Jersey debates proposal to legalise use of medicinal cannabis

The States of Jersey are debating proposals to legalise the use of medicinal cannabis today.

Islanders have been able to receive a free prescription for a cannabis-based painkiller since January but it can only be issued by hospital staff.

Last year, then-Health Minister Andrew Green announced he would be working on legislation that would legalise certain products.

However, Deputy Montfort Tadier has been frustrated by the lack of progress on the issue and has brought forward proposals that would make all medical professionals legally allowed to prescribe cannabis and other medically approved cannabis-based products.

Professor Mike Barnes, a neurologist and expert in medicinal cannabis, has given his support to plans to extend prescription powers in Jersey.

He told ITV News: “I cannot see a logic in restricting prescription to hospital consultants which narrows the pool of expertise, particularly in Jersey.

“I suggest that some interested doctors are encouraged to train in cannabis medicine and then are able to prescribe, usually in a shared care arrangement with the consultant and multidisciplinary team and GP (if not already part of the team, of course).

“Overall, this proposition has great merit and if enacted would assist many people in Jersey and improve their quality of life considerably.”

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