Denying it has lost war on drugs, United Kingdom rules out legalizing cannabis

Charlotte Caldwell and her son Billy

May's government said on Monday it would look into possible changes to rules on the use of cannabis-based medicines.

More broadly, he said the recreational use of cannabis was ubiquitous and the thought it could be driven out of peoples' lives was "deluded".

The Home Office said Home Secretary Sajid Javid had used an "exceptional power" to issue the licence for the family.

The announcement of the review came just days after Mr Javid intervened to also permit the use of cannabis oil to treat severely epileptic 12-year-old Billy Caldwell, who had been admitted to hospital with seizures after supplies his mother had brought from Canada were confiscated at Heathrow.

She said: "Today, a few moments ago in the House of Commons, the government commissioned a full review of medicinal cannabis".

On Monday, fellow Tory Crispin Blunt, who chairs the All-Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform, urged the Home Office to "clear out of the way" and let the Department of Health take control of policy on medical cannabis.

However, the idea of a review into even a narrow form of drug policy reform was nearly immediately put down by the prime minister, who said there was a "very good reason" for the existing cannabis laws "because of the impact that they have on people's lives". "This battle is effectively over". The first, led by chief medical officer Sally Davies, will make recommendations on which cannabis-based medicines might offer patients real medical and therapeutic benefits. "Thank you", she said.

The family of Alfie Dingley, from Kenilworth, Warwickshire, have been campaigning to use cannabis oil for months to help prevent his seizures.

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Last year, the country saw more than 300 confirmed shooting incidents, which left 41 people dead and 135 injured. The shots caused bystanders to scream but police quickly said there was no reason for the public to worry.

Hunt said "I don't think anyone who followed that story could sensibly say that we are getting the law on this kind of thing right".

"There is a process, we are feeling our way, but it does need to be done properly".

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs will consider in the second part of the review whether changes should be made to the classification of these products on an assessment of "the balance of harms and public health needs".

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said Labour supported the legal prescription of cannabis oil for medical purposes, saying: "Children have been put at risk and experienced extraordinary suffering because this Government drags its heels and refuses to grant cannabis oil licences".

"It demonstrates that the government now understand that for many people medical cannabis is a life saver".

Currently, cannabis is listed as a Class B drug, meaning it's illegal to possess, give away or sell, including for pain relief.

"On this issue, the facts have changed very seriously and clearly".

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