Medicinal cannabis is to be legalized in the UK following an announcement from Home Secretary Sajid Javid today (July 26).
Specialist doctors in the UK will be able to legally prescribe cannabis-dervived medical products by the autumn. Other forms of cannabis still remain illegal.
The announcement follows a government review into the use of medicinal cannabis in direct response to recent high-profile cases where children with epilepsy were denied access to cannabis oil to control their seizures.
Billy Caldwell, 12, suffered seizures after his cannabis oil was confiscated when officials at Heathrow Airport.
His mother attempted to bring the bring the drug into the UK from Canada, claiming that her son’s seizures were significantly reduced after taking the oil.
The Home Office recently granted a short-term license to be able to access treatments in light of the Caldwell case. Javid said, “Recent cases involving sick children made it clear to me that our position on cannabis-related medicinal products was not satisfactory.”
The decision also follows calls from the Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Dame Sally Davies, to legalise medicinal cannabis alongside the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs who also called for patients with certain conditions to be allowed access to the drugs.
Speaking at the event, Damian Marley said, “We have a saying in Jamaica, ‘The herb is the healing of the nation.’ With it becoming legal in various places, there’s now slowly more research that proves there is evidence of that.”