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Although we don’t hear a lot of cannabis related news from Europe, things started moving slowly in some countries.
Germany has recently announced some important governmental decisions: its intent to liberalize its cannabis laws. Changes in the medical marijuana legislation will focus mainly to the patients’ needs, trying to make their lives easier. This is good news for the patients living in Europe’s largest country by population.
Germany’s Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe has hinted that the country will start a medical cannabis program, as early as next year.
The Ministry of Health has a task that is not very easy, having to build the framework and define the regulations regarding medical marijuana in a clear way. According to the plan, medical marijuana will be available only to patients who are seriously ill, that they have already received a doctor’s consultation, and “have no therapeutic alternative.” Cannabis will be the last solution for the sick people. Until recently all these people had to apply for an exemption license so that they can order their cannabis medication from the Netherlands. But now Holland cannot keep up with the always growing demand although the last years they had expanded their production and business a lot.
The lawmakers and politicians of the country realized after a long lasting debate that regulating a legal system of distribution was also a very profitable solution. After a draft bill was created and the new law is expected to pass easily from the Bundestag . As it is the first step there is a lot of skepticism in many parts of the society – and as always there is also many people expressing their opposition to the new measures.
In any case Germany has made it clear that is not keen on legalizing Cannabis for recreational use.
A quite logical solution would one think that would be to allow patients to cultivate their own plant from the cannabis seeds of their strain of preference. In this direction moves a recent ruling of a German Court seems to have the same idea. That making it easier on a man to grow his own medical marijuana, when the seriously ill asked for his right to be recognized. In a landmark decision the German Federal Administrative Court, ruled in favor of a patient’s right(who suffers from multiple sclerosis) to plant his own medicine at his own house. It is a decision that could open up the floodgates and allow people in a similar situation to follow suit. Those suffering from the condition of MS, is scientifically proven that can benefit from cannabis use. For sixteen years the 52 year old man kept on fighting for his rights and now is the time his struggle to be vindicated.
What is most important is that the ruling has come from the highest court in the German justice system. As a result, it cannot be appealed or overturned.
Although the German law allows cannabis for medicinal use to be purchased (under some strict conditions of course) they have in any case until now, to pay for it themselves. Since the aforementioned patient proved that he could not afford to pay for his medication the court found that is fair for him to protect his health in a more cheaper way.
This Court decision could be a legal precedent for the future. Many similar cases can be handled the same way and that means that patients who suffer from serious health conditions and cannot afford paying for legal cannabis they could potentially claim this decision as an example, in order to convince the Court that they should be allowed to grow their own cannabis plants.
Hermann Gröhe https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermann_Gröhe