Newsbrief: Medical Marijuana Approved by German Court 12/12/03

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At least some Germans can legally grow and use marijuana for medical reasons after a November 27 ruling by a Berlin District Court judge, the Berliner Zeitung reported. In a case involving defendant Michael Grosse, a Crohn's Disease sufferer who used the herb to alleviate diarrhea, weight loss, and abdominal spasms, Judge Michael Zimmerman ruled that Grosse acted out of urgent need and his marijuana use was justified.

Because prosecutors have already announced they will not appeal the ruling, it is now the law throughout the judicial district, which includes Germany's largest city. It is not the first German court ruling in favor of medical marijuana. In May, a Mannheim District Court judge acquitted a patient who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. But prosecutors there have appealed that ruling.

Grosse had earlier been found guilty by another district court judge, who gave him a suspended five-month prison sentence, but a higher court overturned that ruling and ordered the district court to take Grosse's circumstances into consideration. In the second trial, Judge Zimmermann heard testimony from Grosse's family doctor, who said Grosse's health had improved considerably with his marijuana self-medication. Zimmerman also invited two experts, Dr. Rommelspacher, professor of pharmacology at the Free University of Berlin, and Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen, executive director of the International Association for Cannabis as Medicine (, both of whom testified that cannabis could be helpful with Crohn's Disease symptoms.

Grosse, who had been busted with 59 plants, didn't get away scot free, however. That was too many plants, Zimmerman ruled, sentencing him to a fine and probation.

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Issue #315, 12/12/03 Editorial: Steve Kubby IS a Refugee | Canada Denies Refugee Status to US Medical Marijuana Exile | Fallout Continues in Goose Creek, South Carolina, High School Drug Raid | DRCNet Interview: Darrell Rogers, Acting Executive Director, Students for Sensible Drug Policy | DRCNet Book Review: "A Drug War Carol," by Susan Wells and Scott Bieser (Big Head Press, $5.95) | Newsbrief: Bush Campaign Letter Attacks Drug Reform Funders | Newsbrief: Thai Government to Investigate Itself over Drug War Killings | Newsbrief: Bolivian Government Shifts Away from "Zero Coca" | Newsbrief: New Canadian Prime Minister to Revive Marijuana Decriminalization Bill | Newsbrief: Jamaican Solicitor General Warns Ganja Decrim Could Violate International Treaties, Invite US Retaliation | Newsbrief: Australian Prime Minister Says Injection Room Violates Treaties, UN Says No It Doesn't | Newsbrief: Medical Marijuana Approved by German Court | Newsbrief: West Virginia Supreme Court Grants Private Employers Greater Pre-Employment Drug Test Rights | Newsbrief: NYC Cigarette Tax Hike Leads to Black Market Violence | Newsbrief: Cop Kills Cop in Methamphetamine Raid Gone Awry | DRCNet Temporarily Suspending Our Web-Based Write-to-Congress Service Due to Funding Shortfalls -- Your Help Can Bring It Back -- Keep Contacting Congress in the Meantime | Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions | The Reformer's Calendar

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