Health Care

United Kingdom to review use of medicinal cannabis

United Kingdom to review use of medicinal cannabis”

His mother said he had been free of seizures for about 300 days due to the treatment, but the Home Office recently ordered the doctor to stop prescribing the oil.

Mr Drax responded to the Home Secretary's statement saying: "I absolutely understand the Government's review of this policy, and I welcome it for those who suffer and need this drug to make them better, but may I just say that, from my own life experience, I am delighted that the Government are not going to decriminalise the use of drugs".

The announcement of the review came days after Mr Javid intervened to permit the use of cannabis oil to treat severely epileptic 12-year-old Billy Caldwell, who had been admitted to hospital with seizures after supplies his mother had brought from Canada were confiscated at Heathrow. "After all as the former Foreign Secretary has said the war on drugs is lost and the benefits of medical use are long proven and allowed elsewhere".

Cannabis is now listed under Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, meaning that it is considered to have no known medicinal value and can not, legally, be prescribed or otherwise procured for personal, including medicinal, use.

"The position we find ourselves in now is not satisfactory".

In the second part of the review, The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs will consider whether changes should be made to the classification of these products on an assessment of "the balance of harms and public health needs".

But she added that while it was a "clearly largely positive" announcement, "we still want to hear the details".

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The attention drawn to the case of young epilepsy sufferer Billy Caldwell has forced the UK Government's hand - it has announced a review on medical cannabis.

Mr Javid told MPs he had the "utmost sympathy" for the families of children like Billy and six-year-old Alfie Dingley from Warwickshire, who has a rare form of epilepsy that causes up to 150 seizures per month, and being forced to travel overseas for treatments. "You would do anything to take away their pain". I will do all in my power to ensure they don't have to.

In a Telegraph article, Lord Hague said the case of Billy Caldwell had shown the law around cannabis to be "inappropriate, ineffective and utterly out of date".

He pointed to the recent legalisation of the drug in Canada, where debates revolve around the "practicalities rather than the principles" of legalisation.

"American doctor Frank D'Ambrosio, author of the book "'Cannabis Is Medicine: "The A-Z Of Medical Marijuana", will on Wednesday brief British lawmakers who are seeking to change the law on the medicinal use of cannabis.

But NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens urged caution.

"Whereas let's be clear, actually it isn't", he said.

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