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Last updated 15:10, December 20 2017 The Government will not be legalising the medicinal use of cannabis, but it will allow terminal patients caught growing cannabis to use their illness as a defence to avoid prosecution. New legislation introduced by the Government on Wednesday will also introduce a medicinal cannabis scheme to enable access to medical-grade cannabis products and remove cannabidiol from the schedule of controlled drugs. That meant eventually, patients with a prescription would be able to access medicinal cannabis products at a pharmacy. For the new medicinal cannabis bill, there will be no referendum and MPs will vote as a party. That scheme would take time to implement, but as soon as the law was passed patients with less than 12 months to live, who had been caught using the raw form of cannabis, would have a legal defence.  Minister of Health David Clark has released details of the legislation the Government plans to pass to widen access to medicinal cannabis. How that worked in practice, was not yet clear. Health Minister David Clark said he expected police to use discretion when dealing with terminally ill patients.  A medicinal cannabis committee would provide advice about the prescribing process, and whether pre-approval from the ministry to prescribe should continue. Government’s cannabis plans include legal defence for terminal patients who use

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