Centre for Medical Cannabis Launched

Yesterday saw the official launch of the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis at an event held at the Academy of Medical Sciences. The centre brings together clinicians, pharmacists, patients, campaigners and policy experts. Technically medicinal cannabis has been legalised for prescription, but only in very tightly controlled circumstances…

Steve Moore, who was one of the policy gurus behind the Big Society, has put together a board of serious people from the medical research field and people who have been involved in the area from a patient focus. His team brings them in touch with people who know their way around politics and government.*

Backed by the philanthropist Paul Birch, the CMC has produced a credible model with 30 immediate policy recommendations for the development UK’s first medicinal cannabis regime. They have produced a report and 30 recommendations are both evidence-based and politically deliverable, as they seek to influence the design of new regulatory system.

The CMC argues that

“… the UK needs a system that strikes the proper balance between choice and safety, whilst allowing for future changes as lessons are learnt. As such, our report covers the fundamental policy choices that are necessary when devising an access regime and the trade-offs policy-makers and legislators must make. It explores the particular constraints and preferences that will influence what regime is workable in the UK. This includes healthcare culture, public attitudes and medical options – cannabis based medical products (CBMP) definitions, access routes; modes of consumption; applicable conditions, etc.

The CMC’s report is informed by contributions from patient groups, and others, who will determine the outcomes that any new system must deliver against. The report also draws lessons from other jurisdictions, and engages with clinicians and others, to define what types of medical access are in demand, in order to propose a model that suits the UK context.”

Download the “Blueprint” report.

*Our editor is on the advisory board.

Cam Uses Big Government to Force Through Big Society

Dave’s Big Society redux will force firms to give their employees three extra days paid leave to do “volunteer work” to help “strengthen communities”. Which somewhat fails to grasp the definition of the word “volunteer”, someone who offers to do something for free. Business is less than impressed with what is effectively a compulsory extention of annual leave. The Institute of Directors warns:

“Passing a law to compel firms to pay their staff to volunteer for charity is hardly in keeping with the spirit of philanthropy. Businesses should support their staff if they want to volunteer, but the architects of this idea cannot pretend that forcing firms to give an additional three days of paid leave will do anything other than add costs. Time off for charity work and volunteering is a matter for managers and employees to discuss between themselves, not a target for heavy-handed government intervention.”

There’s a bit of a can’t win feel to all this. When the Tory campaign apparently ‘goes negative’, the media call it over the top, when it goes positive it’s wishy-washy statist interventionism. Though if Miliband had tried to force this through on the same day as further nationalisation of the railways, Fallon would be calling him a communist…

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Quote of the Day

Change UK MP Joan Ryan tells Change UK’s South West ‘rally’:

“Can everyone look at their hands please?”

*everyone holds out their hands in front them*

“That’s it, it’s there, the future is in your hands.”


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