The political discussion around cannabis keeps returning to the results of studies. Now that the opponents of cannabis are faced with the positive experiences in many US states, Uruguay and Canada, their arguments are petering out, so instead, they have begun referring to what they claim is a lack of results from studies on cannabis. So far...
Opponents of cannabis like to call it a gateway drug. They say it is just one of many illegal substances, a launch pad toward a druggie lifestyle. Although this theory has long been disproved scientifically, this alternative fact is repeated endlessly like a mantra by opponents of legalisation. But what about withdrawal treatment? More on that.
President Rodrigo Duterte has made headlines around the world with his deadly drug policy. But despite the bloody drug war, which the "Asian Trump" kicked off in 2016, the Philippines might still approve medicinal cannabis shortly. More about this here.
On 20 February, the South African media reported that the country's government will soon be issuing the first licences permitting the production of medicinal cannabis in South Africa.
Three years after cannabis was legalised, Uruguay’s government announced just a few months ago that it would soon commence state-controlled sales. The first harvest has already arrived and the cannabis buds should already be in the process of being dispensed to adult consumers with the assistance of the 1100 pharmacies in the country. However... More about the background to this story can be found here:
In Europe, there is currently a political cross-party consensus: cannabis is okay, as long as it is being used for medicinal purposes. Anything else should continue to be banned and in that context, many people are busily trying to keep the two discussions well apart from each other. None of the large right-wing parties, addiction researchers, doctors and even patient associations adopt a prohibitionist stance when talking about the re-legalisation of cannabis. "This question," they always say, "Has nothing to do with the other question. The medicinal use we are talking about is to reduce the symptoms of disease; recreational use is just about getting high."
Since the use of cannabis as medication for and by patients was legalised in Germany by the taking of legal action, people in possession of a “Certificate of Exemption for Self-Treatment with Medicinal Hemp Buds whilst under Medical Supervision” shouldn't actually need to worry any more about having trouble with the law due to this otherwise prohibited plant. However...
Today is Inauguration Day. What will be the stance of President Donald Trump on cannabis? Will he adopt a cannabis-friendly approach or enforce a zero-tolerance policy? Micha, a journalist and cannabis expert, provides us with some insights.
Following his election victory, Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau announced that he would regulate the buying and selling of cannabis. In mid-December 2016, the task force he brought in especially for this purpose made a proposal, which dealt with no less than 80 detailed questions about the upcoming legalisation. Read more about the legalisation of cannabis in Canada here.
In late September 2016, the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) issued the first ever licence to a German cannabis patient to grow their own medicinal cannabis. Michael F., who is living with multiple sclerosis, took his demand for the right to grow at home as part of his government-recognised therapy to the highest court in the land for this matter. He won his case on 6 April of this year.
In Germany, following on from Bremen, Berlin has now decided to relax what is in any case its relatively liberal cannabis policy, compared to the national policy, making it the second federal state within six months to do so. Politicians would at last like to regulate trade in cases of possession of up to 15 grams of cannabis, which involves merely a written warning and no fine.
In Switzerland, a law student was acquitted of allegations of possessing eight grams of cannabis by the Zurich District Court. Originally, the defendant was ordered to pay a fine for the eight grams, for which he was summoned to appear in court. The result: acquittal. The entire story can be found here.
For a number of years now, German cannabis patients have been allowed to purchase cannabis flowers from the Netherlands via German pharmacies using a special permit. From the end of August, they will also be able to buy four strains from Canada.
Although he was sentenced to a prison term of only five years and eleven months for growing cannabis, Oliver Liermann ended up spending seven years and eleven months inside. In 2008, while he had a suspended sentence running, he was caught growing a kilogramme of cannabis. He was then locked up uninterrupted until May of this year.
On 17 June 2016, the German Bundesrat, the chamber of the federal states, debated the Law on the Medicinal Use of Cannabis recently presented to Parliament. In order to establish a legal basis for medicinal cannabis flowers, the law has to pass through both chambers.
Based on rising demand, Bedrocan, the sole remaining producer of medicinal cannabis in Europe, tripled its production with the opening of a new production facility in 2015. Nevertheless, the company cannot supply Europe’s cannabis patients single-handedly.
On 6 April 2016, the Third Division of the Federal Administrative Court reached a landmark decision which is of crucial importance to cannabis patients: it issued a permit to a 52-year-old MS patient to grow cannabis at home. More on the legally binding decision and the background to the approval of cannabis cultivation here.
There are many signs that some Caribbean countries may well develop into an Eldorado for cannabis and its consumers in the coming years. Read all about the seven most important reasons why cannabis in the caribbean is serious business.
Once again, current events show that there is a great deal of change going on in Germany and that developments regarding medicinal cannabis are increasing in pace. However, public opinion is changing faster than politics and legislators can keep up. Read more here.