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Medicinal cannabis to be available by February?

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MEDICINAL cannabis could be prescribed to patients from February if the States back a proposition to end the ‘delay upon delay’ to its legalisation.

Deputy Montfort Tadier

Deputy Montfort Tadier had criticised Health officials for failing to make bigger strides in legalising medicinal cannabis – despite then-Health Minister Andrew Green announcing last year that he would be working on legislation that would legalise certain products.

A number of European countries have legalised cannabis-based products for medicinal purposes although they remain illegal in the UK and France.

However, then-Senator Green announced the move following a report into the drug’s therapeutic benefits.

The former minister agreed to the legalisation of certain products following advice from the Jersey Misuse of Drugs Advisory Council. Sativex – which is derived from cannabis – is available by prescription.

Now, Deputy Tadier has moved to speed up the process to legalise more medicinal cannabis products and give all healthcare professionals the right to prescribe it.

In his proposition, he said: ‘A reasonable reading of the [former] minister’s statement is that these medicines would be prescribed like any other prescription drug and dispensed in the same way.

‘I ask Members to support this proposition, which seeks to end the delay upon delay we have seen in implementing this important change, so that we may help the many hundreds of our constituents who are suffering from a myriad of serious and often painful and debilitating conditions, and to give a clear steer to the minister and Legislative Drafting Office, that these legislative changes must be given priority.’

If approved, Deputy Tadier’s proposition would come into force on Thursday 28 February next year.

The proposition is due to be debated on Tuesday 4 December.

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