Cannabis on prescription is allowed in the UK
From November 1st 2018, patients in the UK are able to obtain cannabis-based products on prescription.
From that date, specialist physicians may prescribe cannabis-based treatment if the patient’s medical needs cannot be met in any other way. The new rules apply in England, Wales, and Scotland. Similar legislation is also planned in Northern Ireland.
It is the first result of the medical cannabis investigation in the UK reported by the World of Medicines.
The investigation came partly because of a couple of notable cases where children with severe epilepsy had been denied the use of cannabis oil to relieve their symptoms.
“After being touched by heartbreaking cases about sick children, it was important to me that we act quickly to help those who can benefit from medical cannabis,” Interior Minister Sajid Javid said in a press statement on Thursday.
It is only specialist doctors who can write cannabis prescriptions from November 1. The change in the law does not apply to general practitioners, but as before, they have the opportunity to apply to an independent panel of experts for a certain patient to have access to such products.
The amended law contains no restrictions as to the conditions for which cannabis may be prescribed.
According to the Interior Minister, the law change is being implemented at the advice of the government’s chief physician, Professor Sally Davies, and an advisory body, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. This body should now also conduct a comprehensive review of the medical use of cannabis.
In the United Kingdom, as in Sweden, cannabis is classified as a drug and is illegal to use. In his statement, Sajid Javid emphasized that marijuana will continue to be banned for recreational use in the UK.