Government paves the way for rule change on medicinal cannabis

Posted On: 
3rd July 2018

Sajid Javid today paved the way for a law change that could allow the use of cannabis products for medicinal purposes.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid The development marks a major victory for campaigners
Credit: 
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The Home Secretary launched the second part of a review after fresh analysis by the Government's chief medical officer found there “is evidence” of the benefits of cannabis use for some conditions.

Last month ministers bowed to pressure after the mother of 12-year-old Billy Caldwell, who had cannabis oil to treat his epilepsy, had the product confiscated at Heathrow airport.

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In a major victory for campaigners, Mr Javid launched the two-stage review into whether certain cannabis products should be rescheduled.

The first part looked at whether any therapeutic benefits through the use of cannabis products exist. The report - led by chief medical officer Dame Sally Davis and released today - concluded that there are benefits.

Mr Javid therefore launched the second part of the review into which products should be deemed useful to those suffering from certain conditions and rescheduled.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said this afternoon: “The chief medical officer concluded that there is evidence of therapeutic benefits for some medical conditions.”

He added: “This has led to the commissioning today of the second part of the review.”

Announcing the review in the Commons last month, Mr Javid said: “It has become clear to me since becoming home secretary that the position we find ourselves in currently is not satisfactory.

“It is not satisfactory for the parent, it’s not satisfactory for the doctors and it’s not satisfactory for me.

“I’ve now come to the conclusion that it is time to review the scheduling of cannabis.”

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs will investigate over the next three weeks which cannabis related medical products should be rescheduled before a decision is made.

However there is no suggestion that the laws around cannabis for recreational use will be changed or even reviewed.