By Roland Sebestyén
Following closely on the heels of the recent independent review on drugs by Dame Carol Black, today marks the launch of the largest ever patient study of medicinal cannabis patients in the UK.
The study is being launched by Cancard, the biggest cannabis patient union group in Europe with almost 40,000 members.
The study will take a deep dive into patients’ needs, concerns and opinions around access to cannabis-based medicines since the UK changed its legal position on cannabis in 2018.
The survey itself has been developed by the Cancard patient working group who have been instrumental in designing the study.
It aims to produce a report titled ‘A Proposal for Change’ that will be hand delivered to Downing Street in order to make policy and legal recommendations for the government’s upcoming long-term drug strategy due to be published by the end of this year.
Carly Barton, Founder of Cancard, said: “For too long the government, policy makers, industry and activists have made wild assumptions about consumers’ needs. Personally, I don’t feel anyone is better placed to answer than the person affected by the issue at hand.
“We want to give the patient back their voice and also to directly consult with them about what they want to see change.
“Patients will be able to vote on a range of issues and possible avenues to open up access. These answers will be compiled into a proposal for change which will be presented to the government.
“Cannabis policy currently affects every part of a consumer’s life including very basic needs such as the right to be housed, to work whilst managing a health condition, the ability to be seen as a safe parent -the list goes on.
“We will be looking at the patient’s whole environment to get a good understanding of what needs to change in order for patients not to feel discriminated against for their choice of medicine.
“This is the biggest chance we have had yet to support those people for whom cannabinoids have been life-changing, and, in turn, allow them to support a future generation of people, just like them, by voting with their hearts and their feet.”
According to Ms Barton, the study is open to any person who is consuming cannabinoids for medicinal reasons and is not restricted to Cancard members.
If you would like to take part, you can find more information here.