UK doctors able to prescribe cannabis products from November 1
About damn time
UK doctors will be able to prescribe cannabis products to patients from November 1, home secretary Sajid Javid has announced.
Doctors in England, Scotland and Wales will have three methods of providing the medicines: a special medicinal product for use in accordance with a prescription or direction of a doctor, an investigational medicinal product without marketing authorisation for use in a clinical trial or a medicinal product with a marketing authorisation.
The department of health in Northern Ireland is still in discussion with the Home Office about a roll out in the country.
Javid had previously announced the moving of the drug from schedule 1 to schedule 2 of the 2001 Misuse of Drugs Regulations, permitting prescription but without a specific start date.
Public pressure mounted on the government to make the change after several high profile cases of children suffering with severe epilepsy whose symptoms could be mitigated by cannabis.
In a parliamentary written statement Javid said: "I have been clear that my intention was always to ensure that patients have access to the most appropriate course of medical treatment.
"I stressed the importance of acting swiftly to ensure that where medically appropriate, these products could be available to be prescribed to patients.
"I have been consistently clear that I have no intention of legalising the recreational use of cannabis. To take account of the particular risk of misuse of cannabis by smoking and the operational impacts on enforcement agencies, the 2018 regulations continue to prohibit smoking of cannabis, including of cannabis-based products for medicinal use in humans."