A group of MPs and cannabis advocates calls for the legalization of medical cannabis in the UK.
The All Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform published an inquiry based on scientific and anecdotal evidence of the benefits of medical cannabis, concluding that the current refusal to recognize cannabis on the national level puts a million of patients at risk of violating the law by using weed to relieve pain.
The inquiry is based on a report containing evidence from 623 medical workers, patients, and cannabis activists who led the government regulation of medical weed in other countries. The paper contains the analysis of more than 20,000 medical and scientific reports on the efficiency of the herb in people with different diseases.
Michael Barnes, a professor of Neurological Rehabilitation at the Newcastle University, analyzed the available data and discovered that marijuana was effective in treating many medical conditions.
The report of medical cannabis evidence has found that marijuana helps patients relieve chronic pain, anxiety, epilepsy, glaucoma, dementia, and the side effects of multiple sclerosis and chemotherapy.
Barnes also believes that a greater study would reveal marijuana's potential to help people with other health problems, but the current drug policy of the government prohibits using marijuana for medical needs.
Marijuana's efficiency in alleviating pain is also confirmed by a recent Populus poll conducted by the medical weed activist group End Our Pain. The survey findings revealed that 68% of patients supported physicians being licensed to advise medical weed.
According to Peter Carroll, director of End Our Pain campaign, more than one million of patients in the UK take marijuana for medical reasons, but the current policy puts them at risk of being legally prosecuted.
As the survey shows that these people are only patients who need help, not criminals, the group is collecting signatures for their petition to the government with a call to allow doctors to prescribe the herb to patients at their discretion.
Caroline Lucas MP, a co-chair of the parliamentary group, supports the idea of legalizing weed for medical use, as she thinks that the government should not expose patients taking cannabis to the added stress of being prosecuted.
Baroness Molly Meacher, Lucas' crossbench peer, also believes that the findings of their inquiry are evidently clear and thinks that if the evidence were strong enough to make an increasing number of countries and the U.S. states legalize medical marijuana, the UK government should also take them into account.