Many desperate patients still face a gruelling wait for cannabis under prescription in the UK

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Despite the change in UK legislation it could still be a number years before the UK public are able to realise the benefits of medicinal cannabis. Although November 2018 saw a welcomed change in legislation giving the medical profession the permission to prescribe medicines derived from the cannabis plant to a specific criteria of patient, the reality is that it will probably take several more years before all those that could benefit will.

The move by the government to place the ball firmly in the medical profession’s court has been met with further preconceived ideas, ignorance and lack of education amongst the medical professionals themselves. Of the doctors that have been granted permission to prescribe cannabis it seems very few are willing due to a reluctancy based on principle.

Even though many of these doctors are in the ‘for’ camp for medical cannabis the numbers who are prepared to prescribe it are very very few. When asked his opinion as to why it could take so long before doctors were confidently issuing cannabis scripts to patients,  Professor Barnes, who is a well known for his part in the Deacon case  answered “For the good reason that they don’t know and understand about cannabis – and why should they? It’s been an illegal drug.”

He went on to add “I hope it’s not years plural, but I think it could well be a year before we get educational programmes up and running, before doctors have gone through that programme and become familiar with it. “I think it will be a slow uptake, sadly, for that reason.”

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