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Lords reckon it's high time for a change

发布时间:2019-03-08 07:13:02来源:未知点击:

By David Concar BRITISH law should be altered to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana and pharmacists to supply it, according to an influential House of Lords committee. At present, doctors in Britain are not permitted to prescribe cannabis, and patients who want it to relieve the symptoms of diseases such as multiple sclerosis must turn to the black market for supplies. In an unexpectedly forthright report, the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology concludes that this “exposes patients and in some cases their carers to all the distress of criminal proceedings”. In recommending that doctors be allowed to prescribe herbal cannabis, rather than merely chemicals extracted from the plant, the Lords go further than other expert groups. This is bound to provoke opposition from ministers and the medical establishment. Last year, the British Medical Association called for more research into the main active ingredients of cannabis and recommended that these cannabinoids be made available to a wider range of patients. Pointedly, however, the BMA did not advocate prescribing cannabis in herbal or resin form. Several scientific witnesses who testified to the Lords committee agreed, given the absence of conclusive evidence that smoking cannabis offers patients more relief than taking individual cannabinoids. And the British government has repeatedly said it will only consider changing the law if such evidence emerges. “The problem with this policy is that it will take several years at least for this to happen,” concludes the report. “In the meantime,