Changing attitudes towards medicinal cannabis


In his latest vlog Ian Frizell talks about the general public’s change in attitude towards medicinal cannabis.

Ian himself admits that three and a half years ago he “would have laughed” at the idea that cannabis had medicinal value, before discovering that it helped to calm his Parkinson’s tremor and without any of the side effects he had experienced from prescribed medicine.

Ian interviewed several people to see how their attitudes towards cannabis have changed.

One interviewee said their opinion had been “dramatically changed” over the past 12 months and another admitted they had changed their opinion due to media coverage this year, with several high profile cases of children with epilepsy using cannabis oil to suppress seizures. Another said their attitude had changed this year for the same reason.

Another who has not been in favour of cannabis use recreationally said she had witnessed how it can help people medicinally and should therefore be available for those who need it. Several people said their belief in the value of medical cannabis had been reinforced because by events this year.

Ian then asked his interviewees if they believed medicinal cannabis is now freely available for doctors to prescribe. Generally the feeling was that little if anything has changed, with only a couple of respondents believing that it could now be prescribed freely.

Ian said it was “very encouraging” that everyone he asked felt that cannabis should be available for medicinal use – although his interviewees knew him and may have had their minds changed by his experience, he could not find anyone who had not changed their mind in favour of medical cannabis. It shows that people who have witnessed the benefits usually have their minds changed (a bit like the fact that anti-immigrant rhetoric is strongest in the parts of the country that have been least affected by immigration).

However Ian says he has been trying to access medicinal cannabis since the ‘expert panel’ was set up and has not been able to so far, and he is sceptical of the changes that came into force on 1 November. He believes the changes made have been “set up to fail… the whole game plan appears to be, one: silence the media accusations of inhumanity by addressing the high profile cases involving young children; two: tell the world cannabis is available on prescription; three: prevent anyone from prescribing cannabis in any form.”