Covid Pandemic Puts Isle Of Man Medical Cannabis Program On Hold

Isle of Man

Authorities have delayed a program to authorize doctors to prescribe cannabis describing it as “low priority” during the Pandemic.

The islands around the UK are having a quiet cannabis revolution. Places like the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Jersey and indeed the Isle of Man (off the southern tip of the UK) are moving forward to enact reform of at least the medical kind as green economic development if not critical healthcare for island residents. Unfortunately, plans to enact reform on the Isle of Man have just hit a snag. Health Minister David Ashford has said that the plan is still “on the agenda” but pushed because of the Pandemic.

Ashford said that there were “greater priorities” than introducing new cannabis legislation to the island. Ashford also cited reticence of GPs to prescribe the drug was also an issue.

Currently, per UK law, only specialists can prescribe the drug. This means that the initial visit and screening process is also much more complicated for both patients and the NHS. On a small island, this process gets even tougher.

Critics have suggested that this program should go ahead on schedule anyway and indeed have cited the model followed on the island of Jersey where a small number of general practitioners who operate out of clinics, can prescribe.

Untangling a hundred years of prejudice

Delaying the inevitable, and for any reason, appears to the watchword of just about all authorities, wherever they are, on the topic of reform. This has been true for most of the Pandemic, despite noted successes on a global level and the EU one (see the WHO decision and the European Commission decisions).

Regardless, it is also clear that reform is going to be in the air this spring and in several different ways. Doctors themselves are hardly above the din (in both the UK and Europe). The resulting pressures is forcing the conversation forward, even if, as in this case, step by step and painfully. And with plenty of delay.

And while these circular arguments are still in fashion (no reform equals no doctor education), they are becoming thankfully, rather rarer.

The Intersections of Covid and Cannabis

As the Pandemic drags on and governments repeatedly drop the ball on rolling out Covid medication, more and more focus is coming to bear on the process of cannabis legalization and, at minimum, why at least medical cannabis reform is not rolling right along with it. Including the increasing realization that cannabis might impact Covid symptoms.

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