UK Police chiefs back medicinal cannabis cards for patients

The UK’s Daily Mail is reporting ..

A system of ‘cannabis cards’ for medicinal users which will effectively decriminalise the drug is being backed by police chiefs.

Around three and a half million people with health conditions will be allowed to use the card under the proposal, according to The Times.

Those with illnesses such as cancer, depression, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis will be eligible to use it and will identify them as a ‘registered medical cannabis patient’. 

It will prevent them being slapped with a fine or five-year prison sentence for buying cannabis on the black market for their condition.  

Medical cannabis has been legal in the UK for nearly two years. But due to strict rules, only a handful of people have been given an NHS prescription.

Currently, it is believe more than a million people in the UK buy cannabis illegally to self-medicate. 

Police chiefs say they are trying to ensure the card is not exploited by organised crime, but it is not clear yet how this would be done.

And it will mean police officers have a justification for not arresting them when they are in possession of cannabis.

The plan is being backed by the Police Federation of England and Wales and the National Police Chiefs Council is working with the organisers of the cards to design and implement it.

Patients who use cannabis to relieve pain from their medical issues find themselves being arrested for possession of the drug.

Only a small number of people – thought to be less than 100 – have been given an NHS prescription for medicinal cannabis since it was legalised in November 2018. 

Epidiolex, for children and adults with epilepsy, nabilone, for chemotherapy patients, and Sativex, for people with MS-related muscle spasticity, are considered licensed cannabis-based medicines. 

All other cannabis-based medicines are unlicensed and often referred to as ‘specials.’

The decision to prescribe the cannabis-derived medicines must be made by a specialist doctor – not a GP, the Government rules. 

The cost of a private consultation has priced many out of the option of legal cannabis. So they turn to the black market.


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