From November 1st, Doctors will be able to prescribe patients with cannabis products as part of medical treatments for a range of symptoms, including pain relief.
Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, say that the new regulation will apply to all UK country’s with near immediate effect, after Mr Javid overturned the rules on when cannabis products can be given to patients after reviewing the issue earlier in the year.
Mr Javid has not taken this decision lightly, consulting with academics, doctors and patients alike, making it a priority to see only the properties of the plant extracted to make the cannabis oil, and not a legal high.
The reform comes after there has been opposition to the way in which Cannabis oil is prescribed, not the treatment itself, over Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell were denied access to the oil. The boys suffer from epilepsy and the parents of the boys say that the product could potentially help with their seizures.
Hannah Deacon, mother of Alfie Dingley, embraced the announcement, saying “We urge the medical world to get behind these reforms so they can help the tens of thousands of people who are in urgent need of help… I have personally seen how my son’s life has changed due to the medical cannabis he is now prescribed.”
Doctors are now urged to reform their practise to include cannabis oil as a treatment, pioneered by Professor Mike Barnes, who was the first to secure a license for its use on Alfie. Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, has also come to the cause open minded, after an initial review, claiming there is evidence of medicinal cannabis as therapeutic.
The second review, by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, furthered the cause by subjecting the product to the latest safety standards, the last barrier to entry into the medicinal market. Should the cannabis oil, and subsequent medicinal cannabis products meet the safety standards required of schedule two of the Misuse of Drugs Relations 2001, there should be no reason why doctors could not prescribe medicinal cannabis as a treatment for patients.
The change in schedule, from 1 to 2, means that cannabis was previously thought to have no medicinal value but could be researched within the guidelines of the Home Office, since schedule 2 has been offered, more research is offered by the Home Office, because of its medicinal value.