Following a number of high-profile cases featuring critically ill children, the British Government recently announced that it would finally change its stance on medical cannabis. Prescriptions for products from Bedrocann were authorized to be issued by doctors in cases where they felt that cannabis would be more beneficial to the patient than traditional pharmaceutical medication and this move was initially met with an overwhelming sense of success. As time has gone on, However, reports began to suggest that there are a number of complications with this idea that have left patients unable to get the medicine they require. So, what’s happened to slow down the tide of progress?
The official line is that many doctors do not know enough about cannabis to consider it as a viable recommendation. Having spent much of their careers following the standard line that ‘drugs are bad’ (when they’re not made by Big Pharmaat least), it’s hardly surprising to see that the average GP is reluctant to start handing ounces of high-quality bud to all and sundry.
The lack of research in the UK is simply staggering and we are now so far behind the rest of the world in terms of understanding the properties of the plant that it’s almost laughable; you might think that we could simply take the results of studies and research programs from across the globe and analyse the results, but any research not conducted within theUK is largely ignored or, at the very least, is not trusted enough to be allowed to influence decision making.
To say that this leaves us in limbo is a something of an understatement as this ‘policy’ has caused some of the high-profile patients who had previously been successful in sourcing their medicine through semi-legal channels to now find themselves set adrift with no viable options other than returning to the volatile black market.How is this allowed to happen? If medicine is legally allowed to be prescribed and it has a proven track record of success with a particular individual then it should be a doctor’s duty to sign on the dotted line.
What makes it even more frustrating is that there are some Practitioners who are prepared to issue a prescription…just not many who work for the NHS. What this means is that families who are in desperate need of cannabis are put in the position of potentially crippling themselves financially to gain access toa medicinal product which should be available to them for free(or for a small, standard prescription fee).
Sources indicate that the issuing of a prescription costs £200 with the actual ongoing monthly cost averaging £600 for one ounce of medicinal flowers. Now, I’m no brilliant mathematician but I reckon that the average cost on the black market in the UK (even if you have to buy in small amounts) would bring the cost of anounce to £280 or less. Obviously, the quality is not guaranteed(although there are increasingly reliable supplies of high-gradestrains cropping up all over the place) but that is a pretty major price differential to have to content with in the current economic climate.
I would assume that a number of people would hit acrisis point financially when put under pressure from having to accrue spiraling debt just to protect and heal their children -it’s not like you can just decide to not treat your child because it costs too much, is it?
Are we really in a position where the legal use of cannabis is going to be strictly limited to the more fluent members of society as opposed to those most in need? Not exactly sharing the wealth of the planet, is it?Some people argue that this type of situation is to be expected, claiming that the best service has always been available to private patients, but why should independent or private practitioners feel comfortable with offering this service when they have access to exactly the same information as those who are refusing to prescribe?
Isn’t it grossly unfair to see that the defining factor for patients who are trying to source their medicine legally seems explicitly linked to money? More to the point, why are we still looking into sourcing products from elsewhere in the world at an inflated cost when we have one of the biggest commercial grows anywhere in the world right here in theUK? Shouldn’t the government be investing in the potential of cannabis as opposed to paying excessive amounts to secure a product we could easily grow in the UK (or even in our spare rooms if they want to really solve the problem, but that’s beside the point right now)? And don’t even get me started on how things might change if Brexit ever actually limps into reality.
What makes all of this even more infuriating is that the people who have been working with cannabis for decades, the people who know more about it than scientists and researchers, are still being persecuted at every opportunity and, even worse, are being excluded from the important conversations and decisions which could shape policy for the better.
I’m often skeptical, as you may have noticed, when it comes to the government claiming to have listened to the will of the people.Any decision made by those in power is usually linked to private beneficiaries who see opportunities to profit in one way or another and the continued political red tape in relation to cannabis seems to be a waving a flag in front of me.
Watching big business and various shady figures dig their talons into the booming recreational and medicinal scenes around the globe whilst pushing the forefathers to the fringes should be ringing alarm bells for any grower worth their seeds. We can only hope that things improve in the near future, but it currently seems likes straight forward access to safe medicinal cannabis for those in need is still some way off.
Written and Published by PSY-23 in Weed World Magazine Issue 141
This article originally appeared here in https://www.weedworldmagazine.org/2020/06/02/private-pot-by-psy-23/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=private-pot-by-psy-23