Medicinal cannabis warning for drivers

People taking medicinal cannabis prescribed by doctors risk prosecution for drug-driving, a Liverpool lawyer is warning. Tony McDonough reports

Cars, traffic, road, emissions, highway, transport
Drivers taking prescribed medicinal cannabis could fall foul of the law


A Liverpool lawyer is warning drivers who are taking medically-prescribed cannabis they could be prosecuted for driving under the influence of drugs.

Matt Reynolds from law firm Astraea Linskills has seen an increase in drug driving allegations where medicinal cannabis has been prescribed for a whole host of medical conditions.

From 2018, specialist doctors have been  able to legally issue prescriptions for cannabis-based medicines to patients. Medical cannabis is prescribed for pain management and certain types of neurological, psychiatric, gastrointestinal, oncological, paediatric, palliative and dermatological conditions.

While many NHS doctors are still cautious to prescribe medical cannabis, the legalisation and the numbers of private clinics that are prescribing are increasing. At least 17,000 people in the UK are thought to have received medical cannabis prescriptions.

Matt said “Drivers who have medical cannabis prescriptions should be aware that if they are stopped and drug tested by the police, they are likely to test above the legal driving limit, which is 2 microgammes per litre of blood.

READ MORE: Astraea Linskills moves to bigger Liverpool HQ

“A conviction for drug driving leads to a fine, community penalty or up to six months imprisonment and a mandatory disqualification from driving for at least 12 months.”

However, Matt adds that under the Road Traffic Act 1988 it is a defence for a person charged with drug driving to show a drug had been prescribed or supplied to for medical or dental purposes as long as it is being taken in accordance with medical instructions.


Matt Reynolds, a lawyer at Astraea Linskills in Liverpool


“In order to defend against a drug driving charge where you are prescribed medical cannabis, we would provide the Crown Prosecution Service with a copy of your prescription,” he said.

“And we would provide any accompanying instructions given by the manufacturer or distributor, a report from the specialist doctor who prescribed you the medicinal cannabis, and a detailed account of any directions that were given to you by that doctor.

“This would be particularly important if those directions related to driving and or the issue of impairment and a detailed account of your taking of that medication on the day of the driving with timings/quantities.

“If in the light of that information the defence appears to be made out, the CPS are likely to discontinue the prosecution.”

You might also like More from author

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Username field is empty.