German Parliament Greatly Improves Medical Cannabis Access

   
Last Thursday, some seriously ill patients in Germany breathed a sigh of relief when lawmakers in the lower house of Germany’s Parliament unanimously approved a measure which would improve accessibility to medical cannabis.
The law will allow doctors to prescribe cannabis for some serious illnesses without forcing patients to go through the current rigorous and complicated process, which requires patients receive special authorization to use cannabis as medicine. The law will also allow some costs to be refunded through health insurance. New procedures will go into effect in March.
Though the plant remains largely illegal, nearly five percent of German citizens use the plant.  A unanimous vote for medical cannabis signals a clear change regarding German’s attitudes toward the plant. One might expect that more changes regarding liberalization of the cannabis plant are on the horizon, though some politicians remain as cautious as ever, emphasizing the urgency of patients’ needs, The Cannabist covered:
Health Minister Hermann Groehe has stressed the move does not mean marijuana will be legal for non-medical purposes.
Groehe says: “Seriously ill people must be cared for in the best way possible” and that includes allowing the public health system to fund cannabis prescriptions for patients “if they cannot effectively be helped any other way.'”
Find out more about what’s happening with Germany’s emerging medical cannabis program and within other European countries this April 10th-12th, 2017 at the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) in Berlin. Buy your tickets today!
This blog was originally published at www.internationalcbc.com and has been reposted here with special permission.

Anthony Johnson

Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis legalization effort. He served as director of both the New Approach Oregon and Vote Yes on 91 PACs, the political action committees responsible for the state's legalization campaign. As director of New Approach Oregon, Anthony continues to work towards effectively implementing the cannabis legalization system while protecting small business owners and the rights of patients. He sits on the Oregon Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee and fights for sensible rules at the legislature as well as city councils and county commissions across the state. Anthony helps cannabis business comply with Oregon's laws and advises advocates across the country. He also serves as content director of both the International Cannabis Business Conference and the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, helping share the vision of moving the cannabis industry forward in a way that maintains the focus on keeping people out of prison and protecting patients. He was a member of the Oregon Health Authority Rules Advisory Committee, assisting the drafting of the administrative rules governing Oregon’s state-licensed medical marijuana facilities. He first co-authored and helped pass successful marijuana law reform measures while a law student at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. He passed the Oregon Bar in 2005 and practiced criminal defense for two years before transitioning to working full-time in the political advocacy realm. His blogs on Marijuana Politics are personal in nature and don't speak for or reflect the opinions of any group or organization.