Professor Mike Barnes
Thursday, 28th September 2017
Royal College of GPs Gives Huge Boost To Campaign For Medicinal Cannabis.
The Council of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has approved a proposal from CLEAR Cannabis Law Reform to publish guidance on the use of cannabis for specified medical conditions.
This flies in the face of continued government intransigence on the subject but recognises that there is a huge wave of reform rolling out across the world and that up to one million people in the UK are already using cannabis for medical purposes.
The initiative has been led by Professor Mike Barnes who is a member of the CLEAR board and acts as the campaign’s scientific and medical advisor. He is also the lead author of ‘The Barnes Report’ which was published last year in conjunction with a Parliamentary Inquiry which called for legalisation of cannabis for medical use.
A recent poll showed 68% of the public supported medical usage and only 12% were actively against. A similar number of GPs also supported the concept in a poll published alongside the Parliamentary report.
Professor Nigel Mathers, Honorary Secretary of the RCGP with responsibility for its governance, has championed the proposal. He recognises that while doctors cannot be advising their patients to use an illegal drug, the reality is many people already are.
The guidelines will be drafted by Professor Barnes, assisted by Peter Reynolds, president of CLEAR, with additional input from the MS Society and Newcastle University.
In due course, probably by the end of the year, a booklet will be available for download by all GPs from the RCGP website. It will set out balanced and reasonable advice on the appropriate use of cannabis for specific medical indications. The guidelines will also cover harm reduction advice and provide a basic grounding in the scientific evidence and the endocannabinoid system.
Professor Mike Barnes said:
“I am really pleased that the Royal College is producing an information booklet for circulation to their medical community. Knowledge about cannabis is increasingly important as more and more people find benefit from cannabis and cannabis-related products for a whole variety of medical conditions, such as chronic pain, spasticity and anxiety. I hope that this will improve knowledge and help those people who need unbiased guidance from their family practitioner.”
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