Europe News reports on The All Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform saying medical cannabis should be legal in the U.K.
The cross-party group of MPs says there is clear evidence from a study done over seven months that cannabis has therapeutic value in certain medical conditions such as pain and anxiety.
These politicians argue that making medical cannabis available to registered prescription patients would prevent many thousands of people from breaking the law. The group also suggest patients should be allowed to grow small amounts of plants for their own use, without fear of criminal prosecution.
Inquiry heard 623 patient accounts
The evidence from 623 patients was heard by the inquiry including medical professionals and experts who led the formulation of similar legal regulations governing medical cannabis in other countries. The Home Office said it has no plans to legalize cannabis, as it is a harmful substance, which can damage people mentally and physically. The current law in England and Wales doesn’t recognize cannabis as having any therapeutic value, and anyone caught using it, even for medical purposes, will be charged for possession.
Still not convinced
The warning from the NHS states cannabis use is a risk when driving, causes harm to the lungs when smoked, is a danger to mental health, fertility and unborn babies. The cross-party group argued cannabis, if used responsibly, should be classified in the same class as sedatives and steroids.
Sky News was told by co-chair of the All Party Parliament Group, Baroness Molly Meacher that cannabis works as a medicine for a range of ailments. Growing evidence has convinced a number of countries and states in the U.S. to make provision for access to legal medical marijuana for patients.
To say cannabis has no medical value is irrational
Meacher says the UK scheduling of cannabis as a substance with no medicinal value is illogical. But a Home Office spokesperson told Newsweek there is also substantial evidence of a scientific and medical nature that shows cannabis is harmful to people’s physical and mental health. Medicines should be thoroughly tested to make sure they meet stringent standards before they can be placed on the market.
The system in place to administer medicines, including controlled drugs and drugs under development, is clearly set out by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, said the spokesman.
Addiction specialist in favor
Former GP Dr Robert Lefever, an addiction specialist, favors access to medical cannabis as a treatment, but says the downside is, not everyone who uses cannabis is addicted, but some people are, and he is concerned for them.
He says cannabis should not be seen as a cure-all: it does affect mood, memory and motivation, which is not helpful. In his opinion, if the government is going to legalize medical use of marijuana, it needs to be aware of all the reasons why people would want to try cannabis as a medicine.
Medical cannabis in the UK
It looks like medical cannabis in the UK is going nowhere for now. We can only hope that as more and more countries acknowledge the medicinal value of marijuana, the UK will eventually follow suit. Meanwhile, low THC cannabis oils such as Charlotte’s web have been legal for use in the UK since July 2015.