THE NHS risks a repeat of the thalidomide scandal if doctors rush to prescribe cannabis before it is proved safe, MPs were told.
Prof Chris Whitty, chief scientific adviser at the Department of Health, said it should pass clinical trials before being made widely available.
Prof Chris Whitty issued a warning to MPS on medical cannabis
Medicinal cannabis was reclassified by the Government last year, allowing docs to prescribe it.
But campaigners have complained they are being denied NHS prescriptions because guidance on when it should be used is too restrictive.
Prof Whitty yesterday told the Commons Health Committee the drug should have the same approval process as other drugs.
He added: “History is littered with people rushing things and regretting it or, in a few cases — thalidomide probably the most well-known — having an absolute disaster.”
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Thalidomide was used in the 1950s and 1960s to tackle morning sickness but led to children being born with malformed limbs.
The cannabis law was changed in November after a campaign by supporters of Alfie Dingley, seven, who had been forced to travel to the Netherlands to receive cannabis oil to treat his severe epilepsy.
Alfie Dingley’s mum Hannah sobs live on air as she is told epileptic son, 6, WILL get cannabis oil treatment