Germany’s doctors are embracing the newly legal prescription of medical marijuana, which went into effect at the start of this month.

“I predict a certain increase of this therapy, though to what extent is unclear,” said Josef Mischo of the German Medical Association, referring to how doctors can now treat their patients with the drug.

“As a medical community, we welcome the fact that therapeutic possibilities have now been expanded.”

Before the German parliament (Bundestag) passed the new legislation in January, the only way for patients to use cannabis as a treatment was to apply and wait for special, individual approval - and the bar was set fairly high for those seriously ill.

Only around 1,000 people had been given this permission when the law was passed, and some even died while they were waiting for their request to be processed. Users also had to take on the costs themselves.

But now doctors can simply write their patients a prescription if, for example, they suffer from chronic pain or a serious loss of appetite due to an illness. Health insurance providers also now must cover the costs of cannabis treatments.

To oversee the new distribution and control of medical marijuana, a new Cannabis Agency has been established under the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM).

German politicians said the law was intended for those with serious illnesses - like multiple sclerosis or cancer patients suffering the effects of chemotherapy - but it is still not exactly defined as to what kinds of patients can be prescribed the drug.

This is also because, as Mischo explains, there is still relatively little data about the range of illnesses and symptoms that can be alleviated through cannabis use.

“It is good that the legislators largely left it up to the doctors to decide if cannabis should be used,” said Mischo, who is also president of Saarland’s medical association.

Mischo said that he can already see how doctors will increasingly prescribe the drug under the new law.

“Right now I can already imagine that many doctors will now, for one thing, test to see if their chronic pain patients get better with cannabis.”

Last year Germany imported 170 kilograms of cannabis for medical purposes, according to a government response to an inquiry from Die Linke (The Left Party), as reported by publishing group Funke Mediengruppe on Friday.

This was nearly double the amount imported the previous year at 92.8 kilograms, and nearly four times as much as in 2014. Germany will continue to import the marijuana it needs until the state can set up its own supervised production. Private producers could also apply for licenses.

The German Cannabis Association (DHV) said they want more clarity on how businesses could gain such licenses.

“Concrete, detailed regulations will determine whether it will actually make sense for entrepreneurs to apply for licenses,” said a representative of the lobby organization.

“What needs to be clarified is: what quantities will be given out, what varieties, what are the quality requirements, what is required of the businesses, and how many licenses will be issued.”

And while the law is likely to expand cannabis use and its health benefits for those with illnesses, doctors are still sceptical about whether the law should be expanded further to allow recreational consumption.

“For recreational use, we cannot say based on studies thus far that it is harmless,” said Mischo, who is an addiction expert.

“If someone uses cannabis for a long time as a teenager or young adult, there are negative effects. But it is not clear whether there are better protections against this when it is limited and legal, versus when it is illegal.”

Source: The Local

On Saturday, the 11th of March 2017 the NPP Hamburg Chapter celebrated Ghana’s 60 years of independence and the election of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the president of the republic of Ghana. The event began at about 9.15pm with two beautiful ladies, smartly dressed in the NPP party colors welcoming the invited guests and taking them to their seats. The evening began with prayers by Amoako Darko and Kamal Ambassador. 

Mr. Augustine Kofi Poku, the Chairman of the Hamburg Chapter in his welcome address encouraged members of his party to be good citizens, so as to encourage non-members to join the party. He gave a vivid account of Ghana’s past 60 years and emphasis of the roles of the past presidents and those who lost their lives in the struggle to attain independence for the country on 6th March 1957.

At the event were members from other Chapters in Germany and members of the national executives led by the national president, Rev. Alex Acheampong. Admittedly it was a surprise to others seeing the pastor not only in politics, but playing a leading role. He challenged the gathering not to be spectators, but to contribute their quotas in nation building. He disclosed that German NPP chapter spent over 100,000 thousand Euros in supporting the comeback of the party to power. The President, Nana Akuffo-Addo, has since assuming office heeded advice from Ghanaians in Diaspora.

The event also witnessed the presence of nonparty members and the leadership of the Ghana community led by Nana Anane Kakyire (President) and Osei Tutu (General Secretary), Dr. Victoria Manu, Nana Owusuwaa Mprengo Queenmother of Bohyen –Kumasi and Desmond John Beddy of TopAfric Meadia Network.

In a keynote address, Nana Anane Kakyire challenged Ghanaians especially the youth to contest for leadership positions in the upcoming Ghana Union election, since himself and the general secretary are no longer contesting, he also used the occasion to praise Madam Mary Oduro, a former Women Organizer of the NPP and a former executive member of the Ghana Union for her immense contribution to the community.

The arrival of Opanin Koo Kusi a Ghanaian opinion leader and a known NDC member rekindled the entire event. He waved his flag to the audience and this single action demonstrated how tolerant and civilized the Ghanaian community in Germany has become. Belonging to different political parties only mean having diverse opinions in moving a nation forward. 

The event took place at the “Bei der Christuskirche 2 in Hamburg. The organizers must be commended for a good job, there was enough to eat and drink and Dj Cliff did a great job, Onaapo was played repeatedly with JustErick and his video crew at work.
The event was moderated by Alex Tuffour and Evelyn Garbrah.

God Bless Ghana
God Bless Germany

TopAfric Media Network

African women and other immigrants in Hamburg who need support and advice on a wide range of issues including social benefits and domestic violence can contact Amnesty for Women – Städtegruppe Hamburg e. V.
This is a non-profit organization running a counselling centre and international meeting point for women in Hamburg.

The main goals of Amnesty (http://www.amnestyforwomen.de/english/) for Women e.V. are to raise awareness about and to fight against isolation, segregation, repression and all kinds of violence (e. g. domestic violence, trafficking in women) which women are subjected to due to their gender and being migrants.

Amnesty for Women e.V. offers support and advice on securing social benefits (unemployment pay, social welfare, child benefits, parents’ money, allowance for nursing care); domestic violence and sexual harassment; (imminent) homelessness and apartment-hunting; family law in the case of breakup/divorce; right of residence matters; questions concerning kindergarten, school and apprenticeship; finding a suitable German language and integration course and language problems, e. g. correspondence with official agencies.

Women with special challenges (mental and or physical) are also encouraged to contact the organization.

Amnesty for Women e.V. offers counselling in English and German on Tuesday and Thursday from 2 pm to 6 pm, and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 am to 2 pm.

You can make an appointment for counselling by dialling (0)40 384753.

Here’s the address of Amnesty for Women e.V.
Schillerstr.43
22767 Hamburg
Phone: +49 (0)40 384753
Fax: +49 (0)40 385758
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

One of the biggest evacuations in post-war history could be about to take place in Hanover, after police have found several Second World War bombs in the capital of Lower Saxony. Explosives experts are currently exploring the area to assess how many bombs are buried there, a process which will take until Easter, Thomas Bleicher from the unexploded ordnance authority said.

Authorities aim to defuse the bombs in sequence on the same day in order to limit the inconvenience to the public.
But the disruption is still set to be considerable, with the Neue Presse reporting that 50,000 of the city’s half a million residents will be asked to leave their homes. The affected area surrounds the Vahrenwald in the north of the city. Further information on the evacuation will be released next week, but NDR reports that May 7th has been pencilled in as the day of the evacuation.

The largest evacuation in post-war Germany took place in Augsburg on Christmas Eve last year when 54,000 people had to leave their homes after a 3.8 tonne British-made bomb was found during building work.

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The Ghana community in Hamburg is looking for competent people to lead them, fortunately there are countless number of knowledgeable Ghanaians in Hamburg who can help position the Ghana community properly in Hamburg and Germany as a whole.

Besides there are a huge number of the third generation of Ghanaians, who schooled here, have command over the German language, understand the culture and the German system better, they are encouraged not to shy a way from challenges and responsibilities. Remember if you refuse to occupy positions, others with less vision, and others without the required competence will represent you.
Be bold, come forward, register and move your people forward.

Registration ends on Friday, the 31st of March 2017

The positions to be contested for are as follows:
The following Ghana Union Executive positions are to be contested for:
1. President
2. Vice President
3. General Secretary
4. Vice General Secretary
5. Welfare Secretary
6. Financial Secretary
7. Youth Organizer
8. Organizing Secretary
9. Women Organizer

Responsibilities:
To support the social and economic welfare of Ghanaians in Hamburg
To provide the needed leadership for economic growth
To stimulate the spirit of patriotism amongst Ghanaians living in Hamburg
To encourage networking amongst Ghanaian institutions home and abroad
To serve as a mouth piece of the Ghana Community.

Eligible:
Candidates interested in positions of the President and vice Presidents must belong to a Ghanaian affiliated organisation, for instance, Asanteman Union, GaDangme Union or Ewe Union and be Ghanaian irrespective of the passports they hold.

Candidates interested in the position of Youth Organizer must not be more than 35 years old before elections are conducted, and be Ghanaian irrespective of the passports they hold.

All other positions have no restrictions except attaining the voting age of 18 years.

Date and venue of ELECTIONS will be made available after contesting candidates have registered and campaigned for a stipulated period 

Please pass this vital information to all Ghanaians.

Contact:
Desmond John Beddy 
Electoral Committee 
Tel: 017632140550
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

At approximately 12:00 noon on Wednesday, August 12, 2015, a 23yr old Eritrean lady named Asmayt TEKLEAB YHDEGO was found dead in her room. The findings produced by an initial investigation point towards a peronal relationship between the victim and her perpetrator.

Having issued a corresponding arrest warrant, the police are currently searching for the victims missing partner, Hagos BELAY GABREHIWOT(born on April,2, 1990 in Adi Geda, Eritrea).

BELAY GEBREHIWOT was last seen at 12:43 a.m on August 11, 2015 near the NASPA branch on Bahnhofstrasse in Wiesbaden as well as at approximately 9:30 a.m at his current place of residence.
He is listed as a suspect at this time and the Police wish to speak to him.

The Wiesbaden Police Department and Public Prosecutors office seek answers to the following questions:
1. Who knows BELAY GEBREHIWOT and is able to provide information on his whereabouts ?
2. Has anyone seen him since August 12, 2015?
3. Did anyone see him leave the bank in question and/or the direction he took thereafter?
4. Does anyone know whether BELAY GEBREHIWOT had been in contact with any particular individual(s) ? and if so with whom?
5. Did anyone perceive any suspicious events taking place near the shelter for asylum seekers on Mainzer strasse or between the shelter and the Wiesbaden train station on the evening of August 10 or in the early morning of August 11, 2015?


Anyone with info regarding this case is asked to contact the Police Headquaters of Western Hessen - 0049 (0) 611 3450
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or any nearby police station in Germany.

There is a reward of €2000.00 for the information.

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) on Thursday came to an important ruling on illegal downloads that has consequences not just for those who break the law.

What was the ruling about?
At the start of 2011 the grown-up child of a family in Munich illegally uploaded a Rihanna album onto the internet from a computer in his or her parents’ home.

A few weeks later the parents received a letter from a lawyer representing Universal Music, demanding compensation to the tune of €3,500.

The grown-up child who uploaded the album was one of three siblings living in the house, all of whom were adults.

The parents argued that they had had friends round for the entire evening that the uploading took place and that they couldn’t be held responsible for what their adult children got up to alone.

But they admitted that they knew which of their children had uploaded the album, at the same time refusing to tell authorities which one was responsible.

The BGH told the parents that they were not legally obliged to tell on their kid “but you have to then deal with the consequences." In other words the parents were ordered to pay compensation.

The judges argued that any other ruling would have given the record labels no chance of successfully pursuing their copyright claims.

What law is this based on?
According to current German law, you can be held responsible for illegal downloads and uploads from an IP address even if you can prove you weren't aware of the crime taking place.

In a flatshare or a private home, the person under whose name the internet connection is registered is legally liable for a crime committed by anyone in the house who misuses the connection.

What does this mean for us?
The German press are reporting that the ruling means that parents will have to "rat out their children" or pay heavy fines.

But the parents in this case admitted that they knew which of their kids committed the crime. The case would have been less straightforward if they had said they had no idea who had done it.

Several BGH rulings have made clear that the owner of an internet connection only has limited liability for the actions of flatmates, or family members.

Parents are responsible for explaining to their children what is legal, but they aren't expected to constantly watch what their offspring are doing on the internet.

Adult flatmates or relatives are also expected to know the law and the owner of the internet connection is not expected to have to teach it to them. Thus a woman whose niece visited from Australia could not be held accountable when the niece downloaded a film illegally via her internet connection.

But isn't the government trying to change the law?

Yes. The government is trying to take steps that would essentially exempt WiFi providers from liability if someone uses their internet connection to illegally download material, according to a report published in Spiegel in February.

According to Spiegel, the Economy Ministry hopes that the amendment to a 2016 bill will help it realize one of the cornerstones of the federal government's digital policy - creating password-free WiFi access for all Germans.

But what it won't of course do is give you a free ticket to illegally download music and movies. If the BGH ruling shows anything, it is that copyright protection is taken very seriously in Germany. 

Source: The Local

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