We talk a lot about Utah’s Medical Cannabis program and how it can be improved. Such discussions must be had. We have to make the Medical Cannabis program in this state as good as possible so as to maximize access and keep prices manageable. But that doesn’t mean we should be quick to complain. We are lucky that our list of qualifying conditions lets us treat pain with cannabis. There are other places in which the cannabis environment is a lot more restrictive.
Take the UK, for example. Medical Cannabis is technically legal there, but practical access is a different matter altogether. Patients with legitimate needs still have a challenging time getting their medications. That’s a shame. Why? Because there have been many success stories among the small number of UK patients who have actually been able to use Medical Cannabis
The Guardian recently ran a story about a Bristol woman diagnosed with both psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia some years ago. Both conditions can be debilitating by themselves. Combine them and you have a recipe for constant pain. That is exactly what this particular woman was experiencing.
According to the report, her pain was so severe that she rarely got more than two hours of continuous sleep. She was essentially nonfunctional to the point that she had to retire at just thirty-three years of age. For her, retiring at such an early age had implications far above the financial. She loved her job. She loved being out and about. But debilitating pain made that almost impossible.
Like so many other patients in her position, she tried one pill after another in hopes of managing her pain well enough to enjoy a normal life. Needless to say, she did not succeed. Then came the opportunity to participate in a Medical Cannabis study being conducted by a private London pain clinic. It changed her life – literally.
Once the woman began to treat her pain with cannabis, she noted that her pain levels have already dropped significantly. She is sleeping better than she has in a decade. Her number one task now is to gradually get off opioid pain pills. If nothing else, Medical Cannabis should be deemed a success if it helps people stop using opioids.
Without Medical Cannabis, this poor woman would still be struggling with unimaginable pain. Many of us will never know pain debilitating enough to completely separate us from normal life. However, those people who do experience such pain deserve relief. If that relief can be found in Medical Cannabis, society has no right to withhold it from chronic pain sufferers.
In the UK, accessing Medical Cannabis is still too difficult even though the drug is technically legal. Here’s hoping government officials figure out a way to make it more accessible. In the meantime, the program here in Utah is leaps and bounds ahead of the UK’s. We should be appreciative of how far our lawmakers have come since Proposition 2 was first passed.
It is easy to get angry and complain when things don’t go our way. It’s easy to recognize all the weaknesses in our current program and falsely assume that Medical Cannabis in Utah is one match short of a dumpster fire. But it’s not. We have a very good program that continues to get better with every legislative session. We have a program worthy of our appreciation.
If you suffer from chronic pain or any other qualifying condition that would be best treated with Medical Cannabis, we invite you to visit any of our Utah clinics for assistance with getting your Medical Cannabis card. Our team of experienced and compassionate QMPs are ready to lend a helping hand.