Germany on the path to progressive medical cannabis legislation
With incontrovertible evidence and testimonies that supports the therapeutic value of marijuana and increasing sensitization on the many valuable properties of the herb, many countries are beginning to review anti-cannabis laws with the view of adopting a more relaxed and liberal legislative posture. Lately, the country with the largest population in the EU has publicized that it would relax its cannabis laws with the view of making medical marijuana available to over 800,000 Germans patients. The newly offered legal modification contained in the narcotics act would inevitably soften previously austere restrictive measures thereby making cannabis available at considerably affordable rates.
In preparedness for a more accommodating reform of cannabis legislation, the Ministry of Health is confronted with the daunting task of remodeling the framework and restructuring rules in a way that is provides unequivocal strictures. In line with the recently proposed cannabis legislative review, medical marijuana would be a last resort for sick patients after exhausting all other possible therapeutic alternatives and with doctor’s recommendation. Before the proposed review, restriction were so austere that patients had to apply to procure marijuana medication from Holland. The cannabis industry in the Netherlands was always on its toes in the bid to meet up with an increasing demand of cannabis from Germany. The Netherlands has recently intensified production.
The Minister of Health made it abundantly clear that the new legislative review would reduce restrictions on medical marijuana, as marijuana would still be considered illegal. Groehe Hermann also indicated that the medical cannabis program would be in full swing in the first quarter of next year. He also added that cannabis would be used only for medicinal purposes.
The strict usage of marijuana as medicine would require that a growing license is issued by an authorized agency to prospective growers of cannabis, while increasing the availability of cannabis to medical practitioners and pharmacies in the country. The program is designed to cater to two broad groups of patients at the initial phase; patients that are critically sick and patients struggling with ADHD. Regardless of theses restrictive measures, what is certain is that there would be widespread cultivation of the therapeutic herb by the general public in many regions.
The program allows for patients to be able to be given not more than 100 grams per month, with provision for pharmaceutical companies to manufacture and mete out the product like any other medical drug. The essential provisions of the new marijuana legislation still has a very firm disposition on the unauthorized use of marijuana, however medical Marijuana products would be used strictly as a prescription medication. The proposed law gives insurance coverage to cover the cost the use of as a medicinal pill.
German posture on cannabis is very similar to views expressed in the U.S. However, the extent of widespread
relevance and use of cannabis for medical purposes would be greatly intensified in Germany, with far-reaching effects. With the intended medical cannabis reforms one would expect special provisional order and court decision giving provision to critically ill patients to grow cannabis in the bid to lessen the cost of having to purchase form pharmacy.
The proposed medical cannabis legislation contained in the Narcotic Act will expand the availability of medical marijuana from the previous 5000 patients given authorization to use various forms of the medicinal herb and just a handful that were allowed to smoke the herb, to a massive 800,000 patients who suffer from conditions that can be alleviated by medical marijuana.
German legislation has a very firm posture on the use of cannabis that criminalizes the cultivation, possession and use of cannabis even with court decisions giving more patients the right to grow marijuana for medical use. However, with the proposed introduction of the new cannabis legislation, patients requiring the therapeutic herb would have full constitutional backing to the use of medical marijuana within specific strictures. The Green party indicated a relaxed posture towards marijuana with considerations for the revenue cannabis can generate if every gram of cannabis is taxed. At six to seven euro, cannabis is projected to generate an estimated 1-2 billion euro in state revenue. The Green party proposed the legalization of cannabis for adults but with stringent criteria last year.
The decision by Germany to legalize medical marijuana is definitely a step in the right direction and would provide an estimated 800,000 patients with access to the therapeutic benefits of the herb. While the proposed decriminalization of medical marijuana comes with very stringent measures it would inevitably open the floor for more liberal and progressive cannabis laws in subsequent years. Internationally, the decision of Germany to review legislation in favor of medical cannabis would undoubtedly propel other countries in the Europe to review their legislation in favor of medical cannabis. More so, the successful application of the proposed medicinal marijuana program would also set the standard for global medical cannabis reforms.