German citizenship test?
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

3,163
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd