HOW THE UNITED KINGDOM IS APPROACHING MEDICAL MARIJUANA
- October 17, 2018
At one point, the very thought of reforming national drug policies in the United Kingdom was shady. In that light, the legalization of marijuana was just as likely to happen as Doctor Who showing up on the steps of Buckingham Palace. For a long time, the only members of the UK government who voiced support for the drug were independents and backbenchers, whose opinions were blocked by other (more notable) members of their parties. All civilian cannabis aficionados could do was picket outside the Queen’s Palace and hope for the best. Now, however, it appears the government could be reexamining the policy, all because of a recent scandal that has become a media firestorm. Let’s take a closer look and see why the United Kingdom is up in arms about marijuana once more.
Denying a Child’s Medication
Strangely, the headquarters and main production facility of GW Pharmaceuticals (the company responsible for developing the pot-based seizure medication Epidiolex) is based in the United Kingdom. The drug has been approved by the FDA for use in the United States, but British patients are unlikely to receive it due to strict regulations overseas.
Recent events, however, might hint at changes to come. Back in June, the Home Office seized a cannabis oil product that had been transported from Canada to Heathrow Airport in Longford, England. Initially, the medicine had been prescribed to a young boy named Billy Caldwell, who suffered from a severe form of epilepsy. In the United Kingdom, this prescription (containing a 1 to 50 CBD to THC scale) is illegal, so the medicine had to be purchased in North America.
From Spark to Wildfire
What was the response to this situation? Let’s just say a small spark ignited a wildfire of protests, with the public collectively slamming the government. As a result, on October 12, 2018, UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid made the announcement that the cannabis-based medicine would finally be rescheduled and available for doctors to prescribe to patients by November 1, 2018.
Clark French, a celebrity medical cannabis activist in the United Kingdom, expressed gratitude towards the government’s decision. A multiple sclerosis patient, French is hopeful that this action will pave the way for legalization and peace.
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