As we see more and more parts of the world loosening the laws surrounding marijuana, especially when it comes to using marijuana for medicinal purposes, it is good to see steps in the right direction. This time, it is Germany’s turn to take credit for considering legalizing medical marijuana throughout the country, with the first draft approved by the government and headed to Parliament for discussion.
One of the most unique things about Germany’s law would be that health insurance would cover the costs of medical marijuana as long as the treatment is deemed necessary. This would mean that it would be possible for almost anyone to find a way to afford medical marijuana treatments, which are already less expensive than most treatments when there is enough demand for the product.
“Our goal is that seriously ill patients are treated in the best possible way,” Gröhe said, adding that “we want that for the seriously ill patients the cost of cannabis as a medicine will be taken by their health insurance, if they cannot be helped otherwise,” according to the newspaper.
While they will be offering for medical marijuana to be covered by insurance, the restrictions surrounding medical marijuana might be stricter than some of the laws in the United States and even other countries, such as Canada. They are clearly on the path to trying to ensure that the program stays strictly for those who need it and not those who might try to abuse the system in order to get access to marijuana legally.
“The use of cannabis as a medicine within narrow limits is useful and should be explored in more detail,” Mortler 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.”
If all goes well with Parliament, the law will be passed and implemented by the beginning of 2017. Patients will likely begin asking their doctors about this in advance as this bill looks extremely likely to pass – and they even have a plan in place to make sure that patients have access to medical marijuana before they manage to get through approving cultivation and processing facilities,.
“Until the government-controlled cultivation in Germany is established, which presupposes cannabis agency, the medical cannabis supply will be covered by import,” Gröhe said.
Overall, it appears that they have a relatively good plan – even if the conditions may end up being restrictive. In the end, a program like this one would offer relief to thousands and it is absolutely worth pursuing, and you can always add on to an existing law later.