Cannabis reform has been a central topic in the UK legislature over the past few months. Now the government is finally responding to the issue by initiating a process for patients to access legal medical marijuana. There's just one problem: not many patients have the time or money to afford it.
Back in June, the UK Home Office established a panel to allow patients to apply for a medical marijuana prescription. But, it seems the complicated and expensive process has deterred patients from applying. As The Sunday Times reports, fewer than 5 applications for access to medical marijuana have been received by the panel at this time.
Patients can't apply for medical marijuana themselves, instead they must have the 11-page application filled out by their physician. The application demands a through prescription history for the patient and must prove that they are "genuinely clinically exceptional." On top of that, patients have to pay a fee of £3,655 (approx. $4,835).
So some patients are taking drastic measures to get their medication without having to go through the UK's process.
"The cost and complexity is a massive barrier," Lara Smith, a chronic pain suffer who travels to Amsterdam to acquire her medical marijuana told told The Sunday Times.
Hopefully the situation will improve in the near future since the current process is intended to be a temporary system. The UK's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sally Davies has committed to a full review of the country's medical marijuana legislation, including the prohibitive fee. Hopefully she realizes there's a problem when she can count up every medical marijuana patient in the country on one hand.