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Growing Medicinal Cannabis: 'I'm Not A Criminal'
Thursday 18 April 2019
Growing medicinal cannabis: 'I'm not a criminal'
A woman who has been denied medicinal cannabis on the NHS says she will risk prison by growing the drug herself.
Carly Barton, from Brighton, has the neurological condition fibromyalgia and said cannabis was the only treatment that helped relieve her symptoms.
Her cannabis prescription was blocked because doctors said there was not enough evidence to support its medical use.
I'm Growing My Own Medicinal Cannabis And Asking The Police For Amnesty – Here's Why
Fibromyalgia and a stroke in my 20s leave me in chronic pain – but after my landmark cannabis prescription was overruled, I refuse to go back to my costly prescription
In 1928, following centuries of cannabinoids being used in medicine, the UK made the decision to reclassify cannabis as an illegal substance based on its psychoactive effects, instead opting for other equally psychoactive compounds as legitimate medicine. Examples include anaesthetics, analgesics, anticonvulsants and anti-Parkinson drugs as well as medications used to treat neuropsychiatric disorders, such as antidepressants, anxiolytics, antipsychotics, and stimulant medications.
Though the House of Lords science and technology select committee first recommended legalising cannabis for medicinal use in 1998, it still took until 2018 for patients to get legal medicine into individual patients’ hands. That was a very long twenty years for patients who, in the interim, had to rely on pharmaceutical drugs with often devastating side effects.
Almost a year on from access being initiated, patients are no further along in their quest for legal medicine. The Clinical Interim Guidelines confirm that there is not enough evidence for recommendations due to the plant’s historical illegality. The guidelines also state that a doctor is free to make a clinical decision to prescribe. However, following that clinical decision, the prescription goes to a funding panel whose first task is to tick a box that states that there is sufficient evidence to fund this medicine. This system was never going to work.
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