UKCSC chairman tells BMJ medical cannabis law change ‘robs’ patients

Club News

UKCSC chairman Greg de Hoedt has told the British Medical Journal that the UK medicinal cannabis law change is a “sleight of hand”.

Greg was contacted for an article about the law change, which is so restrictive that only very few patients will benefit.

“We feel like we’ve been robbed,” said Greg. “This is not the medical cannabis that we’ve been campaigning for. It’s a sleight of hand.”

He pointed out that getting specialist referrals and appointments on the NHS can take months or years and that cannabis based medicines would only be prescribed as a last resort.

Alex Stevens, a member of the UK government’s independent Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs told the journal that law change was “a missed opportunity to reduce suffering”, adding: “Many of the people who want to use cannabis to ease their pain or treat their symptoms will still have to commit crime to get it.”

Also quoted is Genevieve Edwards, director of external affairs at the MS society, who said the guidance made access to cannabis treatments “much more limited than we were led to believe”.

Greg had an article – ‘Patients like me manage lifelong illness with cannabis. For us, the UK is a hostile environment’ – published in the BMJ at the start of August, and it has asked him to write another full piece in an upcoming issue. It has also expressed interest in visiting UKCSC clubs to learn about them first hand.

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