German Health Organizations Support Medical Marijuana

Oct 13, 2008

Europe, Medical Marijuana

In preparation for a parliamentary hearing scheduled for October 15, a coalition of German health organizations, including the German AIDS Support Society, the German Society for Pain Therapy, and the German Epilepsy Association, have issued a statement calling on the government to facilitate access to medical cannabis for patients without threat of prosecution. The Berlin Declaration, as it's called, is in German, but the International Association for Cannabis as Medicine has provided the following translation:

"In 1998 a coalition of medical societies, self-help groups and notabilities from politics, science and culture postulated in the 'Frankfurt Resolution' that the medical use of cannabis should be permitted.

"Ten years on, research into the medical potential of cannabis and select cannabinoids has made great progress and the medical benefits of cannabis for the treatment of several illnesses are no longer in doubt. Patients may now receive from their doctor a prescription for the cannabis ingredient dronabinol, but most health insurance programs do not reimburse the cost of treatment. Those patients who cannot afford a prescription and instead self-medicate with cannabis are still subject to prosecution. Several of them have been sentenced to prison terms, some were acquitted in court. Unfortunately, the option to obtain a waiver for the medical use of cannabis from the Federal Institute for Pharmaceuticals and Medical Products (BfArM) has not significantly improved this unacceptable situation.

"The signatories recognize that for many people who are seriously ill cannabis may be a very helpful medicine but that they cannot benefit from its use for socio-economic reasons (high cost of dronabinol) or because of bureaucratic hurdles (obtaining an exemption from the BfArM). Thus, the signatories encourage the federal government and parliament to take action as follows:

"1. To ensure that the cost of treatment with dronabinol is covered by health insurance if a doctor prescribes it for an indication where the benefits of dronabinol have been scientifically proven.

"2. To protect those patients who use cannabis therapeutically based on a doctor's recommendation from prosecution.

"3. To promote research on the therapeutic potential of cannabis products."


- ADHS Deutschland (ADHD Germany)

- Akzept (Association for Accepting Drug Policy)

- Arbeitsgemeinschaft Cannabis als Medizin (Association for Cannabis as Medicine)

- Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe (German Aids Support Society)

- Deutsche Epilepsievereinigung (German Epilepsy Association)

- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Suchtmedizin (German Society for Addiction Medicine)

- Deutschen Gesellschaft für Schmerztherapie (German Society for Pain Therapy)

- Deutscher Patienten Schutzbund (German Society for the Protection of Patients)

- Initiative Selbsthilfe Multiple Sklerose Kranker (Self-help Initiative for MS Patients)

- Interessenverband Tic & Tourette Syndrom (Association Tic and Tourette Syndrome)

- Polio Allianz (Alliance of Poliomyelitis Patients)

- Republikanischer Anwältinnen- und Anwälteverein (Society of Republican Attorneys)

- Selbsthilfenetzwerk Cannabis Medizin (Self-help Network Medical Cannabis)

- Tourette-Gesellschaft Deutschland (Tourette Society Germany)