The current position of the UK Government is that as a Class B drug cannabis is subject to strict restrictions, cannot be prescribed, administered or supplied to the public, and can only be used for research under a Home Office licence.
Following a debate at the RCN conference where nurses have argued that patients should be allowed to take the drug if it helped with their medical condition.
Nurses voted in favour in lobbying the Government to change the law on cannabis. Past attempts have been unsuccessful on trying to change the current UK policy.
Over 40 countries, including Italy, Finland, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Germany and half of the United States, have decriminalised cannabis in some form. Tincture of cannabis was medicinally available in the UK until implementation of the Misuse of Drugs Act by UK Government in 1973 (Parliament, 1971).
Tracy Risebrow a nurse from the Suffolk Branch who submitted the resolution said “surely it is better to have patients using cannabis being monitored by health professionals so they are able to pick up on any adverse effects quickly. It is inhumane to have people suffering when there is something that can help. We are making criminals out of people who only want to do what’s best for their loved ones. “
The move would protect vulnerable patients who are currently self medicating from illegal sources
Last month, the Royal College of Physicians – which represents 26,000 doctors in the UK – also called for the drug to be decriminalised, claiming the threat of jail meant addicts were put off seeking help.
Responding to the RCN news, Peter Carroll, of campaign group End Our Pain, said: “We welcome this bold and decisive move from the RCN. People who find relief from their symptoms by using medical cannabis should be treated as patients, not criminals.”
Source – RCN