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Government May Downgrade Cannabis

An inquest is being conducted into the death of Rene Anderson who took part in a trial with regard to a cannabis-based drug. The Sativex drug is derived from the plant, and it has been authorized by the UK Government.// The drug was administered to Rene Anderson for relieving her of painful symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.

Rene Anderson is reported to have developed psychosis after the administration of the drug. She died of pneumonia and kidney failure. The manufacturers of Sativex claim that extensive trials of the drug had been conducted and that it was seen to be well tolerated. GW Pharmaceuticals has been permitted to import the drug from Canada.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is yet to give the drug a marketing authorization. The country’s Home Secretary Charles Clarke will take a decision with regard to the drug in early 2006. A political decision may have to be taken by Clarke concerning the drug. The inquest will seek to find out if the cannabis-based drug was the cause of Mrs. Anderson's psychosis.

The previous Home Secretary David Blunkett had taken a decision to downgrade the classification given to cannabis. The UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is reported to be thinking in terms of making a U-turn with regard to cannabis laws and downgrade the drug from its B status to C.

The country’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) has enough evidence that psychosis can be triggered in the case of the regular users of the drug. The high-strength strains of cannabis called the ‘skunk’ is reported to be definitely capable of causing psychosis, and further aggravate the condition people who are mentally ill. The drug is also related to psychotic symptoms
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