Jeff welcomes new review of medical cannabis laws

Manchester Withington MP and co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform has welcomed the Government’s announcement of a review into the legislative framework regarding medical cannabis.

Jeff also welcomed the government’s decision to grant six year old Alfie Dingley a licence to use his cannabis based medicine.

Yesterday, Policing Minister Nick Hurd announced the creation of an expert panel to advise ministers on individual license applications for patients in need of cannabis for medical use. However, campaigners urged the Home Secretary to go further and announce a broader policy review.

Last night, Jeff wrote to the Home Secretary calling for “an urgent, wide-ranging review, led by clinicians, into the legislative framework regarding Medical Cannabis“(full text below). This letter followed Jeff’s piece last month in the British Medical Journal in which he called on the UK to follow 30 US states and 14 countries across the world by permitting the use of cannabis-based medicines.

Today, Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced a two-part review into the scheduling of cannabis for medical use. The first part, led by Professor Sally Davis, will look at the evidence base for the use of medical cannabis. The second part, led by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, will advise on rescheduling matters.  Cannabis is currently a Schedule 1 drug, defined as having no medicinal benefits.

Commenting after the announcement, Jeff said:

“I’ve been calling for the government to act on the Alfie Dingley case for several months, including writing to the Prime Minister urging her to grant his licence. 

The recent cases in the media have shown the human cost of this Government’s refusal to acknowledge the medical benefits of cannabis. Too many parents like Alfie’s mum Hannah are being forced to choose between breaking the law and watching their children suffer.

This cannot continue. I welcome today’s announcement of a review into the legislative framework on medical cannabis.

It’s crucial that this review takes place urgently and that proposals for legislative changes are brought before the House as soon as possible.”

Sajid Javid-1

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