Safe Access to Natural Medicine

The fight for medical marijuana patients’ rights

medicine-mjThe ever increasing number of prescription drug related deaths is absolutely repugnant. According to statistics provided by the Natural Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths in their 2012 UK annual report “Accidental poisoning still remains the most frequent underlying cause of death amongst all age groups…” In fact, they report that 70% of drug related deaths are related to accidental overdose. Providing access to safer, effective medications that have far lower risks associated with their use seems like it would be a simple cure to a growing epidemic, but due to outdated and scientifically unsound information, as well as a lack of political support, the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 still looms over the heads of the people, preventing patients from taking advantage of these breakthrough treatments.

Safer alternatives exist. Cannabis is an incredibly effective analgesic that is infinitely safer for human consumption than synthetic pain medications. It’s uses are certainly not limited to just pain-relief, either. As our knowledge about the function of endocannabinoid systems inside the human body grows, so too does our ability to utilize medicinal marijuana in place of synthetic chemicals that have a high potential for doing more harm than good. Taking learnings from our Dutch neighbours, where medical marijuana is legal and citizens are allowed to have up to five homegrown plants from cannabis seeds per household, we can conclude that legalizing cannabis also has the potential to lower overall recreational usage, decrease our governmental cost output on criminal justice and an give a positive impulse to our economy through taxes.

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Why doesn’t the UK recognize the rights of medical marijuana patients?

…and what can citizens do to help further the cause? The lack of support in parliament coupled with the age-old stereotypes about cannabis use are certainly the walls keeping the truth from altering current policies. The most important thing that a citizen of the UK can do to help make a difference in the fight for patients’ rights is to vote. A well researched vote toward a candidate willing to fight for the people is the strongest ammunition one can use against injustices perpetuated by the legal system. Additionally, supporting an organization that works to champion the cause of legalisation, such as CLEAR, is a sure-fire way to help spread the message and gain support.