The government has rejected a call from Lord Hague to consider legalising the recreational use of cannabis.
In an article for the Daily Telegraph, the former Tory leader said the war on cannabis had been "irreversibly lost" and a change of policy was needed.
His call was prompted by the case of a boy with epilepsy who was given a special licence to use cannabis oil.
The Home Office has set up an expert panel to review the rules on cannabis for medicinal use.
But a spokesman stressed that the existing laws on the recreational use of cannabis would not be changed.
"Any debate within government about the efficacy and therapeutic use of cannabis-based medicines emphatically does not extend to any review regarding the classification of cannabis and the penalties for the illicit possession, cultivation and trafficking of cannabis will remain the same."