Drugs minister calls for legalising cannabis for medicinal use


UK drugs minister Norman baker believes that drug laws should be liberalized so that medical marijuana is available to those who need it, and plans to say so in a letter the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt.

via The Guardian:

Liberalised drug laws should be introduced to legalise the widespread use of cannabis to relieve symptoms of certain medical conditions, including the side effects of chemotherapy, the drugs minister Norman Baker will say.

Amid concerns that “credible people” are having to break the law to secure the only substance that can help to relieve their condition, Baker is writing to the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to call for a review of the medicinal properties of cannabis.

The intervention by the Liberal Democrat minister highlighted differences within the coalition as it became clear last night the Department of Health has no plans to change the law. The Tories take a more cautious approach to drugs, prompting Nick Clegg to criticise his coalition partners last year for refusing to look “imaginatively” at drug laws. The deputy prime minister said earlier this month the Lib Dem general election manifesto would include a pledge to end imprisonment for possession of drugs for personal use.

In his letter to Hunt, Baker will say current laws for the use of cannabis are highly restrictive. The cannabis-based drug Sativex, which can be used to help relieve the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, can be prescribed by GPs, though it is highly expensive.

Baker wants to liberalise the use of cannabis to allow it to be used to relieve the symptoms of conditions such as the side effects of chemotherapy and HIV/Aids treatments and Crohn’s disease.

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