Medical use of cannabis justified, says report

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PRESCRIBING of cannabis is justified to sufferers of some forms of cancer and Aids, a report commissioned by the Department of Health has concluded. The study also states it would be " irrational" not to explore other therapeutic uses of the drug further.

The report was compiled by the Royal College of Psychiatry at the request of the Department of Health. It calls for changes in the law to allow properly controlled scientific studies. But a health department spokesman said last night that the study, commissioned by the last government, will not lead to a change in policy regarding cannabis, and there is no question of the drug being decriminalised.

The development comes in the same week a man who admitted smoking cannabis to to relieve chronic back pain was cleared by a jury at Manchester Crown Court.

On Thursday Colin Davies, a 30-year-old former joiner from Brinnington, Manchester was cleared of the drug charges after he told a court that he smoked four home-grown joints a day. The jury took just 40 minutes to reach its decision.

Police arrested him last November, seizing 18 hidden cannabis plants. Mr Davies said afterwards he intended to carry on smoking cannabis. He added: "... even the British Medical Association has said the police ... should think before prosecuting people for using cannabis on medical grounds."