LONDON (Reuters) – Britain moved a step closer to legalizing the medicinal use of cannabis after a report concluded there are benefits for patients as the government reviews the rules to allow drugs derived from the banned plant.
Professor Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, said in the report there is conclusive evidence that cannabis can help people who suffer from chronic pain, multiple sclerosis and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
There is also some evidence that cannabis can improve the sleep of patients suffering from sleep apnoea, fibromyalgia, chronic pain and multiple sclerosis, the report found.
Britain’s interior ministry ordered a review into the medical use of cannabis last month after a 12-year-old’s cannabis-based epilepsy medicine was confiscated by officials, prompting a national debate about the use of the drug.
The case captured headlines when the medicine was confiscated from the boy’s mother at Heathrow Airport as she returned from Canada where she had bought the medicine.