A north-east mum fined for growing cannabis to help with the side-effects of cancer treatment today spoke of her delight at the overhaul of laws surrounding its medicinal use.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid has decided to reschedule the products, relaxing the rules about the circumstances in which they can be given to patients, after considering expert advice from a specially- commissioned review.
It follows several high-profile cases, including that of young epilepsy sufferers Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell, whose conditions appeared to be helped by cannabis oil.
It means doctors will be able to legally prescribe medicinal cannabis to patients in the UK.
The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), which carried out the second part of the review, last week said doctors should be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis provided products meet safety standards.
Jacqui Ritchie, from Stonehaven, who used cannabis oil during chemotherapy for breast cancer spoke out after the decision at the House of Commons.
A review into the medicinal use of the drug was launched earlier this year.
Mum-of-two Jacqui, 50, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in 2014. She ended up in court last year after admitting growing four cannabis plants and was fined £450.
Jacqui said: “I think it is good and the right step forward for everyone.
“It could help a lot of people and I would like to see it go a bit further.
“I think people should be able to grow the plant for medicinal use. This way you would be able to make sure it was grown organically.”
Meanwhile, Rebecca and Calum Napier, who launched The Wee Hemp Company in Aberdeen after finding that Cannabidiol (CBD) oil had immense benefits in the treatment of Rebecca’s chronic Crohn’s Disease and Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS), also welcomed the decision.
Calum, 34, said: “This takes cannabis out of the dark ages and into the modern world and should go a long way in removing the stigma surrounding it .'