Last week, in another small victory for advocates of cannabis legalization, the UK government’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) finally admitted that cannabis can be used for medicinal purposes. This is in stark contrast to previous statements issued by the government.
From the MHRA’s statement:
The MHRA has now completed it’s review and has considered all information available to it relating to Cannabidiol(CBD) and having taken into account all the scientific advice and evidence, it has come to an opinion that products containing Cannabidiol will satisfy the second limb of the definition of a ‘medicinal product’ because it may be used by or administered to human beings either with a view to restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action, or to making a medical diagnosis.
Last year, the Home Office made the statement that cannabis “can unquestionably cause harm to individuals and society.” This statement was made despite the overwhelming popularity of the legalization movement.
This change of heart could be due to the fact that GW Pharmaceuticals, a British pharmaceutical company, just completed clinical trials on the efficacy of CBD oil. The findings showed that CBD oil was not only safe, but also effective for treatment of chronic conditions, such as cancer.
Cannabis is still illegal to possess, grow in the UK, and is punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Trafficking is punishable by up to fourteen years in prison. Police typically issue warnings for people caught with small amounts.
This reversal in position by a major government agency could possibly lead to legalization for the UK in the near future.