The case of Billy Caldwell shows UK drug laws are out of date | Tech News
AS THE wider world increasingly embraces the medicinal use of cannabis, the UK seems determined to drag its knuckles.
The confiscation of 12-year-old Billy Caldwell’s cannabis oil, used to treat his epilepsy, at Heathrow airport was a clear instance of an outdated approach, where prohibition overrides everything else – compassion, scientific evidence and common sense.
To be fair to the airport officials, they were only following orders. In the UK, cannabis is a schedule 1 drug, a designation used for those with no therapeutic value. They are illegal to possess or prescribe.
Cannabis’s status should be enough to discredit the law. The fact that schedule 1 includes MDMA and LSD, both increasingly seen as useful psychiatric medicines, emphasises the backwardness of the UK’s drug laws.
Many MPs – including health secretary Jeremy Hunt – have called for a rethink on medicinal cannabis, and Home Secretary Sajid Javid has announced that its legal status will be reviewed (see “UK government to review medicinal cannabis laws”). That is welcome progress, but only a start. Control of UK drug law should be confiscated from politicians and handed to the Department of Health.
This article appeared in print under the headline “Drug law needs a reboot”
More on these topics: