United Kingdom to review use of medicinal cannabis

Maricruz Casares
Junio 22, 2018

This issue has come to the fore after it emerged that home secretary Sajid Javid had repeatedly attempted to raise the issue of medicinal cannabis during Cabinet yesterday, following the case of Billy Caldwell, the young boy with severe epilepsy, who was hospitalised after his cannabis oil was confiscated.

According to the Guardian, the mother of Alfie said cannabis oil changed his life, and that he went from "severe clusters of hundreds of seizures" to nearly none at all. "After all as the former Foreign Secretary has said the war on drugs is lost and the benefits of medical use are long proven and allowed elsewhere".

Mr Javid told MPs that the review would be held in two parts.

While Javid ruled out changes to recreational use of the drug, he said the government had launched a review of the application of cannabis-based medicines.

Kristofer is part of a campaign to introduce "Billy's Law" both in Ireland and Britain which would allow for the use of the drug Billy needs.

"If the review identified that there are significant medical benefits then we do intend to reschedule", Javid told the House.

"It has become clear to me since becoming Home Secretary that the position we find ourselves in is not satisfactory", he said.

Former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has called for cannabis use to be legalised.

At present, Sativex, an oral spray used as a treatment for multiple sclerosis, is the only cannabis-based medicine recognized in the United Kingdom to have medicinal properties.

She said: "Hopefully we will have a more forward-thinking way of doing things in this country and medicinal cannabis will hopefully, in five or 10 years time, be the norm".

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"That is what I would want, because I would not want any other child to go through what my son has".

The United Kingdom's Home Office has made a decision to let 12-year-old Billy Caldwell take cannabis oil for his seizures.

David Nutt, professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, said he believed the government should act to move the control of drugs from the Home Office, which is responsible for policing, to the Department of Health, which is able to evaluate medical claims.

She added: "At every stage of this campaign we have mentioned making history and we have mentioned it because it is commonsense".

"We are on the threshold of the next chapter of the history book".

His mother said he had been free of seizures for about 300 days due to the treatment, but the Home Office recently ordered the doctor to stop prescribing the oil.

Cannabis is now listed under Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, meaning that it is considered to have no known medicinal value and can not, legally, be prescribed or otherwise procured for personal, including medicinal, use.

"As a father, I know there is nothing worse than seeing your child suffer", he said. "You would do anything to take away their pain".

"That is why I have the utmost sympathy for Billy Caldwell, Alfie Dingley and many others like them and for their parents, who have been under unimaginable stress and strain".

In a recent report, The TaxPayers' Alliance estimated the United Kingdom could save at least £890m a year in reduced spending by police, prisons, courts and the NHS through pain relief treatments by legalising the drug. After the meeting, the ministers announced a panel to consider the use of medical cannabis on a case-by-case basis, a walking back of Hunt's promise.

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