Drugs chief wants easier access to cannabis

DPA/The Local
DPA/The Local - [email protected] • 3 Feb, 2015 Updated Tue 3 Feb 2015 08:48 CEST

Federal Drugs Commissioner Marlene Mortler said that seriously ill patients should have access to cannabis through their health insurance provider.

“My goal is that in the future, more people than before will be able to use cannabis as a medicine," Mortler told Welt on Tuesday.

“We want to bring the law through the Bundestag (German parliament) within this year, so that it comes into effect from next year.”

Currently, chronically ill patients who use cannabis to relieve their pain can be targeted by the law, and they pay high prices for cannabis-based medicines from pharmacies, which are not covered by health insurance.

Patients who choose to grown their own cannabis plants also risk investigation, as owning and growing the drug is illegal.

“Politicians have to clarify the situation here quickly,” Mortler said.

Last year, an administrative court in Cologne allowed three patients suffering from chronic pain to grow cannabis in their homes as an “emergency solution”, since without insurance cover similar medicine would be unaffordable for them.

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