UK Government Declares Cannabis For Medicinal Purposes Legal
Patients will now be entitled to prescriptions for medical marijuana as of 1st November 2018
The British government has announced that for the first time ever in the UK, that as of 1st November 2018, specialized doctors will be able to write prescriptions for cannabis-based medicines legally. Providing they can confirm that it will be a beneficial treatment for their patients.
The change in legislation was laid in the House of Parliament this week and was brought about by the Home Secretary after listening to concerned parents of children suffering from epilepsy.
Over the past few months, the Home Secretary requested an urgent review of cannabis-based medicines and accepted the following recommendations from the UK’s Chief Medical Adviser as well as the ACMD. The new law will not limit the types of conditions that can be considered for treatment and doctors will no longer need to seek approval from an expert panel in order for patients to access the medicines.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid revealed that he felt extremely moved by hearing of devastating medical cases that involved young children. This motivated him to take action and allow those who need medicinal cannabis, to benefit from being able to legally obtain it.
Mr. Javid has delivered on his word and specialist physicians will not be able to prescribe cannabis-based products if their patients really need it.
Who Can Prescribe The Medicine?
In order to prescribe unlicensed medicines such as medical cannabis, you must be a specialist doctor. This does not include being a GP. To qualify, a doctor must have a sole focus in a particular field of medicine and must also be registered on the General Medical Council’s specialist section. Decisions to prescribe the medication must be made on the basis of each individual case and only when a patient has special medicinal needs that licensed medicines have not been able to treat.
It is an important week for medicine in the UK and the news is going to make significant improvements in the lives of many people suffering from serious medical conditions. The Home Secretary has also clarified that there is no current consideration to legalize recreational cannabis and the penalties for unauthorized distribution and possession remain the same.
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