22 July 2014
On 22 July the Administrative Court of Cologne ruled that some people suffering from chronic pain should be able to cultivate their own cannabis for therapeutic purposes. Five people suffering from chronic pain and other diseases brought the complaint to the court after Germany’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) refused them permission to grow the plant at home.
The court said the BfArM had to reconsider three of the requests that it had rejected. While the plaintiffs all had permits to buy and consume cannabis for therapeutic purposes from a pharmacy they wanted to cultivate their own because they could not afford to purchase the drug produced by the Dutch company Bedrocan and their health insurance did not cover it. “Until now it has not been legal for anyone to grow cannabis at home but these seriously ill people will now be allowed to,” court spokeswoman Stefanie Seifert said, adding that it nonetheless remained illegal for others to grow it.
“This is a court battle, which we started in 1999,” Dr Franjo Grotenhermen, chairman of the German Association for Cannabis as Medicine, explained. “We have reasons to believe that the Federal Government will appeal the ruling before the Higher Administrative Court in Munster and that a final decision may only be achieved before the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig.” Currently about 300 Germans with therapy resistant severe medical conditions are allowed to buy cannabis with a special permission by the BfArM, which was forced by the Federal Administrative Court in 2005 to issue such approvals. So far, the Government did not comment on the ruling. “We are confident and the Government needs some time to adapt to the idea that the patients finally will win their battle given the wording of the court’s decision in 2005.”Republish