Joining a wave of global legalization encompassing countries such as Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Portugal, and 30 states in the US, the United Kingdom Home Office recently announced its legalization of cannabis products for medical purposes. The new ruling signals the UK’s acknowledgement that cannabis has potential medical use and will allow doctors to begin prescribing it to patients in need. The UN World Health Organization (WHO) recently published a report on findings regarding the medical benefits and safety of marijuana, concluding that cannabis is effective in the treatment efforts of a range of medical conditions and is “relatively safe.” With the legalization around the world, it becomes easier for travelers or locals alike to find a medical marijuana doctor in more countries.
The UN drug committee surveyed 953 cannabis patients throughout 31 different countries to gather the information for their report. The committee found that marijuana is a “relatively safe drug,” noting that millions of people are already using it across the globe for various therapeutic purposes. As of now, cannabis is broadly prohibited under international drug treaties dating back to 1961, but the committee’s report could easily change that leading to more of a global legalization. The most common use for cannabis is in the treatment of anxiety, back pain, cancer, depression, sleep disorders, multiple sclerosis, and post-injury pain. The committee cited “a wealth of preclinical literature” that indicates cannabinoids “reduce cancer cell proliferation” and inhibit “cancer cell migration and angiogenesis in numerous cancer cell types.”
The WHO report pointed out that research into the therapeutic potential and safety of cannabis is sadly inadequate, as widespread prohibition of the plant has made it extremely difficult for researchers to conduct clinical trials, noting that “Barriers to research in the USA include the difficulty of navigating through several federal agencies (including the aforementioned DEA, FDA), as well as research ethics boards and local and state oversight concerns. There are also issues related to quality, quantity, and kind of product available from the current single federal source of cannabis for research use and the lack of adequate funding sources.”
In the UK, cannabis was previously listed as a Schedule 1 drug under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, a category reserved for substances thought to have no therapeutic value. In a press release published July 26, 2018, Home Secretary Sajid Javid said, “Recent cases involving sick children made it clear to me that our position on cannabis-related medicinal products was not satisfactory. Following advice from two sets of independent advisors, I have taken the decision to reschedule cannabis-derived medicinal products – meaning they will be available on prescription.” The country’s National Health Service will cover its cost. “This will help patients with an exceptional clinical need,” Javid stated.
The next step involves the UK’s Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Medicines and Health products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) developing a clear definition for cannabis-derived medicinal products, with those approved products then being rescheduled. Once these definitions are released, the Home Office and DHSC will put forth additional frameworks and guidelines for their dispensation by qualified clinicians, with the expectation that these products will be available to the citizens of the UK deemed to have an exceptional clinical need by the fall of 2018.
If you live in the United States and would like to schedule an appointment or are wondering where to find a medical marijuana doctor, please visit our online portal. If you have any questions about the proper application of medical marijuana for your situation, please contact Medical Alternatives Clinics at (719) 246-0393 or email us your questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer convenient same day appointments for current and prospective medical marijuana patients and we can help you get your MMJ Red Card in three days or less!