The NHS’ recently approved the prescription of cannabis-based products for medicinal use and have young Londoners full support. While cannabis is considered illegal for recreational use in the UK, doctors have found that two cannabis-based products have been proven effective in treating severe epilepsy in children, multiple sclerosis and to relieving sickness in patients with cancer
After interviewing Londoners, ages 18-35, in Shoreditch, it’s apparent that they not only agree with the NHS and the decision to introduce cannabis-based products, they’re open to other potential medicinal uses. Given that cannabis is legal for recreational use in 22 European countries, many Londoners are more than ready for the UK to be next and are confident that the result will be a positive one.
People have already seen firsthand the medicinal benefits of cannabis-based products. Other drugs like Nabilone, has also been used to relieve sickness in patients undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.
Matt Holmes, shared his personal experience after watching his mother go through chemotherapy for cancer, claiming: “There are many studies proving it is more beneficial than detrimental. My mom got cancer and there are medical studies promising pain relief.”
Cannabis-based products have also been proven to help with chronic pain, digestive issues, reduce anxiety and spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis. The majority of the interviewees pointed out that since studies have proven that cannabis can help with a number of medical ailments, it should be more affordable when prescribed by doctors.
One woman in particular, Marta Literska adamantly agreed simply stating: “Making it legal, make it more accessible for everyone, more cheaper.”
The current UK law states that anybody in possession of cannabis, can face five years in jail and up to fourteen years for supplying and distributing. However, that doesn’t seem to deter people from obtaining it illegally.
Rowie Borst pointed out: “Many people are already using it illegal. I do not think it will increase the use if you legalize.”
Even Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has previously stated that he feels that the legalisation of cannabis could be beneficial for the safety of London. Khan believes that cannabis could decrease illegal drug dealing and drug addiction which has been proven to be a direct link to violent crime across London.
Like Khan, fellow Londoner, Laila Hassan, believes legalising cannabis can lead to more than just people using it for recreational use stating: “Legalize might even help crime, because we have a lot of drug dealing. Could make prisons less crowded, less people with criminal records.”
It’s unclear as to whether or not the UK will legalise cannabis for other medicinal purposes or even recreationally, however, more and more doctors and charities are open to the idea. Doctors are now prescribing Epidyolex for Lennox Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome which is most prevalent in children and affects approximately 9,000 people all over the UK. In recent clinical trials, cannabis-based products containing cannabidiol, also known as CBD, have dramatically reduced up to 40% of seizures in children.
Words: Devyn Molina I Video: Fabio Angeli I Research: Francis Peña