After a vote yesterday, Germany will legalize medicinal cannabis , joining Italy and the Czech Republic.
Bundestag, the German lower house of parliament voted yesterday to legalize medicinal cannabis. The law itself will be quite strict; only people who suffer from serious chronic conditions, such as cancer or multiple sclerosis will be allowed to use it. Patients will also not be able to grow their own cannabis.
Patients have had access to medicinal cannabis in the past, but they had to jump through a lot of legal hoops in order to obtain it. This new law, which should go into effect in March is expected to change all of that, and will make it much easier for patients to get the treatment that they need.
Health Minister Hermann Groehe had this to say, “Those who are severely ill need to get the best possible treatment and that includes health insurance funds paying for cannabis as a medicine for those who are chronically ill if they can’t be effectively treated any other way.”
The German government will expand its research on cannabis, which will determine whether or not the plant is effective as medicine. Patients will only be prescribed cannabis as an absolute last resort, when all other medications have failed.
Germany will import cannabis from neighboring countries until they get their own farms up and running.
While this may not seem like that big of a step forward, it really is. Another nation will allow its citizens access to the medicine that they need. When the Health Ministry completes its research on cannabis, they will surely find that it is effective, and hopefully loosen their restrictions. This is only the first step for Germany.
Image Source: Easy Health Options.com
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