A shocking new report has brought to light that over 1.4 million Great Britain residents are sourcing illegal cannabis for treating their medical conditions.
The data published recently by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) has highlighted that over 326,728 people use cannabis for treating chronic pain, 586,188 for anxiety, 180,000 for insomnia and 653,456 for depression.
People suffering from Huntington’s disease are more likely to use cannabis for managing their condition. A third of people suffering from Parkinson’s disorder have accepted that they use the drug illegally for alleviating their symptoms. This has compelled several organizations to urge the UK government to review their new policy on medical cannabis access.
YouGov Cannabis Survey highlights
The YouGov survey conducted was based on a pool of 10,602 adults. The report showed that Britons of all genders, age groups, and economic background self-medicate with cannabis for treating a variety of medical conditions.
The findings quantify that almost 3 percent of the adult population in the UK prefer using cannabis over traditional pharmaceutical products for treating their illnesses. The report comes amid rising criticism of the government over restrictions against the accessibility of medical cannabis.
Although the prime minister has deployed pro-cannabis legislation figures to his cabinet, there has not been any considerable progress in the ease of availability of medical cannabis for patients.
Stricter laws the culprit?
Although medical cannabis was legalized in the year 2018, the stricter laws governing the availability have made it available to only a few dozen patients. Patients who can manage to pay for a consultation and also a private prescription can procure the drug without any restrictions.
However, the exorbitant costs rule out this option for most of the people. As not all can access medical cannabis either privately or through NHS or National Health Service, they are resorting to the use of illegal cannabis being sold.
The entire scenario has further complicated as this can lead to financial strains, risk of getting involved in legal implications and coming in contact with criminal gangs. They may also have to smoke cannabis rather than use capsule, balm, spray or oil which is not preferable.
An organization representing CBD manufacturers and medical cannabis, CMC has highlighted in the report, “The monetary, ethical and social cost to individuals using cannabis to relieve their symptoms is high, and unnecessarily exposes them to significant personal risk.”
Demand for Black market Cannabis
The study also found out that Brits are almost spending over £100 per month over cannabis. Over £2.6 billion per year is being contributed to the black market cannabis.
CMC has urged the government to review the matter immediately. Steve Moore, the founder of the organization said, “These shocking figures quantify what we long suspected”. He further added that there is an urgent need to study and understand the scenario and to extend access to cannabis-based medicine.
The Department of Health released a statement after the shocking highlights from the report shook the entire nation, “We sympathize with those dealing with challenging conditions and have changed the law to allow patients access to cannabis-based products for medicinal use where clinically appropriate”.
They further added that they are looking for clear evidence that would support clinical prescribing.