German Cannabis Possession Case Decided On Appeal

German Cannabis Possession Case Decided On Appeal

ICBC are reporting this morning A Lübeck appeals court has exonerated a father and son of possession on the basis of “emergency” treatment. The case may help other German patients beat criminal charges On the last day of May, a regional appeals court in Lübeck (in the north of Germany) published what might yet become a bellwether cannabis case. As a result, it will also be important to patients across the country for at least the next 18 months until recreational cannabis reform actually kicks in. Namely, the court found that both a father who sourced hundreds of grams for his seriously ill son and the son were innocent of violations of the German Narcotics Act. In doing so, the court annulled a District Court ruling which held that the two defendants were guilty of six counts of possessing large amounts of narcotics. The pair faced large fines. The regional court acquitted both men because the possession of cannabis was justified under German law as an “emergency.” Namely, the son suffers from painful spasticity, the amount prescribed for the same was not sufficient to properly treat the symptoms, and the father obtained cannabis for his son to fill the gap. What makes this case stand out is that the son needed six to seven grams of cannabis a day to properly treat symptoms (which is on the higher end of reimbursement, to begin with). Beyond this, the court also recognized that health insurance companies are increasingly stringent with cannabis approvals, even when justified. In this case, the court ruled that any criminal penalties otherwise justified are overridden by a critical and unfilled medical need. A Terrible Predicament While recreational cannabis reform is clearly moving in Germany, the reality is that it cannot move fast enough for those who are, like the…

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