Medical cannabis users could still be criminalised in UK despite government accepting its benefits

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Cannabis is high on the agenda at the moment. Not only have California and Canada passed new laws to legalise marijuana, but in the UK, two recent high profile medical cases have forced the issue of medical cannabis right up to government level.

The outcry over Billy Caldwell and Alfie Dingley – two epileptic boys who rely on cannabis oil to control their seizures – has led the UK government to accept that cannabis extracts may have medical benefits.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs – the official body that advises the government – has since recommended that some forms of cannabis should be allowed for medical uses. This means that doctors might be able to prescribe them to patients. But the devil, as always, is in the detail, and in practice, people who use cannabis therapeutically will still be treated as criminals.

This is for two reasons. One is that the the…

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