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Medicinal cannabis: Why has it taken so long to get to patients?

Image copyright Google Medicinal cannabis was legalised last year but so far, virtually no-one in the UK has been able to access it. Now, enough cannabis to treat 30 patients for a month has arrived in the UK from the Netherlands. Four patients with prescriptions, all to treat chronic pain, will receive cannabis-derived medicines immediately. Specialist doctors have been able to prescribe cannabis since 1 November – so what has taken so long? The new law The new law moved cannabis from schedule 1 under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations…

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Cannabis use in teens linked to depression

Image copyright Getty Images Parents should not be complacent about the risks of teenagers using cannabis, experts are warning. UK and Canada researchers said they had found “robust” evidence showing using the drug in adolescence increased the risk of developing depression in adulthood by 37%. They said the findings should act as a warning to families who saw cannabis use as part of the growing-up process. The team added that the developing brain was particularly susceptible. The researchers – from University of Oxford and Montreal’s McGill University – said cannabis…

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Cannabis smoker finds tiger in abandoned house in Texas

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Police say the tiger, not pictured, was found in a ‘rinky-dink’ cage A person who went into an abandoned house so they could smoke cannabis found a neglected tiger inside. Police in Houston, Texas, said that when the person called to report what they had seen on Monday, they thought the caller was hallucinating. But when they arrived there was indeed a large tiger, locked inside a cramped cage in the garage. A few packages of meat had been kept nearby, but there was…

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Stafford house fire: Cannabis and boiler ruled out as causes of blaze

Image copyright Police handout Image caption (L-R) Keegan, Tilly Rose, Olly and Riley died in the blaze in the early hours of 5 February A house fire which killed four children was not caused by cannabis growth or a boiler exploding, police have said. Riley Holt, eight, Keegan Unitt, six, Tilly Rose Unitt, four, and Olly Unitt, three, died in the blaze in Highfields in Stafford last Tuesday. Staffordshire Police said they had ruled out both as possible causes of the fire amid speculation online. A woman, 24, and a…

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Where ordering cannabis is easy as booking a taxi

Image copyright Eaze Image caption The recreational use of cannabis became legal in California in January 2018 Ordering cannabis in Los Angeles is now as easy as booking a taxi. Click on an app, choose your preferred product, pay for it and then sit back and wait for it to be delivered to your door. Eaze is just one of several firms taking advantage of the legalisation of cannabis, for which the people of California voted overwhelmingly in favour in 2016. Since January last year, when the use of recreational…

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Thailand approves medicinal cannabis – BBC News

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Campaigners had held protests demanding medicinal cannabis be allowed Thailand’s parliament has voted to approve cannabis for medical use, with a key lawmaker calling it a “New Year’s gift” to the Thai people. Recreational use will remain illegal. Marijuana was used in Thailand as a traditional medicine, until it was banned in the 1930s. South East Asia has some of the world’s toughest penalties for drug usage or possession, and Thailand is the first in the region to allow medicinal marijuana. Why are so many…

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Briton ‘faces up to 15 years’ in Bali jail over cannabis oil

Image copyright Pip Holmes A British man says he could face up to 15 years in an Indonesian prison after being found with cannabis oil which he says he needed for medical reasons. Pip Holmes, from Cornwall, was arrested for drug smuggling when he went to collect a package containing the oil. The 45-year-old artist says he asked a friend to send it to him while he was living in Bali to help his arthritis. Indonesia has very strict anti-drugs laws and frequently arrests foreigners on drug-related charges. Mr Holmes…

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The countries that think it’s OK to use cannabis

Image copyright Getty Images Around the world attitudes towards the use of cannabis are shifting. Mexico’s new government plans to legalise recreational cannabis use, as does the incoming government of Luxembourg. Meanwhile, New Zealand’s leaders are considering a referendum on what their approach should be. As public opinion – and that of governments – changes, it seems increasingly likely that other countries will follow, raising questions about how they work together to manage the use and supply of cannabis. What has led one country after another to move towards a…

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Lawrence murder suspect pleads guilty to cannabis charge

Image copyright Julia Quenzler A suspect in the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993 has pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply “huge quantities” of cannabis resin. Jamie Acourt, 42, had previously denied the change but changed his plea on the second day of his trial at Kingston Crown Court. Acourt, originally from Eltham, south-east London, was extradited from Spain where he was living until his arrest in May. He is due to be sentenced on Friday. Mr Acourt was never convicted of the attack on Stephen Lawrence in 1993…

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Medical cannabis products available on prescription

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Charlotte Caldwell previously said the law change would mean her son, Billy, would be able to live a “normal life” Medicinal cannabis products can now be legally prescribed to some patients across the UK for the first time. The treatments can be prescribed only by specialist doctors in a limited number of circumstances where other medicines have failed. The decision to relax the rules on the treatments followed an outcry over two boys with severe epilepsy being denied access to cannabis oil. But one charity…

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