In an unprecedented move, the UK government announced Wednesday that starting this fall, they would begin to allow licensed doctors to prescribe medical cannabis to patients with an “exceptional clinical need.” This means that cannabis would not be available for just anyone and everyone that could benefit from it but rather those who have showed no progress with traditional treatment methods.
Earlier this year, the UK’s top medical advisor urged Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary to reclassify medical cannabis. This led Javid to order a two-part review to determine whether cannabis has a place in the pharmacopeia of the nation.
The first part of the evaluation was conducted by Chief Medical Advisor Professor Dame Sally Davies. This part of the review concluded that there is substantial evidence of the therapeutic benefits that cannabis has to offer. The second part of the review led the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs also known as the ACMD to officially declare that cannabis does indeed provide medicinal benefits that could help many individuals throughout the UK.
In the recent announcements, Sajid Javid made it a point to note that this move is NOT the first step in a bigger plan to legalize recreational cannabis in the country stating the following;
“Recent cases involving sick children made it clear to me that our position on cannabis-related medicinal products was not satisfactory.” “In no way is this a first step to the legalization of cannabis for recreational use.”
At this time, there are already a few patients who are considered high-profile cases that have received licenses to utilize cannabis including Billy Caldwell and Alfie Dingley, who both suffer from severe forms of epilepsy. This is a big win for the thousands of individuals across the country that will benefit from this amazing natural medicine.