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Europe: British Junior Docs Call for Marijuana-Based Medicine Prescriptions

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #482)
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

The British Medical Association's (BMA) Junior Members Forum voted Sunday in favor of marijuana-based medicines being prescribed by the National Health Service (NHS) to ease the suffering of patients. The group called on the BMA to lobby the British government to change the laws to allow research to develop treatments with cannabinoids, the active ingredients in the plant.

In the British medical system, junior doctors are those who have received a medical degree and are in postgraduate training. While the term seems to imply callow youth, junior doctors in Britain may in fact have logged years treating patients at the NHS.

The vote in Dundee, Scotland, came after the forum heard from Dr. Andrew Thomson, a Scottish General Practitioner and prominent member of the BMA, who told of a patient of his suffering terrible pain who he was unable to help with cannabis because of the state of the law. "A lot of our patients turn to using cannabis to try to relieve their pain -- let's not make them criminals," he said. "Let's not turn pain into punishment."

His patient, a professional woman who suffered from multiple sclerosis, knew of the evidence about cannabis relieving pain, but could not commit a criminal act, Thomson told the forum. "It was frustrating to see it but I could not encourage her to use it," he said. "I know what is best for my patient potentially but I am not allowed by the system to use what would relieve the suffering."

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

No one but a person's doctor should be able to tell a person in pain what medicine to use or not use. Only a person in pain knows when their pain is relieved, and it is the doctors' duty to find the medicine that will work for their patients. As far as I have experienced, there is nothing out there safer and more effective than God-given CANNABIS, and I do thank God is exists. It has given me my life back! It truly is Amazing! Too bad the cops don't care if we suffer or not - I honestly believe they are happier when we are miserable, since most of them are so miserable, poor things.
Now, if only we can get our doctors to learn the truth about cannabis, there would so much less suffering in the world.

Mrs. Melanie Marshall
Omaha, NE

Tue, 04/24/2007 - 2:58pm Permalink

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