When it comes to medical cannabis reform, the United Kingdom has been behind the curve. Whereas a number of other countries have legalized cannabis for medical use in a comprehensive way, and two countries have even legalized cannabis for adult use, the UK has dragged its feet.
Eighteen months ago the UK legalized cannabis oil for medical use, which is a very limited form of medical cannabis legalization. Despite the limited public policy change, the UK has failed to issue new prescriptions for full-extract cannabis oil since the change, as detailed by The Guardian:
There have been no new NHS prescriptions for full-extract cannabis oil since the medicinal use of the drug was legalised more than 18 months ago, the Guardian has established.
Wealthier families and those who can successfully raise funds pay about £2,000 a month to access full-leaf cannabis medicines via private prescription for children with rare forms of treatment-resistant epilepsy, while poorer parents are unable to afford the prescriptions.
Suffering patients in the UK deserve better than the limited and insufficient medical cannabis program that is currently in place. If other countries can legalize medical cannabis in a comprehensive, affordable way that helps patients, then there’s no reason why the UK can’t do the same.
That can also be said for adult-use cannabis reform. Uruguay and Canada have legalized cannabis for adult use and the sky has remained intact above those countries. The same will prove to be the case if/when the UK gets on the right side of history.