TOP TRENDING

Police chiefs support medical cannabis cards for patients


A system of "cannabis cards" for medical users that effectively decriminalize the drug is supported by police chiefs.

According to The Times, around three and a half million people with health problems will be allowed to use the card under the proposal.

People with cancer, depression, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis can use it and identify them as "Registered Medical Cannabis Patients".

It will prevent them from being fined or five years in prison for buying cannabis on the black market for their condition.

Medical cannabis has been legal in the UK for almost two years. However, due to strict rules, only a handful of people have been given an NHS prescription.

It is currently believed that more than a million people in the UK are illegally buying cannabis to self-medicate.

Police chiefs say they are trying to ensure that organized crime does not take advantage of the card, but it is not yet clear how this would happen.

Patients allowed to use medicinal cannabis for their ailments will not be arrested after a new card launched, which was supported by the police

Medical cannabis has been legal in the UK for almost two years, although few people have received an NHS prescription for the drug

Medical cannabis has been legal in the UK for almost two years, although few people have received an NHS prescription for the drug

And it means that police officers have a justification for not arresting them when in possession of cannabis.

The plan is backed by the Police Federation of England and Wales and the National Police Chiefs Council is working with the organizers of the cards to design and implement it.

Patients who use cannabis to relieve pain from their medical problems are arrested for possession of the medicine.

Only a small number of people – presumably fewer than 100 – have received an NHS prescription for medicinal cannabis since it was legalized in November 2018.

MEDICINAL CANNABIS: WHAT ARE THE RULES IN THE UK?

Medical cannabis has been prescription-only in the UK since it was approved by the government in July 2018.

Doctors can prescribe drugs made from marijuana, but the decision must be made by a specialist – not a general practitioner, according to government rules.

At the time of the amendment to the law, Interior Minister Sajid Javid (2018-2019) said: “On the advice of two independent advisors, I have decided to reschedule cannabis medicines – that is, they will be prescription-only.

"This will help patients with exceptional clinical needs."

Mr Javid added that it was "in no way a first step towards legalizing recreational cannabis".

This came after he granted an exemption to Alfie Dingley, six, and Billy Caldwell, twelve, for the use of cannabis in epilepsy.

Possession of the class B drug continues to carry an unlimited fine and up to five years in prison, while traffickers face 14 years in prison.

Some products that may be medicinal cannabis, such as CBD oil or hemp oil, are legally available as dietary supplements in health food stores.

However, there is no guarantee that these will be of good quality or have any health benefits.

Epidiolex for children and adults with epilepsy, Nabilon for chemotherapy patients and Sativex for people with MS-related muscle spasticity are approved cannabis-based medicinal products.

All other cannabis-based drugs are not licensed and are often referred to as "specials".

The decision to prescribe the cannabis-derived drugs must be made by a specialist – not a general practitioner, according to government regulations.

The cost of a private consultation has priced many out of the legal cannabis option. So they turn to the black market.

Last year, a YouGov poll found that nearly three percent of the adult population, 1.4 million people, used cannabis for a disease.

Another two million who don't use the drug could be eligible for the card.

Without a prescription, those in possession of the drug face a five-year prison sentence and an unlimited fine. The dealer can expect 14 years in prison.

The cannabis card, also known as the CanCard, is slated to launch as a private program in November, offering people who need medical cannabis but cannot afford prescription assistance to avoid arrest.

Simon Kempton of the Police Federation told The Times, “Our members did not go to the police to imprison these people

“This is an initiative that I support for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it gives officials information on which to base their decisions on whether or not to use discretion or to arrest a member of the public. "

Jason Harwin, of the Police Council, said, “This is a real live issue where the police force is in the middle of a situation where individuals should legitimately have access to their prescribed medication, but because of the availability and cost they can to To address their illness, you must consume illegal cannabis.

“The card is not a free card for getting out of prison. It does not give owners the right to take illegal drugs with them. For us it is a flag that the person has access to medicine. & # 39;

The Police Council wants to ensure that the cannabis card funded by medical cannabis companies is not exploited by organized crime gangs.

Carly Barton, 33, a former university professor, is the brain behind the program. At 24, she suffered a stroke that caused nerve damage that left her in constant pain.

She was prescribed opiates but was reassured. In desperation, she tried cannabis and found that she was pain free and could lead a productive life.

However, she couldn't afford the £ 1,000 private recipe, so she decided to grow her own recipe as many others had decided to do. But the police ransacked her home and confiscated her plants.

Ms. Barton says private clinics have stepped in to fill the void left by blocking the integration of cannabis into the healthcare system, reported the Center for Medicinal Cannabis – a UK-based industry affiliate.

Sapphire Clinics is one such private clinic and one of the few options for patients to gain access to medical cannabis.

The Marleybone, London clinic had more than 50 people on its waiting list when regulators approved it to start prescribing in October 2019.

According to founder Dr. Mikael Sodergren, it has risen rapidly since then.

He said, “While treatments at the NHS are still very limited, we have seen a significant increase in the volume of patients referred to our clinic in recent months.

"This is likely due to a combination of factors including greater awareness for both patients and health care workers, improved accessibility through our telemedicine platform, and significant reductions in drug costs as import regulations have changed."

The decision to amend the cannabis-based medicine law in 2018 was in part a response to a quick review of the evidence by the chief medical officer.

It concluded that medicinal cannabis products might be effective for certain medical conditions, aided by compelling campaigns by families discussing how the treatment had helped their sick children.

A notable public campaign was led by a Northern Irish mother, Charlotte Caldwell, on behalf of her son Billy, now 15 years old.

Highly concentrated forms of cannabis oil have been hailed as a treatment for the symptoms of epilepsy, HIV, and cancer.

Some products that may be medicinal cannabis, such as CBD oil or hemp oil, are legally available as dietary supplements in health food stores.

However, there is no guarantee that these will be of good quality or have any health benefits, although people anecdotally report better sleep, mental health, and relief from more common illnesses.

THE LANDMARK FALL OF BILLY CALDWELL

Billy Caldwell's mother Charlotte (pictured together) had seven bottles of cannabis oil confiscated from customs at Heathrow Airport, sparking a dispute over cannabis oil

Billy Caldwell's mother Charlotte (pictured together) had seven bottles of cannabis oil confiscated from customs at Heathrow Airport, sparking a dispute over cannabis oil

Cannabis oil came into the spotlight when the mother of epileptic boy Billy Caldwell seized seven bottles from customs at Heathrow Airport.

The 12-year-old sparked a dispute over the oil's medical status, prompting the Home Office to step in and issue his mother, Charlotte, with an emergency license for the product, which soothed his seizures and contained THC.

Billy's bottles were confiscated on June 11th after Ms. Caldwell brought them from Toronto.

Based on the cases of Billy and his epileptic colleague Alfie Dingley, six, Home Secretary Sajid Javid called for a review of medical cannabis.

In a major change in policy, he announced in July that some products containing the drug would become prescription-only in the UK from the fall.

Following today's change in law, Ms. Caldwell said she wept with joy.

"For me, what started as a journey about my little boy's needs was something that was much bigger," she told Sky News.

& # 39; It turned out to be the needs of a nation.

“Medical cannabis gave me back my right to hope as a mummy, but the most important thing medical cannabis has done is giving Billy back his right to life.

“It is only relatively recently that our government and our country really realized how many young children and people of all ages have been affected by difficulties in accessing medical cannabis.

"But it became clear that it wasn't just about a small number of very sick children and that medicinal cannabis could make a life-changing or life-saving difference to more than a million people."

While Ms. Caldwell is excited about the change in the law, she hopes the rules will be expanded to allow more people to benefit from cannabis-based treatments.

& # 39; This is new territory for everyone. In a matter of days, we did what successive UK governments have failed to do in more than half a century, legalizing medical cannabis, ”she said.

“Then as now, the politicians did not recognize the complexity.

"There are a variety of diseases, each of which can only be treated with specific forms of medicinal cannabis."

(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Messages (t) Depression