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BNA 2023 | Advocating for medical cannabis access and acceptance in the UK

Anne Schlag, PhD, Drug Science, UK, discusses the mission of the UK charity, Drug Science, which aims to collect scientific evidence relating to psychoactive drugs to support effective drug laws and policy changes. The charity’s Medical Cannabis Working Group addresses issues that still persist four years after the legalization of medical cannabis in the UK, particularly the lack of NHS prescriptions for medical cannabis products. They hope to broaden the range of patients and conditions considered for medical cannabis prescriptions, beyond the limited four conditions currently recommended by NICE. Dr Schlag highlights how pain relief is excluded, despite it being a major reason for medical cannabis use identified in the real-world T21 study. Additionally, the limitation that only specialists, not GPs, can prescribe medical cannabis raises concerns, as GPs initially treat many of the conditions in which medical cannabis is implicated. By emphasizing real-world evidence and challenging stigmas, Drug Science strives to improve understanding and acceptance of medical cannabis. This interview took place at The BNA 2023 International Festival of Neuroscience in Brighton, UK.

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Anne Schlag reports the following disclosures:
SAB at Chilam; Somai; PsychCapital
Honorary roles: Trustee Intractable
Drug Science receives an unrestricted educational grant from a consortium of medical cannabis companies to further its mission, that is the pursuit of an unbiased and scientific assessment of drugs regardless of their regulatory class.