Oxford University launching medical marijuana research project
Actors Patrick Stewart (right) and Joshua Jackson. Andy Butterton / PA Archive / PA Images Scientists are to carry out a £10 million research project into the effects of medical cannabis.
A new global centre of excellence is to be set up at Oxford University to study the drug, which can be used to treat pain, cancer and inflammatory diseases.
Support for using medical marijuana has been well publicised in recent years, with some MPs calling for its legalisation.
Actor Patrick Stewart, who uses medical cannabis to treat ortho-arthritis, has also backed calls for legalisation.
Past studies have suggested its use can play a role in treating conditions including MS, epilepsy, arthritis and nerve pain, the Telegraph reported.
An Oxford University matriculation ceremony.
But the drug has been rejected for use in the NHS for being too expensive.
Ahmed Ahmed, Professor of Gynaecological Oncology at Oxford, which has paired with Kingsley Capital Partners on the project, said: "This field holds great promise for developing novel therapeutic opportunities for cancer patients."
Star Trek actor Mr Stewart told the Telegraph: "Two years ago, in Los Angeles, I was examined by a doctor and given a note which gave me legal permission to purchase, from a registered outlet, cannabis-based products, which I was advised might help the ortho-arthritis in both my hands.
"As a result of this experience, I enthusiastically support the Oxford University Cannabis Research Plan," he said.
"This is an important step forward for Britain in a field of research that has for too long been held back by prejudice, fear and ignorance."
The Liberal Democrats and the Green Party both back the legalisation of medical marijuana, but Labour and the Tories have not given their official support.
Video: How can marijuana help us?
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