The Home Secretary of the United Kingdom Sajid Javid is serious about reclassifying medical cannabis. Authorities expect a declaration within a few weeks’ time. However, according to reports, the Home Secretary has already signed the reclassification of marijuana which will give the National Health Service (NHS) the opportunity to recommend cannabis treatments. Moreover, patients in the United Kingdom who are suffering from critical illnesses will be able to access medical cannabis within a month.
3 months ago, officials from the UK made an important announcement concerning the nation’s drug policy. When Home Secretary Sajid Javid took office as part of Theresa May’s administration, he declared his ambition to reclassify specific forms of cannabis as “Schedule 2” substances. Similar to the U.S. government, the U.K. has long-classified marijuana a “Schedule 1” drug lacking any medicinal or therapeutic value. However, rescheduling cannabis would imply that doctors in the U.K., and even the NHS, would have the opportunity to legally prescribe cannabis.
The U.K. has always supported the rules of its European Union members. It is illegal to use or possess any form of cannabis in the U.K, and there are very few exceptions to this law. Some groups have the opportunity to conduct studies on medical cannabis with help from the Home Office. Some patients can easily access Nabilone which is a synthetic THC drug. In spite of this, Sativex is the only cannabis-based medicine allowed in the U.K. Moreover, the U.K. is the home of GW Pharmaceuticals which is a top medical cannabis firm. The epilepsy medication called Epidiolex from GW Pharmaceuticals recently got approved by the FDA, and this makes it the only cannabis-based drug to gain federal approval in the United States.
However, after a thorough review was conducted on the medical and therapeutic applications of cannabis by drug advisers in the U.K. and chief medical officer of England, Javid declared his intention to reclassify marijuana to a Schedule 2 drug. The change in policy is only two weeks away. According to Javid, qualified patients will have the opportunity to receive prescriptions and purchase medical cannabis within the month.
Home secretary Javid announced the plans to reschedule cannabis in July and mentioned that children suffering from intractable epilepsy will need cannabis as a treatment. In June, a patient called Billy Caldwell was deprived of his cannabis oil which gained the public’s attention. When cannabis is reclassified, it will give access to patients suffering from critical illnesses, like Billy.
Furthermore, this reclassification will be exclusively for cannabis-derived THC oil. Physicians won’t recommend other forms of cannabis such as flowers because it is still illegal. Hemp- and cannabis-derived CBD oils which lack THC have already been made legal and highly accessible nationwide. But there are yet to be limitations on who will qualify to receive THC oil. Patients with conditions such as epilepsy, MS, nausea and various symptoms connected to cancer, chronic pain will be qualified for treatment. The NHS will have the ultimate say when it comes to prescribing the drug to the public. According to the Guardian, there are millions of people suffering from chronic pain and this has led to a “silent epidemic.” The U.K. diagnoses 87 people daily with epilepsy, an illness which affects many residents in the U.K.