On August 17, 2017, the German cannabis expert Franjo Grotenhermen entered an indefinite hunger strike. The objective of refusing to accept any food is to decriminalize all citizens who need cannabis to treat their serious diseases.
On March 10, 2017, a much-debated law on cannabis as a medicine went
into effect in Germany. It was the declared aim of the legislature to
allow all patients who need a therapy with cannabis medicines to do
so. The law, however, proves itself in practice as bureaucratic.
Therefore, treatment with cannabis and cannabinoids is unattractive
for doctors who in principle support such therapy. Many patients do
not find a doctor who allows them legal access to the needed
"The legislator has taken a great step into the right direction,"
explains Grotenhermen. "However, many patients are still dependent on
a still as illegal regarded treatment. They face criminal sanctions.
This is no longer acceptable. Therefore a basic clarification in the
narcotics law must be established. The prosecution of patients to
whom a doctor has certified the need for a therapy with cannabis must
Already today, the German Narcotics Law allows prosecutors to stop a
criminal case in the case of a "minor debt". This possibility is
mainly applied in cases of possession of small amounts of cannabis.
Grotenhermen urges that criminal proceedings should in principle also
be stopped if accused citizens need cannabis for medical reasons.
"The need for a cannabis therapy should not be judged by the
judiciary, a government agency or a health insurance company, but, as
with other medical treatments, also by a doctor," explains
He also strongly supports the uncomplicated access of patients to
standardized preparations from the pharmacy. In this respect, it is
necessary to improve the existing law. However, the prosecution of
the remaining losers of the legal situation must also be ended. "I am
not aware of a convincing argument by which patients' prosecution can
be maintained," adds Grotenhermen. A corresponding amendment to the
Narcotics Act is, therefore, logical and unavoidable.
From 7 pm a 21-minute video will be presented on a special website
(www.cannabis-hungerstrike.de), in which Grotenhermen explains in
detail the background and goals of his hunger strike. On May 12,
2017, he had already begun a short 8-day "warning hunger strike", by
which he wanted to draw attention to a problem associated with the
Franjo Grotenhermen, born in 1957, studied medicine in Cologne.
Medical practice in Rüthen (NRW) with a focus on therapy with
cannabis and cannabinoids. Grotenhermen is the chairman of the German
Association for Cannabis as Medicine (ACM), Executive Director of the
International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM) and
Chairman of the Medical Cannabis Declaration eV (MCD), as well as
author of the IACM-Bulletin, which is available in several languages
on the website of the IACM. Grotenhermen is an associate of the
Cologne nova-Institut in the department of renewable resources and
author of numerous articles and books on the therapeutic potential of
the hemp plant and cannabinoids, their pharmaco logy and toxicology.
Among others, since 2008 he has been an expert on debates in the Health Committee
of the German Bundestag on the medical use of cannabis products, most
recently in September 2016.