Government to officially review cannabis for medicinal use
Sajid Javid told the House of Commons he will consider the evidence for making the drug available on prescription, however, rejected calls for the drug to be legalised for recreational use
The Home Secretary has announced an official review of the use of medicinal cannabis.
Speaking in the Commons earlier today, Sajid Javid said the government would consider the evidence for making the drug legal on prescription, however, he rejected calls for the drug to be legalised for recreational purposes.
The move comes amid mounting pressure for the drug to be made available to those with medical conditions, in the wake of the case of 12-year-old Billy Caldwell, who was granted access to his "life-saving" cannabis oil medicine last week, following an emergency intervention by Javid.
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"It has become clear to me that the position we find ourselves in currently is not satisfactory," Javid told MPs.
"It’s not satisfactory for the parents, it’s not satisfactory for the doctors, and it’s not satisfactory for me. ‘I have now come to the conclusion that it is time to review the scheduling of cannabis."
He added that he supported the parents of children like Billy Caldwell who were “following a gut parental instinct to do whatever is in their power to try and alleviate their child’s suffering” in obtaining cannabis oil for their epileptic children.
The drug's therapeutic value is not currently recognised under the law in England and Wales. Anybody buying or using it can be arrested or jailed.
The Home Office has now set up an expert panel to review the rules on the therapeutic use of the drug.