By Benjie Cooper
YouTube: Lucid’s Vlog
The legal state of medicinal cannabis is undergoing some changes at the moment in the United Kingdom, largely due to the efforts of Charlotte Caldwell’s aggressive campaign for legalization after authorities confiscated her son Billy’s medicine at Heathrow airport in June.
But physicians have generally been reluctant to certify medicinal cannabis patients after a letter from the British Paediatric Neurology Association (BPNA) proposed that marijuana products could cause brain damage. Of the roughly 20,000 epileptic children in the UK, only two have been granted licenses so far.
“There is significant evidence that use of THC in the developing brain can cause damage to IQ, mental health, and brain structure,” reads the letter. “These changes may be permanent.”
Neurologist and rehabilitation physician Mike Barnes says that the BPNA’s allegation that THC is damaging to a developing brain is incorrect, and that cannabis is helpful in treating epilepsy, nausea, pain and other conditions.
Barnes has been a proponent of medical marijuana for years, and supported six-year-old Alfie Dingley during his successful medicinal cannabis application.
“Cannabis has been a useful medicine for centuries, with known use dating back to 4000 BC in Ancient China,” wrote Barnes in 2016. “Our government now has the scientific rationale and the evidence…we have the powerful personal testimonies of those that are suffering. Let’s act. Let’s legalize medical cannabis now.”
Barnes’ message rings true in 2018 as Billy Caldwell’s case was enough to convince Home Secretary Sajid Javid to have medicinal cannabis rescheduled, but many patients are unable to obtain the licenses they need ahead of regulated dispensing sometime during the fall.
To help educate physicians and others in the healthcare field, Barnes will be launching the British Medical Cannabis Society (BMCS) in November which will be free to all doctors.
The BMCS will be developing an educational curriculum which is to be named the ‘Anslinger Training Programme,” as a jab at United States Federal Bureau of Narcotics Chief Harry Anslinger who was largely responsible for marijuana prohibition and associated propaganda.