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Dec-08-2008 10:45printcomments

German Patients to Receive Medical Marijuana

Pressure from the Bush Administration to keep marijuana illegal in other nations is fading.

German prescription marijuana
Photo courtesy: Bruce Mirken/MPP

(SAN FRANCISCO) - Germany is about to become the fifth country to allow at least some patients to use natural marijuana as medicine. According to a report from the International Association for Cannabis as Medicine, the German government recently notified four patients that they would be allowed to receive medical marijuana produced under the Dutch government’s medical marijuana program. The German program remains limited to special cases.

Other German patients have been allowed to use a liquid extract made from Dutch cannabis, but for some patients the extract proved unsatisfactory. The patients are expected to receive their supply of whole marijuana around mid-January.

Other than the Netherlands, nations that have some sort of medical marijuana program sanctioned by their national governments — with varying levels of restrictions and limitations — include Canada and Israel.

Oh, and the U.S., which still provides medical marijuana to a handful of surviving patients in a program that was closed to new enrollment in 1992.


Bruce Mirken has served as communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project since 2001. Prior to joining MPP, he was a freelance journalist covering health and social issues for a variety of publications. His news articles and op-ed columns appeared in such local and national publications as Men's Health, The Advocate, In These Times, the San Francisco Examiner, the Miami Herald and many others. Along the way, he won 11 assorted journalism awards for his reporting and commentary.

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LegalCountries December 8, 2008 1:12 pm (Pacific time)

How about Spain and Italy?

A few years back I read that Spain also was allowing Medical Cannabis -- in pill and infusion formula -- for a limited number of patients; and I thought Italy also had a very small number of legal medical cannabis patients.

Has this changed, or am I not remembering correctly?

Editor: We will try to get this information for you.

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