22. United Kingdom

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Cannabis is considered a Schedule 1, Class B drug. This is defined as a drug that is thought to have no therapeutic value and therefore cannot be possessed or lawfully prescribed. Drugs placed in Schedule 1 may be used for the purposes of research but require a Home Office granted license. In the United Kingdom and a person can commit any range of offences relating to cannabis including possession and supply. However, there is a cannabis-based product – Nabiximols (Sativex) – which can be legally prescribed and supplied in limited circumstances. In 2006 the Home Office licensed Nabiximols so that: • Doctors, at their own risk, could privately prescribe this as part of a treatment program for sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). • Pharmacists could possess and dispense, and named patients with a prescription could possess. In June 2010 the Medicines Healthcare Regulatory products Agency (MHRA) authorised Nabiximols as an extra treatment for patients with spasticity due to Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Doctors can also prescribe it for other things outside of the authorisation, but this is at their own risk. Since April 2013, Nabiximols has been separated from Cannabis – Schedule 4 now applies instead of the old Home Office licence. However, it is still a Class B drug and so possession, supply, possession with intent to supply, importation and exportation are all still offences outside of this. Re-supply of prescribed medication (except to a person legally allowed to possess it) is unlawful supply. Additionally, a person who doesn’t disclose, or makes a false statement about, having already been prescribed Nabiximols to get more supplies from another Doctor will not be legally in possession of any drugs they get as a result of failing to disclose or making a false statement.

 

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