Firstly here’s the Home Office press release and then the  UK media reports of note, and, as both the Independent and the Guardian clearly define……

The Home Secretary , Sajid Javid, has received advice from  independent advisors (as previously reported in CLJ) and acted on that advice by announcing that medical cannabis will be designated schedule 2 so that doctors may prescribe for specific conditions as determined by the Home Office.

We presume they have a prepared designated list and will seek more advice from relevant bodies as and when further conditions are requested to be added to the list.

This is not as some would have you believe, legalisation. Reading the press release you’ll see a very clear and defined outline of how the Home Office intends to manage the “process” of medical cannabis.

The Tories may well be in disarray but the wheels of Westminster have turned this way for many a century and will continue to do so.

Note how the Guardian headline their article “Eases Rules”

 

UK HOME OFFICE PRESS RELEASE

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/cannabis-derived-medicinal-products-to-be-made-available-on-prescription

News story

Cannabis-derived medicinal products to be made available on prescription

Specialist clinicians will be able to legally prescribe cannabis-derived medicinal products by the autumn, Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced today.

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The Home Secretary decided to reschedule these products after receiving advice from experts during the two-part review he commissioned on June 19. It means that senior clinicians will be able to prescribe the medicines to patients with an exceptional clinical need.

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Medicines and Health products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will now develop a clear definition of what constitutes a cannabis-derived medicinal product so they can be rescheduled and prescribed. Only products meeting this definition will be rescheduled. Other forms of cannabis will be kept under strict controls and will not be available on prescription.

In the meantime, clinicians will still be able to apply to the independent expert panel on behalf of patients wishing to access these products. The Home Secretary also confirmed today that all licence fees for applications made to the panel will be waived, and no fees will be charged in respect of applications which have already been granted.

The government is clear that today’s announcement does not pave the way towards legalising cannabis for recreational use. The penalties for unauthorised supply and possession will remain unchanged.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:

Recent cases involving sick children made it clear to me that our position on cannabis-related medicinal products was not satisfactory.

That is why we launched a review and set up an expert panel to advise on licence applications in exceptional circumstances.

Following advice from two sets of independent advisers, I have taken the decision to reschedule cannabis-derived medicinal products – meaning they will be available on prescription.

This will help patients with an exceptional clinical need, but is in no way a first step to the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use.

In the first part of the review commissioned by the Home Secretary, the Chief Medical Advisor, Professor Dame Sally Davies, concluded that there is evidence that medicinal cannabis has therapeutic benefits.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) carried out the second part of the review, considering the appropriate schedule for cannabis-derived medicinal products, based on the balance of harms and public health requirements.

The ACMD recommended that such products meeting a clear definition of what constitutes a cannabis-derived medicinal product should be placed in Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001. It agreed that there is evidence of medicinal benefits from some of these products in certain circumstances and clinicians in the UK should therefore have the option to prescribe cannabis-derived medicinal products for their patients.

In line with the ACMD’s recommendations, DHSC and the Home Office will develop additional frameworks and clinical guidelines to ensure that cannabis-derived medicinal products can be prescribed safely to patients but cannot be traded illicitly.

 

THE INDEPENDENT

Medical cannabis will be made available on prescription after it was approved for use by the government.

Doctors will be able to prescribe medicine derived from marijuana“by the autumn” the Home Office announced.

The home secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “Recent cases involving sick children made it clear to me that our position on cannabis-related medicinal products was not satisfactory.

“Following advice from two sets of independent advisors, I have taken the decision to reschedule cannabis-derived medicinal products – meaning they will be available on prescription.

“This will help patients with an exceptional clinical need.”

But Mr Javid said it was “in no way a first step to the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/medical-cannabis-uk-prescription-legal-epilepsy-pain-relief-home-office-moj-nhs-a8464766.html

 

THE GUARDIAN

Cannabis-based medicines get green light as UK eases rules

Relaxation of laws means doctors will be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis

Jamie Grierson and Mattha Busby

Thu 26 Jul 2018 20.43 BST

Hannah Deacon and her son, Alfie Dingley, whose form of epilepsy appears to be eased by cannabis oil. Photograph: Maggie Deacon/PA

Doctors in the UK will be able to prescribe cannabis-derived medicine after the government announced a relaxation of laws governing access to the substance.

Thousands of people with drug-resistant conditions will potentially be able to use cannabis-derived medicinal products for treatment after the home secretary, Sajid Javid, announced they should be placed in schedule 2 of the 2001 Misuse of Drugs Regulations, allowing clinicians to prescribe them by the autumn.

Cannabis has been classed as a schedule 1 drug, meaning it is thought to have no therapeutic value and cannot be lawfully possessed or prescribed. It may be used for the purposes of research, but a Home Office licence is required.

The move by the home secretary comes after the government’s official drug advisers and the chief medical officer for England, Dame Sally Davies, separately concluded there was evidence of therapeutic benefit for some conditions.

The reviews came after a number of high-profile cases involving children being denied access to cannabis oil to control epileptic seizures. The cases included those of Billy Caldwell, 12, and Alfie Dingley, six, who have forms of intractable epilepsy, also known as refractory epilepsy, that appear to be eased by the use of cannabis oil.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jul/26/cannabis-based-medicines-get-green-light-as-uk-eases-rules

 

This is the sort of US headline that will need to be ignored…

United Kingdom Legalizes Medical Cannabis