Medicinal use cannabis to be made legal - in Jersey

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Jersey looks set to become the first place in the British Isles to legalise cannabis for medicinal purposes.

The channel island's health minister announced on Tuesday that certain cannabis products could be available by the autumn.

But the drug would have to be prescribed by a doctor and using it for recreational purposes would still be illegal.

Health minister Andrew Green said: "This is only about legalising specific cannabis-based medicines for clinical use.

"Therefore, it is not about permitting the smoking of cannabis."

He added that taking cannabis products to the UK and France would be illegal and people could be prosecuted in those jurisdictions.

Jersey is part of the British Isles but outside the United Kingdom as a British Crown Dependency.

The announcement comes after a new report found that cannabis has therapeutic benefits.

A number of European countries have now legalised the drug for medicinal purposes including Austria, Croatia and Germany.

Senator Green added: "One has to remember that certain controlled drugs such as morphine and diamorphine are currently legally prescribed by medical practitioners and other, authorised, qualified prescribers,

"The change I am proposing would, in effect, apply the same rules for these cannabis-based products, which would be treated as prescription-only medicines."