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Federal Cabinet decides legalization of cannabis as a remedy

By the spring of 2017 at the latest, cannabis should be legalized for medical purposes
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Cannabis as a medicine

In the 19th century, cannabis was a widely prescribed drug; in the 20th century it fell under the Narcotics Act and was banned in Germany. From 2017, according to the Federal Cabinet, cannabis should again be approved as a medicine.

Cannabis is the Latin name of the hemp plant. Their therapeutic agents are called cannabinoids - and they are currently being discussed throughout Germany.

Certain cannabinoids are said to have an anti-inflammatory effect. In addition, studies prove their effectiveness in pain therapy, nausea, multiple sclerosis and cachexia, so heavy emaciation. Other studies have found in cannabinoids the potential to help with cancer, sleep and anxiety disorders, ADHD, depression, autoimmune diseases such as Crohn's disease and epilepsy.

Since 2011, cannabis has been officially regarded as a prescription and prescription medicine in Germany - at least if it is used "in preparations that are approved as finished medicinal products".

Pur cannabis is not yet approved - with the exception of a special approval of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices.

Today, the Federal Cabinet has eased medical cannabis use: According to Federal Health Minister Hermann Gröhe (CDU), patients should be able to get cannabis at the pharmacy's cash register. Specifically, this means that patients get dried cannabis flowers and extracts in controlled quality in the pharmacy of their confidence - provided that they receive a prescription from the doctor.

The Drug Commissioner of the Federal Government Marlene Mortler says: "The use of cannabis as a medicine within narrow limits makes sense and must be investigated at the same time in more detail." Morter also emphasizes: "There must be no legalization for pure private pleasure."

So who can hope for a cannabis recipe from his doctor? There is talk of "patients without therapeutic alternative" and "seriously chronically ill". The only cannabis-based drug available in Germany ("Sativex" or "Nabiximols") is prescribed for spastic muscle paralysis, such as multiple sclerosis.

The prescriptions are capped so that doctors can prescribe a maximum of 100 grams of cannabis within 30 days. However, in "justified cases", doctors may exceed this amount.

At a price of 18 euros per gram, the remedy costs a patient accordingly up to 1, 800 euros a month plus 75 euros fee for issuing a special permit - so far. Since this sum is affordable for the fewest patients, from 2017, the health insurance will cover these costs.

Now it is believed that the change in legislation will increase the need for cannabis than import. So we are already discussing the legalization of hemp cultivation in Germany. However: "A self-cultivation of cannabis by patients is not considered from a health and regulatory point of view, " it says in the accompanying bill.


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