Medical Cannabis | February 2019

I have received numerous letters regarding medical cannabis.
Cannabis is the most widely cultivated, trafficked and used illicit drug in the UK. It is currently illegal to use cannabis either for recreational or for medicinal purposes, and, in its raw form, it is not recognised as having any medicinal purposes.
I appreciate that there are people with chronic pain and debilitating illnesses who seek to alleviate their symptoms by using cannabis. Although such use is illicit, the Sentencing Council’s guidelines on drug offences identify such circumstances as a potential mitigating factor.
Sativex has already been licensed for use in the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis (MS) in Wales. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is open to considering other licence applications for medicines containing cannabinoids should such products be developed.
However, the official advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs cites medical and scientific research showing that cannabis use has a number of adverse acute and chronic health effects, especially for people with mental health problems, and continues to present a significant public health issue. As such, I support the Government’s view that there should not be legalisation of cannabis.
February 2019

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