The cannabis law reform movement continues moving full speed ahead across the world as the United Kingdom just announced that medical cannabis products will now be available by prescription. The UK’s policy shift has come thanks to the work of tireless advocates who helped convince the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to determine that patients with certain medical conditions should be given access medicinal cannabis as the BBC reported:
Their advice was part of a review into medicinal cannabis launched by the home secretary following an outcry over Billy Caldwell and Alfie Dingley being denied access to cannabis oil.
The parents of the boys, who have rare forms of epilepsy, say it controls their seizures.
“But, crucially, my little boy Billy can now live a normal life with his mummy because of the simple ability to now administer a couple of drops a day of a long-maligned but entirely effective natural medication.”
The UK joining the growing list of nations recognizing the medicinal use of marijuana is a welcomed development, but more needs to be done as the law is still too restrictive as Newsweek noted:
Dr. Tom Freeman, a senior academic fellow at King’s College London, told the BBC that the decision would have a “substantial impact on research by facilitating the development of safer and more effective medicines.”
Former Justice Minister Sir Mike Penning also welcomed the announcement, but pointed out that there are still many unanswered questions the government must address about rescheduling cannabis.
“Any move to restrict medical cannabis in the UK to a very narrow range of derived products, each requiring full pharmaceutical trials, thereby blocking out the many products available overseas, will lead to great disappointment and be a missed opportunity,” Penning told the British broadcaster.
This a tremendous victory for qualified patients and their families in the UK. Not only is this a victory for current patients, but also one that will lead to more positive changes for future patients, and eventually all members of the cannabis community. Once voters and officials realize that the sky doesn’t fall when patients utilize cannabis, there is no reason to maintain the failed and harmful policy of prohibition.
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