Cannabis club makes official bid to make drug legally available in Leicester

A Cannabis Club in the UK is trying to obtain a license to sell legal medical cannabis to its members.

Leicester Cannabis Club (LCC), founded in 2018, has requested a cannabis license from the Home Secretary Sajid Javid for the second time.

Medical cannabis was legalised in the UK in November 2018, but so far no patients have been able to access the medication on the NHS.

Prescriptions can only be given by specialist doctors, not regular GPs, forcing those who need medical cannabis to get very expensive private prescriptions.

So far, private prescriptions have only been afforded to a handful of patients who can afford £40k+ a year.

The current situation is not sustainable for the vast majority of patients in the UK, whose medical conditions often mean they are unable to work, relying on family members and state benefits, which come nowhere near to covering the £10,000s required for private prescriptions.

Co-founders of the Leicester Cannabis Club, Lee-Anne Laurie and Carl Deacon, hope that they can offer affordable medical cannabis to patients by acquiring a legal medical cannabis license.

Lee-Anne told  LeicestershireLivehow her own success with medical cannabis motivated her to start a cannabis club:

“I have used CBD oil for my anxiety and it changed my life drastically.

“It just seemed to calm my head, I wasn’t even aware that I had anxiety.

“When I went to doctors they tried to prescribe me anti-depressants, but I didn’t feel depressed.

“I started to look for alternative medication, and I found CBD oil and it worked.

“People are desperate to have the right access to medicinal cannabis

“People are forced to turn to the black market and that’s dangerous and can be extremely harmful, especially for someone who could be going through chemotherapy – you just don’t know what chemicals it has been treated with.

“Regulation could stop that.”

Carl, co-founder of LCC, also saw first-hand how life-changing medical cannabis can be:

“I have friends that are alcoholics, and their lives and their family’s lives have been ruined because of alcohol.

“I don’t know anyone’s life that has purely been ruined by cannabis.”

“In Holland, for example, the same medication is three times less expensive, and it’s exactly the same product.
– Sam Fairlie, Mother and Medical Cannabis Warriro

One of the patients who would stand to benefit from LCC being granted a medical cannabis license would Maya Fairlie, 7, who suffers from a rare, drug-resistant form of epilepsy.

Her mother, Sam, finally won their battle to get a legal prescription for the ‘life-changing’ medication this week, but it will come at a cost: £6,000 every 3 months (£24,000 a year!).

Sam explained to LeicestershireLive that the current pharmaceutical medication doctors have prescribed her daughter are causing just as much harm as they are helping:

“Something needs to change in the NHS because the other treatments she’s gone through come with horrific side effects.

“There is a sense of relief [getting a private prescription].

“But with it comes dread because it’s not going to be sustainable in the long term.

“In Holland, for example, the same medication is three times less expensive, and it’s exactly the same product.”

t is unlikely that LCC will be granted a license to provide medical cannabis. So far, only large corporations have been granted the “privilege” to legally sell medical cannabis in the UK.

Despite the futility, Lee-Anne and Carl’s inspiring effort should not be dismissed. Any step taken towards pushing forward medical cannabis in the UK should be praised. The countless hours spent by countless medical cannabis protestors have brought us to the brink of something beautiful: medical cannabis for all, regardless of wealth or status.

While only a handful of patients have been able to legally get medical cannabis prescriptions (albeit private ones), that is a handful more patients than a year ago.

With more efforts like the one from LCC, who knows how many more patients will have access to medical cannabis in another year?

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