MOSCOW, July 10 (RAPSI) – The EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg has ruled that the mixtures of herbs containing synthetic cannabinoids consumed as a marijuana substitute are not medicinal products. The court announced its decision in a statement on Thursday.

The court said that it made the ruling in response to questions filed by the Federal Court of Germany in connection with two separate cases, under which two vendors of such mixtures were convicted of the sale of unsafe medicinal products by lower courts. One was handed a suspended prison sentence of one year and nine months, while the other was sentenced to four years and six months in jail and a fine of EUR 200,000. At the time of the trial, synthetic cannabinoids did not fall under the German law on narcotic drugs, and hence criminal law proceedings could not be initiated on the basis of that law.

The court said in its press release that the consumption of the synthetic cannabinoids in question generally induces a state of intoxication which may range from intense excitement to hallucinations. They may also cause nausea, intense vomiting, heart-racing, disorientation, delusions and even cardiac arrest.

Under European law, a medicinal product is defined as “any substance or combination of substances which may be used in or administered to human beings with a view to restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action, or to making a medical diagnosis.”

The court also said that according to the Federal Court of Germany, the mixtures in question are consumed not for therapeutic but for purely recreational purposes and that they are, as such, harmful to human health. Based on all of its arguments cited in the press release, the court concluded that such substances cannot be classified as medicinal products.