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Medicinal use of cannabis could be allowed in Jersey

Jersey’s Health Minister has been told by the island’s lawmakers that she does have the power to make Class B drug cannabis legal for medicinal purposes.

A change in the law would mean that those suffering from conditions like MS where the drug relieves muscle pain and spasms, could use the drug to allievate their symptoms.

However, Deputy Anne Pryke said today that she would need to consult expects in the island before she made a decision for the drug to be used in medicine.

The discussion was raised in today’s (Tuesday) States sitting after Deputy Montfort Tadier asked a question about what the law was on using cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Deputy Tadier said: “We’re essentially in a no-man’s land. There are products that are cannabis based that are being used for medicinal purposes but the problem is, they’re not always the most effective form of cannabis and they’re very expensive to get into the island, so what I’m trying to do is just make it more user-friendly from a patient perspective but also for GPs who believe their patients might benefit.”

Deputy Anne Pryke said: “I will need to take advice [from the Drugs Policy Council] because I’ve also got to take the advice of the health effects because it is at the end of the day an illegal drug.”

Cannabis has been associated with harmful side effects; primarily paranoia and brain function problems. But it’s also been used in medicine around the world for thousands of years.

Some islanders have also been campaigning for the move in recent months. In Guernsey there was a protest march called ‘Walk to Weed’ and in Jersey’s Youth Assembly six-formers discussed it in the States Chamber.