Medicinal cannabis was legalised in the UK last November, after ongoing campaigns pressing for its use for epilepsy sufferers.
But despite its legalisation, it is still very difficult to access. Only specialist doctors are allowed to prescribe it – not GPs – and only to specific cases, including children with severe epilepsy, chemotherapy patients with vomiting or nausea issues, and MS patients suffering from muscle soreness.
Cheryl Keen’s daughter Charlotte was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was 16. Charlotte usually suffers from three to five seizures a week, leaving her bedridden most of the time.
However, Charlotte’s consultant refused to prescribe her with medicinal cannabis. As an alternative, she uses cannaboid (CBD) oil, which is legal and accessible. But, it is only affordable in small doses. In Charlotte’s case, the dose she needs is too expensive for Cheryl to afford. In the following video, Cheryl talks of her frustration about this.
It is also very likely that Charlotte is not alone in her situation. Back in October, The Independent reported that many people who would benefit from using medicinal cannabis would not actually be able to access it. This leaves only a minority of sufferers being able to feel the potentially life-changing benefits.
This afternoon on City News Radio, our reporter Naomi Schanen is covering the complexities of medicinal cannabis in the UK. Tune in at 2pm to hear the show.
Video background image by Matilde Campodonico for AP Photos.