An estimated one million people in the UK use cannabis for medical purposes, the vast majority forced to do so illegally, despite the law change that legalised some ‘cannabis-based’ medicines a year ago.
But how many people could potentially benefit from cannabis, or at least being denied the option of seeing if cannabis helps them? The Guardian recently compiled a list:
Cancer: 360,000 new cases each year (Cancer Research)
Crohn’s disease: 146,000 (Crohn’s & Colitis UK)
Dementia (including Alzheimer’s): 850,000 (Alzheimer’s Society)
Epilepsy: More than 500,000
Fibromyalgia: 1.5-2 million (Fibromyalgia Action UK)
HIV/Aids: 100,000 (National Aids Trust)
Parkinson’s: 145,000 (Parkinson’s UK)
Rheumatoid arthritis: 400,000 (National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society)
That’s a total of up to 4.5 million people who have been and continue to be denied the option of using cannabis for its medicinal qualities – and that’s not including people who suffer from anxiety and depression, ie one in four people, around 16.5 million (Mental Health Foundation).