In a statement to the House of Commons on Tuesday, the Home Secretary said the government’s current position on medicinal cannabis is “not satisfactory” and if a government review finds “significant medical benefits” the law would be changed.
A new panel that will consider applications for the use of cannabis oil is reported to begin working within days.
The government has come under increasing pressure, from all angles, to review drug laws after the confiscation last week of cannabis oil supplies intended to treat Billy Caldwell, a 12-year-old boy with a severe form of epilepsy.
The news comes after The Times newspaper recently reported Theresa May’s husband works for a company that owns the largest stake in Britain’s only medical marijuana producer.
In an article for the Daily Telegraph, former Conservative Party leader William Hague urged Theresa May to legalise the substance, claiming the UK’s drug policy is “inappropriate, “ineffective and utterly out of date.” The Home Secretary has since intervened, providing a 20-day licence that will allow Billy Caldwell to be treated with cannabis oil.
Cannabis is the UK’s most widely used drug according to drug advice group Frank, but if caught using the Class-B you could face a prison sentence up to 14 years. Sajid Javid reaffirmed the government’s position against any recreational use of the drug. He said: “This government has absolutely no plans to legalise cannabis and the penalties for supply and possession will remain unchanged.” He added: “We will not set a dangerous precedent or weaken our ability to keep dangerous drugs off our streets.”
Today it was announced Alfie Dingley, a second child who suffers from severe epilepsy would also be granted a licence to receive cannabis-based drugs. Charlotte Caldwell, Billy’s mother, said the change in policy showed “the power of mummies of sick children has bust the political process wide open”
She Added: ″We are on the verge of changing thousands of lives by bringing our medicinal cannabis laws in line with many other countries”