As time passes, a growing number of influential doctors and scientists all over the world are voicing their support for medical cannabis. One of the latest examples being none other than Dr Miriam Stoppard OBE – a popular doctor and television presenter from the United Kingdom. Having recognised the rather dire medical cannabis situation in Great Britain, she penned an editorial for the Daily Mirror pleading for immediate and sweeping legislative change.
Like others, she firmly believes that forcing UK citizens by the thousand to break the law simply to access the medicine they need is both dangerous and counterproductive.
“Cannabis should be legalised – for medical use at least. I had a friend with MS who got great relief from muscle spasms by smoking grass – but she was forced to get her supply from a drug dealer,” she wrote.
“I thought at the time it was a scandal that she should have to resort to an illegal source to get relief.”
Rather than complete legalisation of cannabis in all its forms, Dr. Stoppard and dozens of leading professionals are calling for medical cannabis policy alone to be relaxed.
“There are many possible legal positions for cannabis ranging from complete prohibition to regulated legal supply in the same way as alcohol,” she said.
“For strictly pharmaceutical use it could be licensed like any other medicine. Cannabis is now available for medical uses in 29 states in the US, while Canada, the Czech Republic and Israel take a progressive view. Decriminalisation allows doctors to discuss the risks and benefits of use in much the same way as they might for any other medicine.”
Incredibly, while significant positive progress is being made in countries and regions all over the world, the British government continues to refuse to even acknowledge the medical properties of cannabis. Under its current classification, cannabis is regarded as a dangerous drug with no redeeming medical value, which poses a direct risk to public health.
This, despite the fact that evidence on a global basis has illustrated how inaccurate this is.
“I believe the place of cannabis as a prohibited and purely harmful psychoactive substance should be questioned. Then there’s plenty of evidence to support the kind of reform already occurring in US states and internationally,” she continued.
“The UK is lagging behind,”
“Doctors should be free to provide advice on the benefits and harms of medicinal cannabinoids.”
What policymakers don’t seem to realise – or simply don’t seem to care about – is the fact that a growing number of people have and will continue to make the decision to treat their conditions with medical cannabis. Where medical cannabis is able to treat chronic conditions more effectively and safely than conventional drugs, you cannot realistically expect those concerned to choose the latter.
Which in turn means that while the British government continues to turn a blind eye to the extraordinary medical benefits of cannabis, patients will only be able to access it through illegal drug dealers. The kinds of drug dealers the government has continually promised to remove from the UK streets through any means necessary.
Maybe someone should tell them that the best and perhaps only way of making this happen is to take the power out of their hands. Or in other words, take control of medical cannabis distribution in a safe, controlled and proactive manner.
Instead, they seem to prefer making criminals out of honest individuals who simply want to take care of their health in the safest and most effective manner possible. Frustrating for doctors and experts – even more so for those who are being denied access to the life-changing medicine they need.