Greenock Telegraph 25th February 2022

There have been some very high-profile cases where parents of children suffering from rare epileptic conditions have called for medical cannabis to be provided on the NHS to treat their kids. As a result of this Matt Hancock said, in March 2019, it would be available on the NHS within six months. Medical use of cannabis was legalised in November 2018.  Since then, two NHS prescriptions have been written. One already existed; therefore, three NHS prescriptions are in use for medical cannabis. In the UK there are 25 private clinics providing private prescriptions, there are 18 producers and 100 products. There are also 100 doctors prescribing. That would lead me to believe that the products exist, and the medical profession is prepared to prescribe it but only privately. The fact is that if you can afford it then your child can get it but its costly. Roughly £2,000 a month is required to fund the private prescription and the medicines. The benefit for the patients is clear for all to see. Children that suffered 50 fits a day and were tied into wheelchairs are now free from their fits, can ride bikes and go to school. The quality of life they experience and the relief for family and friends is undeniable. And yet we have 3 NHS prescription in over 3 years. Currently in the UK 1.4 million people are using cannabis for medical reasons. It’s obvious there is a huge difference between the supply and the demand on the NHS. It is cheaper to fund medical cannabis than it is for the other drugs the children are on and it avoids them being rushed int an ICU at £5,000 a day. We have the medicines, and they are cost effective. We need the governing bodies of the medical professionals to step up and publicly acknowledge the need and we need politicians to listen, learn and legislate.