This is not just another report or a conference. This is practical action at the point of delivery of healthcare.
UPDATE. Friday, 22nd September 2017. The Royal College of General Practitioners Council today approved CLEAR’s proposal to publish guidelines on medicinal cannabis.
As ever, the UK’s stubborn, anti-evidence government remains intransigent on permitting legal access to cannabis, even for medicinal use. This despite an overwhelming tide of reform across the world and the reality that perhaps one million people in the UK are criminalised and persecuted for using a medicine that has been known to be safe and effective for many centuries, facts which modern science now proves beyond doubt.
However irresponsible and pig-headed government ministers may be, doctors have a responsibility to their patients, an ethical duty that transcends the grubby and corrupt politics that ministers subscribe to. Professor Nigel Mathers, Honorary Secretary of the RCGP with responsibility for its governance, has championed CLEAR’s proposal. He recognises that while doctors cannot be advising their patients to use an illegal drug, the reality is many people already are.
So this is not just another report or a conference. This is practical action at the point of delivery of healthcare. If the proposal is approved by the RCGP Council, the guidelines will be drafted by Professor Mike Barnes, assisted by Peter Reynolds, 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.
If our government refuses to take such sensible steps to improve healthcare and protect patients, then we, campaigners and medical professionals, must do it for them.