The Centre for Medical Cannabis (CMC), a new lobbying organisation which launched on Monday 10 December at the Academy of Medical Sciences, has said that it isn’t yet recommending decriminalisation of cannabis consumers.
Steve Moore, one of its founders, said on Twitter that decriminalisation would “not advance how cannabis can be used as a medicine” and that focussing on supporting CMC’s 30 policy recommendations was the best way to “alleviate unnecessary human suffering”.
But as UKCSC pointed out in our reply, decriminalisation would mean that patients whose need to use cannabis is not attended to by GPs and specialists would be able to medicate without having to break the law. Being criminalised or even being at risk of criminalisation causes human suffering itself!
Greg de Hoedt chairman of the UKCSC said: “Patients are still being raided for growing their own at home or even for simple possession due to things like Crimestoppers running anti cannabis campaigns in local areas. This largely affects people living in poorer communities and goes unnoticed by those discussing policy.
“What people don’t see is how patients are then treated by their neighbours who refuse to look at them or say hello anymore. Patients living in housing associations are at risk of being evicted and becoming homeless. None of these things are helpful to patients and they only serve to hinder their recovery.
“Had I been criminalised before I was able to go to Colorado and access the amount of cannabis oil I needed, as it was not available here, I might not have outlived my death prognosis because I wouldn’t have been allowed to enter the US.
“While the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) takes a year to give specialists prescribing guidelines, patients still face being arrested as if they were someone who is too healthy to use cannabis.”
Science Supports Patients
There are numerous studies that show stress increases inflammation and depression which is actually responsible for higher morbidity and mortality rates. Coincidently, cannabis has also been shown to reduce stress… go figure! But medicating without fear of criminalisation would be better for patients all the same.
The CMC maintains that their 30 recommendations are both evidence-based and “politically deliverable”. Take a look for yourself here.
It argues in its policy document that “… the UK needs a system that strikes the proper balance between choice and safety, whilst allowing for future changes as lessons are learnt”.
Hopefully the newly formed CMC will quickly learn that choice and safety are both only served by supporting the right to grow your own. The decriminalisation of people that consume or cultivate their own cannabis is essential to better quality of life. Patients in Canada can grow their own – why can’t we?
If you are a patient that has been criminalised in the past 24 months we need to hear from you immediately.
Only by coming forward and telling our stories so they can be shown to people at the highest level are we going to politically secure our right to grow cannabis legally at home without fear of having our lives destroyed.