Change cannabis from schedule 1 to schedule 2 drug, experts say


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • UK Professional News
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A group of 20 prominent UK clinicians and academics is urging the Government to re-categorise cannabis from a schedule 1 to schedule 2 drug under the UK Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001. The experts expressed their views in a letter to The Times last week.

Speaking at a press conference, Valerie Curran, professor of psychopharmacology at University College London and one of the letter’s signatories, said current scheduling is “based on no clear rationale” and its “foundations are illogical”.

“Schedule 1 drugs of lower harm like cannabis are more controlled than schedule 2 drugs with greater harms,” she said, the BMJ reports. “Heroin is less stringently controlled than cannabis. There’s a catch 22 for researchers because if you say there is no medical use then that blocks research on potential medical use.

“Move cannabis to schedule 2. Let doctors decide to prescribe it and monitor the effects carefully,” she said.

Earlier this month, Home Secretary Sajid Javid, used “exceptional powers” to temporarily permit the return of confiscated cannabis oil to the mother of a sick 12-year-old boy. The Home Secretary announced an urgent review of the scheduling of cannabis to be led by chief medical officer Sally Davis. However, he stressed that the review should not be considered “a first step to legalising recreational use”.

 

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