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Cannabis, MS and the law

In November 2018, the UK Government made cannabis for medicinal use legal. This means that specialist doctors, like neurologists, are able to prescribe cannabis for medicinal use to some people with MS. Other treatment options have to be explored first.

What the change in the law means

Despite the law changing, cannabis as a medicine is no easier to get than it was before. The exception is the cannabis-based drug Sativex, used to treat muscle spasms and stiffness (spasticity).

In late 2019 this drug was made available on the NHS to people win England with ‘moderate’ to ‘severe’ spasticity when other treatments haven’t worked (Sativex was already available in Wales). We hope it’ll also be made available soon in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Possessing, producing and supplying cannabis

Cannabis is a class-B drug in the UK. Possessing, producing and supplying it are against the law. ‘Supply’ includes sharing the drug with someone or giving it (even for free) to friends or relatives.

The law doesn’t allow you to use the fact you were using cannabis to help with your MS symptoms as a defence.

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