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The Church of England paves way for medical marijuana investments
The Church of England has given the green light to investing in medical marijuana.
The Church Commissioners previously banned investment in companies that profit from recreational drugs.
However, the investment arm of the Church has now revealed its changed its stance on medicinal cannabis since it was legalised.
A spokesperson told Premier: "There has been no change to our overall position on medicines.
"We will hold medicinal cannabis to the same standards as we hold other pharmaceuticals, and invest only if properly licensed and regulated for medicinal use."
Medicinal marijuana was legalised in the UK from November although no patient has been issued a prescription on the NHS, which has strict guidelines.
Dr Mark Pickering, chief executive of Christian Medical Fellowship told Premier that the Church's U-turn was a "very positive development overall".
When asked about what he would say to Christians weary of cannabis, he said: "When they're used within an appropriate medical context, in certain prescribed conditions they can be very useful and I think the purified medicinal cannabis should be seen in this light."
Dr Pickering, who also works with drug users in prisons, highlighted the importance of Christians differentiating between the recreational and medicinal use of the drug.
"Recreational cannabis is a mixture of probably over 100 different cannabinoid compounds - some of which are very harmful," he said.
"There are lots of medications which if they will released to the general population for recreational use, they could be incredibly harmful and addictive potentially.
"But when they're used within an appropriate medical context and certain prescribed conditions, they can be very useful. And I think the purified medicinal cannabis should be seen in this light.
"I think this is a very positive development overall."
Listen to Premier's Eno Adeogun speaking with Dr Mark Pickering:
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