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Peter Homberg is Partner and Head of the German Life Sciences Practice at Dentons, one of the top 10 global law firms present in more than 50 countries. He and his colleagues advise on Germany’s new regulations regarding the legalization of cannabis for medical use.

There are many unusual questions to be asked, so this time we caught up with a very different kind of expert: Peter Homberg is Partner and Head of the German Life Sciences Practice at Dentons, one of the top 10 global law firms present in more than 50 countries. He and his colleagues advise on Germany’s new regulations regarding the legalization of cannabis for medical use.

Peter, the effect and use of cannabis are highly controversial. What is the significance of cannabis for medical purposes and what does the legalization mean for patients?

Before the law was liberalized, patients who suffered from certain diseases, like multiple sclerosis, cancer or chronic pain, could only use cannabis if they had applied for a specific exemption at the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM). As regulations were extremely strict, only a few hundred patients were granted the permission to use the cannabis plant for medicinal purposes.

So what does it do? The plant is famous for containing THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol, which binds to specific cannabis receptors (CB) in the central and peripheral nervous systems. The activation of CB1 in the spinal cord, for instance, reduces the perception of pain. In terms of medical use this means that cannabis can give relief to people suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain and other serious diseases

The change in law means that patients can now receive a prescription from their doctor. If the doctor decides that there are no therapeutic alternatives to alleviate the patient’s suffering, the prescription allows the patient to obtain cannabis at the pharmacy. Although the restrictions have been lifted slightly, these processes are still strictly controlled by the BfArM.

The change in German law means that cannabis can now be prescribed as a pain killer by GPs
What is the current state of affairs in regards to legislation and what is the legal process for obtaining a license to cultivate cannabis?

With the legalization of cannabis, the BfArM established a cannabis agency within the institution to organize and control the cultivation of cannabis for medical use. As a result, a public tender has been released, and numerous companies have applied for the cultivation license.

Companies have to abide to strict guidelines to obtain a cultivation license
Of course, the process is taking much longer than expected, as this is a totally new field and the BfArM is asking for very specific qualifications: A company needs to have had some kind of past experience with cannabis products, they have to own indoor premises for the cultivation of the plants and have specific security measures in place in order to qualify.

Although we don’t have companies in Germany that have experience with growing cannabis, we do have some that have imported the plants from outside of Germany. They have significant experience in handling the product, be it through packaging or security measures.

For example, here in Germany there is a subsidiary of a larger Canadian company that has been producing the plants to a large extent. So this is a great advantage for them as they can build on their experience in Canada and fulfil the necessary requirements to qualify as legal cultivators.

You’ve been able to legally smoke weed in the Netherlands since the 1970’s, other countries like Italy and Denmark liberalized the medical use years ago. Germany seems quite slow in catching-up, why is that?

The legalization of cannabis for medical use in Germany occurred through a chain of unforeseeable events
Germany has one of the strictest narcotic drugs laws in Europe. In my opinion, if the German Federal Administrative Court hadn’t made a very specific decision, then the changes in legislation would never have been made. But through a chain of unforeseeable events, the following occurred:

One of the patients who had received the exemption from the BfArM, started growing his own cannabis at home, stating that the exemption included not only the purchase, but also the cultivation of cannabis. When BfArM sent him a cease and desist order, he took the issue to court.

In the last instance, the court ruled in his favour. This meant that all people who had previously received an exemption from BfArM would be able to legally grow cannabis at home. As this ruling would have resulted in a loss of control by the BfArM and in extension the government, cannabis was legalized for medical use and the complete control over cultivation and distribution returned to the government.

What role is Dentons playing in this whole transition process?

First and foremost we have been informing our international clients on regulatory issues and the new legislation in Germany. With cannabis everything is new, it’s a completely new field and different from any other topic in the life sciences.

THC – tetrahydrocannabinol – binds to specific cannabis receptors in the central and peripheral nervous systems
We have an international cannabis group at Dentons that is at the forefront of current affairs and keeps up to date on the topic. Our work includes regulatory advice, mergers and acquisitions and intellectual property. For instance, we have advised clients, one of them a large Canadian company, on the acquisition of a cannabis distributor in Germany to get a strong foothold in the country and on the European market.

In future, we will also have to handle various disputes. It will be very interesting to see how they evolve, how to handle them and their outcome. If one company, for example, receives the permission to cultivate cannabis in Germany and others don’t, then these decisions will certainly be challenged.

What can Germany… what can Europe learn from Canada?

Canada is well ahead in the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. What is happening in Germany now is following the Canadian pattern: Today, we have a tender in the public procurement field that came from BfArM. It invited qualified companies to put forward their bid on specific cannabis plants in order to sell these to BfArM. In turn, BfArM will sell these plants to the pharmacies. Like in Canada, a government controlled process.

Germany can learn from Canada in issues of quality control as well. BfArM wants to overlook the cultivation and distribution process, because patients have to be able to count on a high quality product. Quality control includes specific laboratories, which check the type of insecticides or pesticides used or how much THC a plant contains.

There is much to learn from the Canadians, such as quality control, and cultivation and distribution processes
How do you see this niche developing from a legal but also from a medical perspective? What do you personally hope to see happen?

Our clients hope to see a greater liberalization, also for casual use. In my opinion this is not going to happen neither in Germany, nor in other countries in Europe. Nevertheless, more countries in the world are considering the medical use of cannabis and consequently, investors are looking into it as they expect a significant growth in the market.

We will also see a certain amount of effort put into research. With this new kind of liberalisation the indications that qualify for cannabinoid treatment have to be defined. Today we know that cannabis can help patients with for example chronic pain, cancer or multiple sclerosis, but in future we may discover more indications that will qualify for the treatment with cannabis.

“Germany has one of the strictest narcotic drugs laws in Europe”
Accordingly, the group of patients who can use cannabis as a medicinal product will grow. But the market in Germany is very competitive, so it will be interesting to see how companies and institutions will position themselves on the market to get a piece of the cake that is bound to become larger and larger every year.

Personally, I am glad that cannabis has been made available as a medicinal product for people who suffer severe pain. For many it is the best painkiller with less side effects than other drugs.

Want to learn more about the legal aspects of cannabis as a medicinal product? Visit Dentons here!

Images via Miss Nuchwara Tongrit, Africa Studio, Shutterstockphoto3, Zerbor/Shutterstock

What you need to Know about the Legalization of Cannabis for Medical Use

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The Ministry of the Interior writes in his reply that in 2015 there were 1736 alcohol deaths in Bavaria, six more than in the previous year. Of these 123 were between 25 and 44 years old and two were under 25 years. Men were affected in about two-thirds of alcohol-related deaths. In addition, according to the Ministry, deaths are attributable to alcohol consumption, which is an accompanying factor, for example, in certain cancers. The Landesamt für Gesundheit und Lebensmittelsicherheit (German Health and Food Safety Authority) therefore assumes around 12,000 deaths per year.

09/15/2017
Oans, zwoa, totgsuffa
Every year there are over 1700 alcoholic beverages in Bavaria. Young people drink again less – more for this

What would happen if not alcohol, but cannabis the Volksgestge number 1? Two and a half weeks at the Oktoberfest from the teenager to the retiree, over the course of the evening, several grams of grass would be ordered, look at each other in the light of the light of the joint and danced to the latest Wiesn hits. What is unimaginable with cannabis is normal with alcohol. In Germany 74,000 people die each year from the effects of alcohol abuse.

More than every second of the 11 to 17-year-olds have already drunk alcohol, 13 percent have a drunken at least once a month, 4500 children and adolescents have to be admitted to the hospital every year. “In Bavaria around 270,000 people are dependent on alcohol,” write Katharina Schulze and Ulrich Leiner (both Greens) in their request. They wanted to know from the state government the consequences of alcohol consumption in Bavaria.

The Ministry of the Interior writes in his reply that in 2015 there were 1736 alcohol deaths in Bavaria, six more than in the previous year. Of these 123 were between 25 and 44 years old and two were under 25 years. Men were affected in about two-thirds of alcohol-related deaths. In addition, according to the Ministry, deaths are attributable to alcohol consumption, which is an accompanying factor, for example, in certain cancers. The Landesamt für Gesundheit und Lebensmittelsicherheit (German Health and Food Safety Authority) therefore assumes around 12,000 deaths per year.

Not to mention the people who were killed under the influence of alcohol in the wheel. Their number rose by nine to 58 persons from 2015 to 2016, the number of injured persons by 31 to 2616. And the dead will probably be no less. According to the epidemiological search survey in Bavaria, 17.4 percent of adults drink alcohol at high risk – especially younger people. Nearly 37 percent are between 18 and 24, while the 60 to 64-year-olds are just under six percent. Here, too, men are particularly affected.

Alcohol abuse leads to violence and high economic costs

Alcohol abuse does not only affect the drinkers themselves. The economic costs of alcohol-related diseases in Germany are estimated at more than 26 billion euros. On the other hand, income from the state is derived from alcohol-related taxes of just 3.2 billion euros. In addition, there are social consequences, such as violence among alcohols. In one third of all violence in Bavaria alcohol was involved. The attacks of drunders on the police and rescue service have increased in comparison with the previous year to nearly all Bavarian police droids. Overall, the number of suspects who have committed criminal offenses rose by 1800 to 41 430 compared to the previous year. Some of the drunken accused were not yet 14 years old.

The Minister of Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU) can not say whether local alcohol bans can help to reduce the rate of crime development. An increasing number of municipalities and cities would, however, issue such decrees. “Thus,” […] can effectively reduce […] regulatory disorder and offenses committed under influence of alcohol, “the reply says.

The Ministry of Health praises itself for having further increased the starting age for the first consumption of alcohol by means of prevention programs such as “Strong Will Instead of Proliferation” or the “HaLT” action. In fact, teens drink less alcohol. The proportion of those who have consumed cannabis in the last 12 months has risen by four to 22 per cent, according to the Munich Institute of Therapies Research. Kiffen instead of drinking on the Wiesn – perhaps it is nevertheless no utopia. (David Lohmann)

INFO: Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol has a long history in Bavarian culture: it is both a pleasure and a drug. According to science, there is no alcohol consumption without a health risk. Recommended quantity for women: You should not drink more than 12 grams of pure alcohol per day, which is about 0.3 liters of beer or 0.15 liters of wine or sparkling wine or about four centiliters of an alcoholic drink such as liqueur, corn or vermouth. Recommended quantity for men: You should not drink more than 24 grams of pure alcohol per day, which is about 0.6 liters of beer or 0.3 liters of wine or sparkling wine or about eight centiliters of liquor.

Advice for women and men: The German headquarters for addiction recommends to abstain from alcohol on at least two to three days a week. Risks: In the long term, there is a risk of becoming dependent. In case of excessive consumption, alcohol can cause severe cardiovascular disease, liver disease and various types of cancer. Renouncement: For health reasons people should stay sober when they take medication. Pregnancy: If a drinking mother becomes an alcohol, it may interfere with the babies’ baby’s development and cause premature birth or premature birth. Children and adolescents: For them alcohol can have serious consequences for the developing organism, starting with a blood alcohol value of 0.5 per thousand, there is the danger of becoming unconscious.

http://www.bayerische-staatszeitung.de/staatszeitung/landtag/detailansicht-landtag/artikel/oans-zwoa-totgsuffa.html


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“My fellow conservatives should protect medical marijuana from the government” – U.S. CONGRESSMAN DANA ROHRABACHER

http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/commentary/conservatives-medical-marijuana-veterans-ptsd-20170906.html?mc_cid=3df8db3886&mc_eid=cd290ff91e

by Dana Rohrabacher

Not long ago, a supporter of mine visiting from California dropped by my Capitol office. A retired military officer and staunch conservative, he and I spent much of our conversation discussing the Republican agenda.

Finally, I drew a breath and asked him about an issue I feared might divide us: the liberalization of our marijuana laws, specifically medical marijuana reform, on which for years I had been leading the charge. What did he think about that controversial position?

“Dana,” he replied, “there are some things about me you don’t know.” He told me about his three sons, all of whom enlisted after 9/11.

Two of his sons returned from the battlefield whole and healthy. The third, however, came home suffering multiple seizures each day. His prospects were bleak.

His medical care fell under the total guidance of the Department of Veterans Affairs, whose doctors came under federal restraints regarding the treatments they could prescribe. (Among the treatments allowed were opioids.) Nothing worked.

Finally, a sympathetic doctor advised our young hero to see him in his private office, where he could prescribe medication derived from cannabis. The prescription worked. The seizures, for the most part, ceased.

“Dana,” said my friend, “I could hug you right now for what you’ve been doing, unknowingly, for my son.”

What had I been doing? With my Democratic friend Sam Farr, the now-retired California congressman, I wrote an amendment to spending bills that prohibits the federal government from prosecuting medical marijuana cases in states where voters have legalized such treatment. The amendment passed two consecutive years, the second time with a wider margin than the first, and has been extended through continuing resolutions and an omnibus spending bill.

Surprisingly, given the Obama administration’s generally liberal approach to marijuana, its Justice Department tried to interpret the amendment in such a convoluted way as to allow counterproductive raids on marijuana dispensaries. The courts — most recently the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit — repeatedly ruled that our amendment meant exactly what it said.

Unfortunately, my longtime friend Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, has urged Congress to drop the amendment, now co-sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D., Ore.). This despite President Trump’s belief, made clear in his campaign and as president, that states alone should decide medical marijuana policies.

I should not need to remind our chief law enforcement officer or my fellow Republicans that our system of federalism, also known as states’ rights, was designed to resolve just such a fractious issue. Our party still bears a blemish for wielding the “states’ rights” cudgel against civil rights. If we bury state autonomy in order to deny patients an alternative to opioids, and ominously federalize our police, our hypocrisy will deserve the American people’s contempt.

More than half the states have liberalized medical marijuana laws, some even decriminalizing recreational use. Some 80 percent of Americans favor legalization of medical marijuana. Only a benighted or mean-spirited mind-set would want to block such progress.

Despite federal efforts to restrict supply, studies continue to yield promising results. And mounting anecdotal evidence shows again and again that medical marijuana can dramatically improve the lives of people with epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, arthritis, and many other ailments.

Most Americans know this. The political class, not surprisingly, lags behind them.

Part of the reason is the failure of too many conservatives to apply “public choice economics” to the war on marijuana. Common sense, as well as public choice theory, holds that the government’s interest is to grow, just as private-sector players seek profit and build market share.

The drug-war apparatus will not give ground without a fight, even if it deprives Americans of medical alternatives and inadvertently creates more dependency on opioids. When its existence depends on asset seizures and other affronts to our Constitution, why should anti-medical-marijuana forces care if they’ve contributed inadvertently to a vast market, both legal and illegal, for opioids?

I invite my colleagues to visit a medical marijuana research facility and see for themselves why their cultural distaste might be misplaced. One exists near my district office at the University of California, Irvine, another at the University of California, San Diego.

Better yet, they might travel to Israel — that political guiding light for religious conservatives — and learn how our closest ally in the Middle East has positioned itself on the cutting edge of cannabis research. The Israeli government recently decriminalized first use, so unworried is it about what marijuana might do to its conscript military.

My colleagues should then return to Washington and keep my amendment intact, declaring themselves firmly on the side of medical progress. Failing that, the government will keep trying to eradicate the burgeoning marijuana business, thereby fueling and enriching drug cartels. Trust me: Hugs from grateful supporters are infinitely better.

Republican U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher represents California’s 48th District. He wrote this for the Washington Post.


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Kiffen on recipe? The cannabis doctor of Berlin

– by Thorsten Harmsen

Eva Milz (44) treats patients with medical cannabis. It means that the possibilities of the medium have not been fully developed.

Legal killing on prescription – critics see the meaning of the law, which the Bundestag decided in March. For the first time, doctors can prescribe cannabis. One of them is Eva Milz, psychiatrist with practice in Johannisthal.

The flowers of the hemp plant can relieve severe symptoms of the disease: – chronic pain, spastic paralysis, nausea, anxiety. But the plant can do more. This is my medical profession, who has dedicated himself to the development of the therapeutic potential of cannabis. There are only a few in Germany who believe that it is worth using cannabis as a therapy attempt .

Eva Milz knows about the restraint of many colleagues when dealing with the medicine. Because physicians are only allowed to prescribe medicinal cannabis if standard therapies do not help or have a “not very distant prospect of noticeable positive development on the course of the disease”. “Most doctors talk out and think you have to wear your head under your arm before you get cannabis,” says Eva Milz. But the fear of the means is unfounded.

Cannabis has already been used as a medicine in antiquity, including China and Egypt. This experience has been lost, says Eva Milz. For example, no medicine student learns that the body has many docking points for the substances from the hemp plant. These would be used to control messengers which ensure the functioning of nerve cells. “That’s part of every textbook,” says Eva Milz.

Nationwide it was about a thousand patients

She worked in many clinics, most recently as a psychiatrist at the Unfallkrankenhaus Berlin. She knows the spectrum of the means of modern medicine. It was addressed to cannabis as a therapy option for the first time in 2002. She then worked in patient advice for the medicine portal of a specialist publishing house. Multiple sclerosis patients, to whom she was talking, had discovered by accident – for example, when smoking a joint – that cannabis helps them as no other remedy.

Many asked if it was not legal. In working for the Federal Center for Health Education, Eva Milz again met people who were suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and reported that they were permanently in a state of decline after cannabis withdrawal.

When she founded her practice in 2015, she co-operated with the doctor, Franjo Grotenhermen, chairman of the Cannabis Consortium for Medicine (ACM). Eva Milz reviewed medical reports from patients from all over Germany and sent them to the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices. At the time, this granted exemptions for patients who were allowed to use cannabis.

Nationwide, it was about a thousand – 20 percent of ADHD patients. Those affected can not concentrate, neither learn nor work. They often find themselves in an offside position because they have an outcrop. But after the consumption of cannabis, they were able to concentrate, were able to learn and work. Many got their impulses under control.

Cannabis plant
The flowers of the hemp plant can alleviate serious symptoms.
Photo: Imago / CTK Photo
In ADHD, the THC appears to promote the concentration and focus of patients

According to Eva Milz, this is due to the variety of the ingredients of the hemp plant, especially the cannabinoids. “The main player that most know is the THC,” she says, expelled tetrahydrocannabinol. It has a harsh, psychoactive effect. “Cannabidiol, CBD, is quite unknown,” says Eva Milz. It acts like an opponent to the THC: anxiety and cramping, relaxing and anti-inflammatory. In addition, there are other cannabinoids, essential oils and aromas.

The components worked together. In ADHD, for example, the THC appears to be mainly focussing on the concentration and focus of the patient, says Eva Milz. The CBD probably solve the fear. Because impulsiveness and austerity have much to do with fear.

Perplexed, the psychiatrist read in the doctor’s letters that it was always the parents of young ADHD patients who asked if one could not legalize cannabis. Those who were closest to those affected had noticed that conventional drugs such as Ritalin slowed the sufferers, but also slowed creativity and liveliness. Cannabis had been an alternative.

In multiple-sclerosis patients, the agent for pain and muscle cramps is also effective, because both parts – THC and CBD – are also present, says Eva Milz. A list of 14 varieties of medicinal cannabis blossoms with different dosages shows how diverse the remedy is.

“I have been waiting for the critical questions of cannabis opponents for two years”

Many people think of cannabis first drug, possible addiction and its consequences. But even these are well controlled by an experienced doctor, says Eva Milz. It is reminiscent of conventional drugs that trigger the most severe dependencies. Cannabis with its comparatively mild withdrawal symptoms could possibly serve as a substitute.

One missing Eva Milz: “I have been waiting for the critical questions of cannabis opponents for two years, but I do not get them.” Instead, desperate patients came to her, who had been thrown out by other doctors – as supposedly addicts who were on detours Material wanted to come.

The doctor is inter alia with researchers at a university in conversation. Studies are being conducted on the use of cannabis flowers in Tourette’s syndrome, ADHD and other diseases where the drug is already being used. “I would like to have 30 to 50 preparations, which I can use as necessary,” she says. It is used for inflammatory diseases, anxiety, sleep disorders, neurodermatitis, migraine and other ailments.

One problem is the cost. The health insurance funds approve only about half of the applications. But a treatment can cost up to 3000 euros a month. For one gram of cannabis, the pharmacies demand 22 euros. Many could not afford it.

– Quelle: http://www.berliner-kurier.de/28240224 ©2017


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Deutsche Bahn: Cannabis medicine at railway stations is permitted – from DHV

https://hanfverband.de/nachrichten/news/deutsche-bahn-cannabismedizin-auf-bahnhoefen-ist-erlaubt Published: 24 August 2017 – 11:08By: Florian Rister

Can cannabis patients take their medicine at stations? Are you allowed to smoke cannabis in designated smoking areas? These questions have not only been concerned with many affected and even railway workers since the amendment of the Act in March. The DHV has followed up at the German Railroad and received answers!

We are currently aware of a case in which a cannabis patient was given a ban on smoking in the smoking area of ​​a station due to the smoking of cannabis. It seemed all the more exciting to get an official statement from Deutsche Bahn. Because by the re-classification of medical cannabis as a classic Annex III narcotic, this actually corresponds to the same status as many other drugs also. It is therefore not surprising that the Deutsche Bahn provides in its opinion: Legal cannabis medicine prescribed and taken is permitted at railway stations, also smoked in the smoking zone!

Here are our related questions and the complete answers from DB:

1.) The building rules for DB stations prohibit “trade with and consumption of drugs and narcotics”. Does this apply in principle to prescribed anesthetics from Appendix III BtmG?

On the basis of the relevant legal bases, such as the BGB (German Civil Code) as well as other sources, the building rules for passenger stations reflect the conditions of use of all station visitors. The control content is based on the faulty behavior of station attendants perceived on the spot and are intended to ensure that all station visitors behave equally and in a manner which is reckless in DB’s railway stations. The regulation you referred to relates, as in the BtmG, to the anesthetics of Appendix III in principle. The exception to this is provided by medically prescribed anesthetics, which were prescribed by a physician according to the provisions of the BtmG §13 (1). In this case, we believe that the intended use, Which is detectable by the corresponding prescriptions. This means in practice, as long as pharmacies documented the entitlement to the funds from Annex III to prove and consumers according to the enclosed medical regulation the legal authority to the consumption of the anesthetics can prove and from consumption no danger for the life and / or the safety of the Railway undertakings, this is not prohibited by the rules of the DB railway stations.
2.) Can patients with a prescription for cannabis take this orally in railway stations or other premises of the DB, eg as a drop, drink or pastry?

Provided that the requirements of § 13 (1) are met and the consumer can prove this and does not create any danger to life or limb through the use, the consumption is permitted in public areas of the passenger stations. For non-public areas of DB or third parties in the station, eg travel centers, office complexes or even rental units in railway stations, the respective responsible owners can define different regulations at their own discretion. This is beyond the competence of DB Station & Service AG.
3.) Can patients with a prescription for cannabis smoke this in designated smoking areas on DB stations?

If the requirements of § 13 para. 1 are fulfilled and the consumer is able to prove this and the risk of death is not a risk to life and limb, the patient may smoke in the designated smoking areas of the DB Cannabis stations by means of smoking. Provided that he does so in a provocative manner or for other station visitors of an inconvenient form, we reserve the right to use the relevant safety authorities as the owner of the house. If a consumer is unable or can not prove his right to use against our employees or on behalf of the DB companies on demand, we reserve the right to initiate domestic measures and to contact the relevant safety authorities to clarify the facts.
Subjects:
German Hemp Association
Cannabis as medicine
Panorama & Strange
Germany – General information
Special Topics:
start page
Cannabis as medicine law (2016)


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The chairman of the German Association for Cannabis as Medicine Dr. Franjo Grotenherman, has entered an “indefinite” hunger strike until Germany “decriminalize all citizens who need cannabis to treat their serious diseases.”

On August 17, 2017, I entered an indefinite hunger strike. The objective of refusing to accept any food is to decriminalize all citizens who need cannabis to treat their serious diseases.

On March 10, 2017, a much-debated law on cannabis as a medicine went into effect in Germany. It was the declared aim of the legislature to allow all patients who need a therapy with cannabis medicines to do so. The law, however, proves itself in practice as bureaucratic. Therefore, a treatment with cannabis and cannabinoids is unattractive for doctors who in principle support such therapy. Many patients do not find a doctor who allows them legal access to the needed treatment.

The legislator has taken a great step into the right direction. However, many patients are still dependent on a still as illegal regarded treatment. They face criminal sanctions. This is no longer acceptable. Therefore a basic clarification in the narcotics law must be established. The prosecution of patients to whom a doctor has certified the need for a therapy with cannabis must end.

Already today, the German Narcotics Law allows prosecutors to stop a criminal case in the case of a „minor debt“. This possibility is mainly applied in cases of possession of small amounts of cannabis. I urge that criminal proceedings should in principle also be stopped if accused citizens need cannabis for medical reasons. The need for a cannabis therapy should not be judged by the judiciary, a government agency or a health insurance company, but, as with other medical treatments, also by a doctor.

I also strongly support the uncomplicated access of patients to standardized preparations from the pharmacy. In this respect, it is necessary to improve the existing law. However, the prosecution of the remaining losers of the legal situation must also be ended. I am not aware of a convincing argument by which patients‘ prosecution can be maintained. A corresponding amendment to the Narcotics Act is, therefore, logical and unavoidable.

Franjo Grotenhermen, born in 1957, studied medicine in Cologne. Medical practice in Rüthen (NRW) with a focus on therapy with cannabis and cannabinoids. Grotenhermen is the chairman of the German Association for Cannabis as Medicine (ACM), Executive Director of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM) and Chairman of the Medical Cannabis Declaration (MCD), as well as author of the IACM-Bulletin, which is available in several languages ​​on the website of the IACM. Grotenhermen is an associate of the Cologne nova-Institut in the department of renewable resources and author of numerous articles and books on the therapeutic potential of cannabis and cannabinoids, their pharmaco logy and toxicology. Among others, since 2008 he has been an expert on debates in the Health Committee of the German Bundestag on the medical use of cannabis products, most recently in September 2016.

franjo


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Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen, one of the world’s preeminent medical cannabis experts, has announced a hunger strike until Germany sufficiently opens up the medical cannabis program to all patients in need. –

franjo

German Cannabis Expert Announces Hunger Strike

Germany has made great strides improving its cannabis laws in recent years, but there is still so much work to be done, as too many patients are still without safe access to a safe medicine. There was understandably great hope that Germany would start treating marijuana the same as any other medicine, after the country implemented an expansion of the burgeoning medical program, but too many bureaucratic hurdles remain. Hoping to fulfill the practical notion that cannabis should be treated the same as any other prescribed medicine, Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen, on of the world’s preeminent medical cannabis experts, has announced a hunger strike until Germany sufficiently opens up the medical cannabis program to all patients in need.

I had the honor of meeting Dr. Grotenhermen when he spoke at the International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin last year, and the man’s dedication to the cause, and expert knowledge, were evident to all in attendance. I hope when the ICBC returns to Berlin in 2018, that Dr. Grotenhermen can reflect on how his efforts have successfully brought medical cannabis fully into the medical mainstream.

Below is a press release sent out by Dr. Grotenhermen announcing his hunger strike: 

Cannabis expert starts hunger strike

Rüthen: On August 17, 2017, the German cannabis expert Franjo Grotenhermen entered an indefinite hunger strike. The objective of refusing to accept any food is to decriminalize all citizens who need cannabis to treat their serious diseases.

On March 10, 2017, a much-debated law on cannabis as a medicine went into effect in Germany. It was the declared aim of the legislature to allow all patients who need a therapy with cannabis medicines to do so. The law, however, proves itself in practice as too bureaucratic. Therefore, treatment with cannabis and cannabinoids is unattractive for doctors who in principle support such therapy. Many patients do not find a doctor who allows them legal access to the needed treatment.

“The legislature has taken a great step into the right direction,” explains Grotenhermen. “However, many patients are still dependent on a still as illegal regarded treatment. They face criminal sanctions. This is no longer acceptable. Therefore a basic clarification in the narcotics law must be established. The prosecution of patients to whom a doctor has certified the need for a therapy with cannabis must end. ”

Already today, the German Narcotics Law allows prosecutors to stop a criminal case in the case of a “minor debt”. This possibility is mainly applied in cases of possession of small amounts of cannabis. Grotenhermen urges that criminal proceedings should in principle also be stopped if accused citizens need cannabis for medical reasons. “The need for a cannabis therapy should not be judged by the judiciary, a government agency or a health insurance company, but, as with other medical treatments, also by a doctor,” explains Grotenhermen.

He also strongly supports the uncomplicated access of patients to standardized preparations from the pharmacy. In this respect, it is necessary to improve the existing law. However, the prosecution of the remaining losers of the legal situation must also be ended. “I am not aware of a convincing argument by which patients’ prosecution can be maintained,” adds Grotenhermen. A corresponding amendment to the Narcotics Act is, therefore, logical and unavoidable.

From 7 pm a 21-minute video will be presented on a special website (www.cannabis-hungerstrike.de), in which Grotenhermen explains in detail the background and goals of his hunger strike. On May 12, 2017, he had already begun a short 8-day “warning hunger strike”, by which he wanted to draw attention to a problem associated with the new law.

Franjo Grotenhermen, born in 1957, studied medicine in Cologne. Medical practice in Rüthen (NRW) with a focus on therapy with cannabis and cannabinoids. Grotenhermen is the chairman of the German Association for Cannabis as Medicine (ACM), Executive Director of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM) and
Chairman of the Medical Cannabis Declaration eV (MCD), as well as author of the IACM-Bulletin, which is available in several languages on the website of the IACM. Grotenhermen is an associate of the Cologne nova-Institut in the department of renewable resources and author of numerous articles and books on the therapeutic potential of the hemp plant and cannabinoids, their pharmacology and toxicology. Among others, since 2008 he has been an expert on debates in the
Health Committee of the German Bundestag on the medical use of cannabis products, most recently in September 2016.

Anthony Johnson

Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon’s cannabis le 

http://marijuanapolitics.com/german-cannabis-expert-announces-hunger-strike/