Cannabis on prescription in the future

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Cannabis in the future by prescription: Federal government plans to amend the law to facilitate the supply of cannabis medicine to seriously ill people.

(16.08.2010) According to statements by the FDP, the federal government has agreed to release cannabis for the seriously ill in the future on prescription. To do this, an amendment to the Narcotics Act had to be carried out, it was said.

In the future there will be cannabis on prescription. However, not to be able to get intoxicated legally, but as medicine for seriously ill people. A change in the narcotics law is intended to open up the possibility for pharmaceutical companies to manufacture cannbis medicinal products in Germany. The black-yellow coalition agreed on Monday.

So far, chronically ill people have had no access to the drugs containing the active ingredient THC. The provisions were far too narrow to be able to obtain medicinal products with cannabis in pharmacies. The route via authorities and offices, doctors and health insurance companies was usually so bulky and complicated that only 40 patients in Germany obtain cannabis from a prescription from pharmacies.

Known as a intoxicant, cannabis is actually used to make marijuana and hashish. However, the active ingredients contained can also be used, for example, to relieve spasticity in multiple sclerosis, as the action group "Cannabis as Medicine" announced. Around two years ago, the Union, SPD and FDP had spoken out against loosening the narcotics laws. The belief was deeply rooted that cannabis could do much more harm to sick people than it could be of use. However, initiatives such as "cannabis as medicine" repeatedly drew attention to the medical benefits for many patients and cited numerous scientific studies as a reference. Doctors and scientists also drew attention to the positive properties of the THC plant, so that the federal government is now moving to rethink. According to a current survey, 75 percent of the German population advocate approval in the medical sense.

The care of dying people is also to be reformed. So that the pain can be alleviated in the last hours before death and there are no supply failures, homes and hospices may in future create emergency supplies of narcotics. The health policy spokeswoman for the FDP parliamentary group, Ulrike Flach: "This means that seriously ill people have pain-relieving drugs available at all times." The legislative changes are expected to come into force next year. First of all, a vote must take place in the Bundestag. However, it can be assumed that the opposition parties will also vote in favor of the draft law. (sb)

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