(CNN) Germany will legalize medical marijuana next year, the country's health minister said.

The German cabinet decided Monday to approve the measure for seriously ill patients who have consulted with a doctor and "have no therapeutic alternative," according to a press release from the German Health Ministry.

"Our goal is that seriously ill people are looked after to the best of our ability," Federal Health Minister Hermann Gröhe said. Gröhe also said he wants health insurance companies to cover costs if patients can't be helped in any other way.

Still, Marlene Mortler, the country's federal drug commissioner cautioned that marijuana should not be considered completely safe.

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Joshua Berlinger ~ CNN ~

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