Following a controversy in late June, the UK will start prescribing pot. Cannabis has been completely illegal in the UK since 1971. But because of one little boy, the government is now accepting license applications for senior doctors. Billy Caldwell, age 12, suffers from a very rare form of epilepsy and was the first person with a cannabis prescription in the UK. However, Charlotte Caldwell, the boy’s mother, had this oil confiscated from her as she tried to bring it into the UK from Canada. Billy’s seizures that followed without his cannabis oil sparked a movement. It’s expected the UK will start prescribing pot to patients with extreme conditions.
Providing Cannabis Licenses
After the young boy had to be hospitalized due to a lack of access to his medication, the Home Office had to act fast. They created a 20-day emergency marijuana permit that would allow hospital staff to treat him with the oil. This prompted a group of experts to review the current cannabis policy in the UK. The chairman of this panel has started accepting applications from senior doctors that would allow them to prescribe medical marijuana. However, Billy’s application, unlike the others, will not require a review. This panel is only temporary until the Parliament can do a full cannabis review of the status it holds: banned as a medicine.
Who will Qualify?
The doctors that have their licenses approved will have to prove that their patient has an “exceptional clinical need”. This would mean that no other medicine or treatment available would be suitable, making cannabis the last option. It would also require “full responsibility for risks and liability”. According to an announcement made by the Government, the NHS would pay £3,655 for each license. The patients and their families, however, will not be expected or required to contribute to this cost.
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