The United Kingdom announced today a relaxation of its cannabis laws that will allow specialist doctors to prescribe cannabis-based products for certain patients. It’s a modest change to the U.K.’s cannabis laws. But it’s one that has already sparked a conversation on the broader legalization of cannabis for adult-use. Recent surveys put support for adult-use legalization at 59 percent. Top officials within the U.K. government, however, are denying that the rescheduling of cannabis-based medical treatments is a step toward full legalization.
U.K. Legalizes Medical Cannabis for “Unmet Clinical Needs”
This summer’s massive public outcry over a pair of high-profile instances of children being denied access to life-saving medical cannabis products has moved the needle on drug policy in the U.K. Alfie and Billy, 13 and 12 respectively, who both suffer from an extreme form of epilepsy, made headlines in July when they lost access to their medication. Both children rely on cannabis oil to reduce the intensity and frequency of their seizures. And although U.K. law had permitted individuals to petition for medical cannabis in extreme cases, Billie and Alfie had no such authorizations. In Alfie’s case, the U.K. Home office refused his parents’ licensing request. Billie had his cannabis