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Medical cannabis is allowed in the UK

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UK allows medical cannabis, doctors will be able to prescribe prescriptions this fall

Doctors in Britain will be able to prescribe medical cannabis by next fall. Thus officially declared the British Home Office on July 26, 2018. The British Home Office responsible for home affairs in England, was notably involved in the case of Billy Caldwell, a 12-year-old child with epilepsy..

British Home Office, medical cannabis, United Kingdom

Involvement of the British Home Office

According to British Home Office, experienced clinicians will be able to prescribe medical cannabis to patients with exceptional clinical need. UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: Recent cases involving sick children have made it clear to me that our stance on cannabis-related drugs is unsatisfactory.

“Following the advice of two groups of independent advisers, I made the decision to postpone cannabis-derived drugs. Which means they will be available on prescription. This will help patients with exceptional clinical need. " 

Javid clarified that it was " in no way a first step towards the legalization of cannabis for recreational use" page (in French).

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British Home Office, medical cannabis, United Kingdom
Sajid Javid, British Home Secretary of the United Kingdom

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) are currently developing a clear definition of what constitutes a cannabis-derived drug. Only products meeting this definition will be scheduled. In addition, other forms of cannabis being strictly controlled, will not be available on prescription.

The case of Billy Caldwell

The change comes after Billy Caldwell, a 12-year-old boy with a rare form of epilepsy, obtained an emergency license from the Northern Ireland Department of Health. Billy had previously obtained a short-term license from the UK Home Office, allowing his mother Charlotte to use cannabis to control his seizures.

British Home Office, medical cannabis, United Kingdom
Billy Caldwell and his mother

Her permission to legally access cannabis oil was revoked in early June 2018. So Charlotte traveled to Toronto to access her son's medication. Unfortunately, she was arrested on her return to Heathrow Airport and Billy's medication was confiscated. It was at this point that the Minister of the Interior Javid became personally involved.

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British Home Office, medical cannabis, United Kingdom
Lady Sally Davies

Javid said he decided to postpone medical marijuana on the advice of the government's chief medical adviser, Professor Dame Sally Davies, and the Official Advisory Board on Drug Abuse (ACMD), The Independent reported.

Thus, from the fall, medical cannabis, placed under close surveillance, will undergo reprogramming for availability on prescription.

The evolution of medical cannabis in Europe

Tags : LawMedicineMedicalPolicyTreatmentUK
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