• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Lawmakers ready to approve use of medical marijuana

DDP/The Local · 17 Aug 2010, 15:07

Published: 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.

Story continues below…

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
This Week in History
75 years since one of Holocaust's worst massacres
Photo: DPA

On Thursday, German president Joachim Gauck spoke in Kiev 75 years after the Nazis slaughtered 33,771 Jews during one of the worst single massacres of the Holocaust.

Six things you need to know about troubled Deutsche Bank

Shares in Deutsche bank plunged on Friday morning, dragging down other European banks and markets worldwide. Here are six things to know about Germany's biggest lender.

Deutsche Bahn jacks up prices for first time in 3 years
Photo: DPA

Germany's main rail provider, the state-owned Deutsche Bahn (DB), announced on Friday that it will raise prices on long-distance train travel.

Baby found alive in suitcase with skeleton in Hanover
File photo: DPA.

A baby has been found alive, along with the skeleton of another infant inside of a suitcase in Hanover, police reported on Friday.

Morocco to speed up repatriation of illegal migrants
Photo: DPA

Morocco has agreed to streamline the procedures for the repatriation of citizens living illegally in Germany, the royal court said late on Thursday.

890,000 refugees arrived in Germany last year - not 1.1m
Photo: DPA

Previous reports had suggested that around 1.1 million people entered Germany to seek asylum last year. But now the German government has confirmed the number was actually lower.

Racist attacks cast cloud over Dresden Unity Day planning
A police vehicle in Dresden. Photo: DPA.

As Dresden prepares to host Germany’s national Unity Day celebrations on Monday, the capital of the eastern state of Saxony is upping security after a mosque was targeted by a homemade bomb.

Sinking Deutsche Bank stock sends shock across Europe
Photo: DPA

Shares in Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank plummeted on the Frankfurt stock market on Friday, dragging other European banks and global markets down with it, after reports some customers were pulling money out.

The Local List
10 things you never knew about German reunification
Reunification celebrations in Hanover in 2014. Photo: DPA

With German Unity Day (October 3rd) happening on Monday, Germans are looking forward to a three-day weekend. But did you know these facts about reunification and German Unity Day?

Munich pharmacy’s nighttime porno show draws crowd
Photo: DPA

When a police patrol in Munich's Sendlinger Tor area noticed a crowd gathered outside a pharmacy window they went to investigate. But the onlookers weren't interested in a new line of flu medicine.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
6,718
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd