A few hundred years ago my Cowan ancestor got on a boat in Scotland and headed west. I have been to Edinburgh in the winter, so I am grateful to him for many reasons.
A report from the BBC reminded me of another reason:
“Scotland’s first medical cannabis clinic has begun prescribing to patients suffering from chronic pain conditions… The Sapphire Medical Clinic in Stirling was approved by regulators in March and… provides unlicensed cannabis-based medicines for people with conditions that do not meet the criteria for NHS-prescribed cannabis products… Medical cannabis was legalised in the UK in November 2018 and doctors are allowed to prescribe it in certain situations.”
“The 2018 law change moved cannabis from schedule 1 under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 – meaning it had no therapeutic value – to schedule 2. It now means doctors can prescribe the drug in certain situations… Many other cannabis products are unlicensed but can still be prescribed privately.”
A Healthcare Improvement Scotland spokesperson said unlicensed cannabis-based medical products should be prescribed by specialist clinicians “where there is clear published evidence of benefit” and where there is a “clinical need which cannot be met by licensed medicines and where established medicines have been exhausted.”
In other words, when the patients have suffered enough, they may be allowed to try cannabinoids.
I would cheer, “Scotland Forever!”… if this had not taken forever.
There are millions of Americans like me whose ancestors came from that island and are essentially “bio-identical” to the otherwise free Scottish people who have had to suffer for years before the politicians and bureaucrats decided that they are worthy of a loophole.
The statement added: “Independent clinics must ensure that appropriate consultations take place, that clinicians make informed assessments, that informed patient consent is obtained in accordance with the law and professional guidelines, and that patients understand the risk and benefits of a treatment or medication. Moreover, clinicians should make it clear to patients if there is only limited evidence of the effectiveness of the chosen treatment.”
Hey, ever heard of the United States, or Canada, or the Netherlands? Apparently not.
It was in February of 2002 that I visited Edinburgh, Scotland’s beautiful capital, where I met Kevin Williamson, a very bright, likable fellow, who is a fixture in Edinburgh’s literary scene. He was also drugs policy advisor to the Scottish Socialist Party. (Cannabis is probably the only thing we agreed about!)
He was planning on opening a Dutch-style coffee shop and had just returned from a visit to Haarlem, where our mutual friend, the late Nol van Schaik, had three shops.
The Guardian would report later in the year: “Rebel publisher plans cannabis cafe. He brought Trainspotting to print, and now he wants an urban retreat for Britain’s dope smokers.”
Unfortunately, Williamson could never get the nod from the Edinburgh police. So almost 20 years later, a clinic is only now able to allow sick people to access cannabinoids.
Meanwhile, Scotland has a real problem with really dangerous drugs.
The chart of drug-related deaths is appalling, and, of course, cannabis is not listed.
The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh reported, “Drug Deaths in Scotland: an increasingly medical problem.”
“On 15 December 2020, the National Records of Scotland reported that the number of drug-related deaths recorded in Scotland was 1,264 during 2019, a rise of 6% on 2018, when 1,187 drug-related deaths were recorded. The 6% increase was no surprise to many experts, some of whom had previously warned of an expected rise in drug-related deaths for 2019. However, more significantly, the figures for 2018 – released in July 2019 – were 27% higher than the previous year (2017), and the highest at the time since records began in 1996.”
But they have to be very careful with cannabis.
Richard Cowan is a former NORML National Director and author of Is The Hemp CBD Industry Sustainable?