Disease and patient-orientated organisation the MS Society is leading support for a move to legalise medicinal cannabis in the UK.
The House of Commons is soon to consider the Legalisation of Cannabis (Medicinal Purposes) Bill 2017-19. It is a Private Member’s Bill sponsored by Paul Flynn, Labour MP for Newport West.
The Bill is due to have its second reading debate in two weeks, on Friday 23 February 23. It received its first reading on October 10 last year
In summary. the Bill would allow the production, supply, possession and use of cannabis and cannabis resin for medicinal purposes; and for connected purposes.
I believe such a move should be welcomed.This is because it would stand to benefit many more people than those with MS. It could potentially help relieve the symptoms of chronic pain, spasticity, and a host of other medical conditions and diseases.
Writing in the UK’s Pharmaceutical Journal, Flynn said: “During my 30 years in parliament I have campaigned against the harm caused by the antidepressant paroxetine and the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug rofecoxib; and I now chair a campaign opposed to the growing menace of opioid misuse. But cannabis is a drug that evidence suggests could provide unique relief for many who suffer from the cruel disease MS. The law should not criminalise patients seeking relief from pain and spasm.”
Cannabis can help where other treatments fail
The MS Society is one of the organisations keen to support the Bill. The society’s campaign team says: “For some people with MS, there’s no effective legal treatment for pain and muscle spasms. But many find that cannabis for medicinal use can help when other treatments haven’t.
“Right now, cannabis for medicinal use is illegal. We want the UK Government to make it available to people who could benefit.
“When we asked last year, 72% of people with MS agreed that cannabis should be legalised for medicinal purposes.
“A Bill tabled by Newport West MP Paul Flynn on the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use is scheduled to be discussed in the House of Commons this month on this issue. We need the UK Government to take action.”
The society is also urging its members and supporters to get behind the Bill and take action. It says:
“Please Tweet your MP and ask them to write to the Minister. You’ll be helping to show the UK Government how much support there is for this issue. If you don’t have Twitter, please email your MP instead.
“With your help, we can get closer towards a change in the law.”
Medical Marijuana Inc says medicinal cannabis has “potential as a viable treatment option for helping to manage chronic pain, nausea and spasms, and for providing healing effects for those with serious conditions like multiple sclerosis, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, cancer and spinal cord injuries.”
Its website lists 45 conditions for which, it says, “medical marijuana is now a treatment.”
The sooner that the UK government legalises medicinal cannabis the better.
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50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, a freelance medical writer and editor for various health information sites. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.
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Note: Health-related information available on 50shadesofsun website is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. I am not a doctor and cannot and do not give you medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult a doctor before starting a new diet or exercise programme. Any opinions expressed are purely my own unless otherwise stated.