Germany Will Legalize Medical Cannabis Next Year

Germany’s health minister has announced the country will legalize medicinal cannabis in 2017, CNN reported.

As per a measure approved Monday, seriously ill patients in Germany that have “no therapeutic alternative,” and a doctor’s prescription, will be allowed access to the country’s new medical marijuana program. It will remain illegal to grow your own cannabis, however, so patients will be relying on government-sourced medicine purchased from a pharmacy. Until specially supervised plantations have been established, however, German officials will have to import medical marijuana products.

Federal Health Minister Hermann Gröhe said that he wants insurance companies to cover the costs of medicinal marijuana when patients have no alternatives. “Our goal is that seriously ill people are looked after to the best of our ability,” he said.

Germany’s federal drug commissioner Marlene Mortler warned that despite being medicinal, marijuana remains a potentially dangerous substance. “The use of cannabis as a medicine within narrow limits is useful and should be explored in more detail,” she said. “At the same time, cannabis is not a harmless substance, a legalization for private pleasure is not the aim and purpose of this. It is intended for medical use only.”

This move follows similar announcements made recently by two North American countries, Canada and Mexico.

Canada — where medical marijuana is already legal — will legalize the recreational use of cannabis sometime next year; Mexico plans to allow medical marijuana and to decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis.

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