21 Nov 2018

NICE Rejects Professor Mike Barnes’ Expertise in Cannabis as Medicine for a Second Time

Professor Mike Barnes is without doubt the UK clinician with the most expertise in the use of cannabis as medicine. He should have been first choice as a member of the NICE committee charged with developing cannabis prescribing guidelines and, as reported here, its rejection of his application was greeted with astonishment. However, NICE relented and invited Professor Barnes to an interview. Now they have rejected him again. Mike was responsible for obtaining the first medicinal cannabis licences for Sophia Gibson...

01 Nov 2018

NICE Rejects UK’s Most Eminent Medicinal Cannabis Clinician From Advisory Committee

If the UK was setting up an expert committee on fertility and Professor Robert Winston applied to join, he'd be welcomed with open arms. If we were setting up a committee on the origin of the universe and Professor Brian Cox applied, there's no question he'd be appointed. But NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, yesterday rejected Professor Mike Barnes' application to join its...

28 Oct 2018

Professor Mike Barnes On The Urgent Need For Medical Education In Cannabis.

See 'Cannabis Advocates Really Need To Stop Accusing Doctors of Being Bribed By Pharmaceutical Companies.' The urgent need now is physician education. Doctors just don’t know about the endocannabinoid system. They have never been taught it and thus don’t understand it and certainly don’t appreciate the benefit of medicinal cannabis. Only education will slowly change entrenched positions. The launch of the Academy of Medical Cannabis next week will go some way to help - see the website. I hope that the Medical...

04 Jul 2018

Dame Sally’s Caution On “Grown Cannabis” Does Not Bode Well For Access To Herbal Cannabis As Medicine.

Great news all round! Professor Dame Sally Davies has, within a matter of days concluded that cannabis does have medicinal value and needs to be removed from schedule 1. No surprise really as the evidence is, as Dame Sally says, "overwhelming". The simple fact is that our government has been deliberately ignoring it for years. However, reading Dame Sally's report yesterday I was immediately struck by her use of the term "grown cannabis" in a disparaging sense. I’m tempted to ask...

29 Jun 2018

Cannabis for Medical Use And How The Royal College Of GPs Is Letting Us All Down.

The last couple of weeks have brought an enormous breakthrough for those who need cannabis as medicine but with the release of the government’s interim measures for licensing, the difficulties of how this will work in practice are obvious. Unless doctors are properly informed and educated about cannabis many patients are going to remain without any help and forced to continue in the illegal market. The Royal College of GPs was supposed to have issued guidelines to all GPs by the end...

04 Feb 2018

Let’s Temper Hope For Paul Flynn’s Medical Cannabis Bill With Some Reality.

No one would like to see Paul Flynn's 'Elizabeth Brice' bill  to re-legalise medical cannabis pass through Parliament more than me.  Yet it concerns me that expectations are being raised way beyond what is realistic. There is widespread misunderstanding about what the bill is and what are its chances of getting any further. The Legalisation of Cannabis (Medicinal Purposes) Bill 2017–19 is a Private Member's Bill. It was  introduced to Parliament on Tuesday...

21 Sep 2017

Probably The Biggest Breakthrough Yet For Medicinal Cannabis In The UK.

UPDATE. Friday, 22nd September 2017.  The Royal College of General Practitioners Council today approved CLEAR's proposal to publish guidelines on medicinal cannabis. As ever, the UK's stubborn, anti-evidence government remains intransigent on permitting legal access to cannabis, even for medicinal use.  This despite an overwhelming tide of reform across the world and the reality that perhaps one...

17 Mar 2017

How To Campaign For Cannabis Law Reform Under A Theresa May Government.

    + Lobbying Parliament   + If the Government Won't Regulate Cannabis Then We'll Do It For Them   + The CBD Market   + Medical Cannabis   + Educating And Influencing Researchers   For cannabis and drugs policy reform, out of 650 MPs, there could not have been a worse person to seize power than Theresa May.  There are a few who come close on both Tory and Labour benches but no one who has such a long record of bigotry, denial of evidence and refusal even to consider the subject. [caption id="attachment_7621"...

06 Dec 2016

The Facts About CBD In The UK. December 2016.

On 3rd October 2016 the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)  issued notices to a number of CBD suppliers stating that cannabidiol (CBD) was being designated as a medicine and that sale of all CBD products must stop within 28 days, ostensibly by the 1st November. A lot has happened since.  Most importantly, the Cannabis Trades Association UK (CTAUK) has been established to represent the industry and protect the interests of CBD consumers but there remains great confusion as to the legal status of CBD...

17 Nov 2016

Guidelines On Cannabis For Medical Professionals.

In a new initiative, CLEAR's scientific and medical advisor, Professor Mike Barnes, has written to the presidents of several Royal Colleges proposing the development of guidelines around the use of cannabis as medicine. This is a tricky situation for doctors.  Surveys and individual reports from CLEAR members indicate that many doctors tacitly endorse their patients' use of cannabis but clearly cannot recommend the illegal use of cannabis, however safe and effective it may be. Professor Barnes' letter...