Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Medicines regulation and law

Legalise cannabis for medical use, MPs say

An influential committee of MPs has called on the government to make cannabis legal for medical use. 

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Drug Policy Reform wants the drug reclassified from its Schedule 1 — which puts it in the same class as ecstasy and LSD — to Schedule 4, which means it can be legally used for personal use. Drugs in this category include steroids. 

The call follows the results of the committee’s seven-month inquiry into the medicinal use of cannabis where the MPs took evidence from 623 patients, health professionals and medicine regulator experts. 

The APPG were also influenced by another report, which reviewed the clinical and medical evidence and concluded there is “good” evidence that cannabis in some form can help alleviate symptoms of chronic pain, spasticity, anxiety, and nausea and vomiting — particularly in the management of chemotherapy. 

Caroline Lucas, co-chair of the APPG, says thousands of people in the UK risk breaking the law in order to take cannabis for medical reasons, which she says is stressful and unacceptable.

“This a matter of compassion and human rights. The government should have the political courage to view the issue of medical cannabis separately from any wider drugs reform and act urgently.”

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society says it would only back the use of cannabis as a licensed medicine if it is supported by clinical trial evidence. Its head of corporate communications, Neal Patel, says: “It’s right the potential of these ingredients should be explored through robust, high quality clinical trials to see if they can be developed into new, licensed medicines.

“Unless such trials prove the clinical benefit of cannabinoids, we do not support the medicinal use of cannabis, for example smoking or eating it,” he adds.  

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20201710

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • Medical marijuana

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.