Pubdate: Thu, 05 May 2016
Source: Witness, The (South Africa)
Copyright: 2016 The Witness.


BERLIN - The German government gave the go-ahead yesterday to relax 
rules on cannabis use by the seriously ill from early next year if 
they have no other treatment options.

Dried cannabis flowers and cannabis extracts will be available in 
pharmacies on prescription and the public health system will cover 
the cost, according to the draft bill that is expected to come into 
force next year.

Other countries that allow cannabis use for medical purposes include 
Italy and the Czech Republic. Some U.S. states have decriminalised 
cannabis completely. Portugal has decriminalised all drugs for 
personal use, but does not allow cannabis use for medical purposes.

Until now, seriously ill people in Germany could only access cannabis 
with special approval and had to pay themselves.

"Our aim is that seriously ill people are treated in the best 
possible way," said Health Minister Hermann Groehe in a statement.

IBISWorld, a market research firm, projects that the sale of 
marijuana for medical use will reach $13,4 billion in 2020, from $3,6 
billion in 2015. - Reuters.
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