UK doctors are now able to prescribe cannabis-based medicine after the government relaxed laws governing access to the substance.
Patients across the country will now potentially be able to use cannabis medicinal products for treatment thanks to home secretary, Sajid Javid, who said they should be placed in schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.
Clinicians will be able to prescribe the cannabis-derived products by autumn.
Announcing the move, Javid said, as per The Guardian:
Recent cases involving sick children made it clear to me that our position on cannabis-related medicinal products was not satisfactory.
This will help patients with an exceptional clinical need, but is in no way a first step to the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use.
As per the Department of Health’s Cannabis for Medical Use document:
Under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2017, cannabis and products or preparations extracted from the cannabis plant which are psychoactive are listed in Schedule 1. This means that it is subject to the strictest level of control; however, under this legislation it is open to the Minister for Health to consider granting a licence to an Irish-registered medical practitioner for medical cannabis for a named patient. It is important to note that a licence cannot be granted in relation to the provision of cannabis for medical use to a patient in their own name.
Under Irish and EU law, medicinal products (medicines) are required to be authorised before they are placed on the market. Medicinal products must demonstrate their quality, safety, and effectiveness based on clinical trial data in order to receive their authorisation. Authorisations are issued by either a national competent authority such as the HPRA or by the European Medicines Agency. Authorised medicines have a positive benefit/risk profile and are subject to on-going monitoring by regulatory authorities.
It comes after Canada’s parliament passed a law legalising the recreational use of marijuana on Tuesday, June 19, in a 52-29 vote in the Senate. It’s likely, by mid-September, Canadians will be able to buy cannabis and cannabis oil grown by licensed producers at numerous retail locations.
Canadians across the country will also be able to order the drug online from federally licensed producers. They can even grow up to four plants at home, BBC News reports.
Adults (those aged 18 and over, 19 in some provinces) will be able to hold up to 30 grams of dried cannabis in public.
Cannabis-infused foods will not be readily available for purchase come September but will be within a year of the bill coming into action. The delay is meant to give the government time to set out regulations specific to those products.
The minimum legal age to buy and consume marijuana has been set federally at 18. However, some provinces have chosen to set it at 19.
It will be illegal to; possess more than 30 grams, or an ounce, of cannabis in public, grow more than four plants per household, and to buy from an unlicensed dealer.
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