Today is the first time patients across Swindon can now be prescribed medicinal cannabis.

Cannabis based products in the form of pills, capsules and oils can only be prescribed by hospital specialists and not your local GP.

Consultants have been given the choice to prescribe products containing cannabis, cannabis resin or cannabinol, if they feel their patients could benefit from it.

Today’s change comes about after the high-profile campaigns of Alfie Dingley, seven, and Billy Caldwell, 13, both who suffer from epilepsy.

Is cannabis now legal?

Cannabis was and still is a Class B drug meaning recreational use is illegal.

That means possession will still carry an unlimited fine and up to five years’ jail – rising to 14 years for dealers.

What has changed?

Previously cannabis was a Schedule 1 drug – meaning it had ‘no therapeutic value’ in the eyes of the law, but could be used for the purposes of research with the Home Office license.

After a rapid review, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs announced it had medical benefits “in certain circumstances”.

It was then recommended by The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, that cannabis-derived medicinal products should be placed in Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.

This allows it to be prescribed legally.

What illnesses will cannabis be treating?

  • Children with rare, severe forms of epilepsy
  • Adults with vomiting or nausea caused by chemotherapy
  • Adults with muscle stiffness caused by multiple sclerosis

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