7. Can extending access to medicinal cannabis address health inequalities?

The seventh paper, Can extending access to medicinal cannabis address health inequalities? is written by Dr Ayesha Mian. Dr Mian is a junior doctor working in the NHS and has a background in drug policy reform. She is passionate about public health and social justice.


Can extending access to medicinal cannabis address health inequalities? | Abstract

As the pandemic has exacerbated existing health inequalities, the UK is facing multiple crises requiring drastic policy reform. The new Health and Social Care bill, as well as the establishment of Office of Health Improvement and Disparities, consolidate efforts to understand and tackle the root causes of health inequalities.  Medical cannabis provides a lens to evaluate inequalities and develop solutions to overcome them. However, regulatory roadblocks prevent the UK from unlocking the full potential of these reforms. This continues to worsen health disparities, harming patients, health innovation and industry development in the process. Where countries have failed to embed equity into the development of their own medical cannabis industries, the UK stands in a unique position to learn from its own past and others mistakes. Optimising healthcare reform efforts by developing a multidisciplinary institution of research excellence, with health, social, environmental, and economic equity embedded at its core, can position the UK as a global leader in this evolving industry.