Medical Marijuana in Israel and Germany

Feb 18, 2009

Europe, Medical Marijuana, Netherlands

Many people are at least vaguely aware that government-sanctioned medical marijuana programs exist in Canada and the Netherlands. But few Americans are aware that another of America's strongest allies, Israel, also has a national medical marijuana program. And, according to a translation posted by MAPS of a recent article in the Israeli newspaper Maariv, that program is growing.

Three hundred patients are now enrolled, representing a 1,400% increase in new permissions to use medical marijuana in the last two years, according to the paper. Strikingly, the program includes not only the obvious indications like neuropathic pain or nausea and vomiting related to treatments for cancer or HIV/AIDS, but conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder that are often not included in U.S. medical marijuana laws, though there is reason to believe that marijuana may be helpful for at least some PTSD patients.

Meanwhile, seven German patients recently became the first in their country to receive whole marijuana for medical use with government approval. As the rest of the world starts to enter the 21st century on this issue, will the U.S. continue to be stuck in 1937?