Is Marijuana Legal in Germany?

Germany Relaxes Medical Marijuana Laws, but Restrictions Remain Tight  

On January 19, the Bundestag (Germany’s Parliament) met and voted unanimously in favor of providing better access to medical marijuana for severely ill patients across the country. The new regulations could be put into place by March, and while they will provide relief, they also still come with many of their own restrictions.

Previously, approximately 1,020 seriously ill patients in the country could obtain medical marijuana. However, because the growth of cannabis was not allowed in the country, those patients had to go through extensive applications, and pay upwards of 1,800 euros (about $1,900 USD) for a month’s supply.berlin_reichstag_weed

Under old procedure, MPs from the Left Party such as Frank Tempel, saw it as “the government’s denial of assistance,” simply because it did not provide treatment to those who couldn’t afford it, or simply couldn’t meet the country’s stringent requirements.

 

A Change For Germany Marijuana Laws

Under the new law patients will find it easier – and cheaper – to get the medication they need. The bill, which was put forth by the Health Ministry on Thursday and voted in unanimously, will allow for cannabis products to be covered by the patient’s health insurance. It will also make dried cannabis and cannabis extracts to be sold in pharmacies.

The bill still does not make cannabis available to all patients, only those that are seriously ill and suffering from conditions or sicknesses such as multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, severe loss of appetite and/or nausea from chemotherapy treatments. The requirements for using cannabis as a medical treatment were very tight, and they will remain so under the new law. But those that need it won’t bear such a heavy cost, and will be able to get it from their pharmacy, rather than having it imported, as they do under the current system.

The private growth of cannabis anywhere in the country will still be restricted, but those who wish to privately cultivate the plant will be able to apply to the government to do so. They must also be willing to abide by the strict requirements the Bundestag has said it will lay out. In the meantime, a “cannabis agency” is to be set up and run by the government in order to address patients’ needs.medicianl-cannibas_result

There will be many restrictions put into place when the new law takes effect in March, but it’s also important to understand this is a big step for Germany to take – and that they’re prepared to take even more.  Lawmakers have said they are starting to plan research centers that will allow for the study of the effects cannabis has when used as therapy, the appropriate dosages, and the plant’s side effects.

While the new law may be a long way away from the legalization of recreational marijuana use in Germany (and lawmakers themselves have stated that hasn’t even yet been discussed), the new legal status is a “further step towards the improvement of palliative care” in the most severe cases, according to Health Minister Hermann Groehe.

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