While using, selling or growing marijuana is illegal in Germany, chronically ill patients will now be able to grow their own medicine without the threat of criminal punishment.
A recent ruling from the administrative court in Cologne declared that certain pain sufferers may cultivate cannabis after five patients filed suits against the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM). Although the patients already had legal permission to use medical marijuana, costs to obtain their medicine became expensive because it was not covered by their insurance. This prompted them to take legal action.
Out of the five cases, two of them were denied. The first case was rejected because the patient did not have proper growing space that would prevent third parties from accessing the plant. The second case was denied because the court felt that the patient had not completely exhausted other methods of treatment beyond marijuana. Moving forward, each new applicant’s need to grow their own marijuana will be judged on a case-by-case basis with an emphasis on proper restrictions from non-patients gaining illegal access to the product.
Stephanie Seifert, a spokeswoman for the court, said “This is not a carte blanche for everyone to start growing cannabis at home. They have to be seriously ill people for whom nothing else works other than cannabis.”
Although the BfArM may appeal the decision, Germans are hopeful the country will follow trend and soften their laws on both recreational and medical cannabis use.
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