Germany Set To Legalize Medical Use Of Marijuana, Join Countries Like The Czech Republic, Uruguay
The German Cabinet has approved a bill that would allow legal access to medical marijuana for patients who can demonstrate a need for which there is no alternative treatment.
Health Minister Hermann Groehe announced that the legislation will allow doctors to prescribe cannabis in the form of dried flowers or extracts, and patients would be able to get it at pharmacies. He was quick to stress that the legislation should not be taken to imply that recreational use will be or is considered legal.
The legislation, which still awaits parliamentary approval, would only allow cultivation of medical cannabis under the supervision of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices. Until such time as the government can get its own cultivation process set up, the prescriptions will be filled using marijuana imported from other countries.
In making the move, Germany will join 23 states in the US and several other countries including the state of Victoria in Australia, the Netherlands, and Uruguay where the plant has been decriminalized and/or approved for medical use.
Indeed, a new day seems to be dawning in terms of attitudes toward marijuana around the world.
Uruguay as mentioned above, is the first country to fully decriminalize marijuana, for recreational as well as medical use, but they are not alone.
The Czech republic is working out the bugs on its newly enacted medial marijuana law, with people there reporting difficulty finding the drug. Citizens are allowed to grow up to five plants or be in possession of small amounts, and many observers think the country will move toward full legalization within the next few years.
Ecuador, another South American country that has experienced the ups and downs of the illegal drug trade is also moving toward full legalization. Small amounts of cannabis are permitted for personal use, and in the wake of a series of pardons for drug traffickers, many think the Ecuadorian government has taken notice of the tax revenue legal marijuana has brought in for Colorado in the US.
Although many people think Jamaica is already home and perhaps birthplace of legal marijuana, in fact it remains illegal there–technically. But the country is taking steps to open up its possession laws, and decriminalizing it for medical and religious uses. With tourists coming from the US where it is legal in two states for recreational use, and in 23 states for medical use, along with their domestic Rastafarians, the government appears to leaning toward liberalization.
Mexico is another country that has long been making noise about potentially legalizing marijuana, but under pressure from the US Drug Enforcement Agency, they have thus far held back. But as the drug cartel power along the US/Mexico border has been shows to be weakening as a result of American decriminalization, political leaders are thought to be considering a revamp.
So hopefully Germany is joining a historic green wave of a future less encumbered by overreaching prohibition of a beneficial and health-enhancing plant that has long been stigmatized.