For close to four decades scientists in Israel have worked, in many cases with American federal government money as the first video below shows, to identify first the active elements in the plant and then on research on the impact of cannabinoids on a host of conditions.
What is shocking about both videos however, to even British eyes (for example) is the obvious middle class, mainstream acceptance of a drug as serious medicine. No hysterics, no palaver, no Drug War.What is shocking about the video here is the absolute normality of daily medical administration they show, in one of America’s and Britain’s closest allies. Meanwhile, at home American vets are routinely denied pain meds if they use pot. The scenes seen here are also not possible in New York hospitals even now, six months after Governor Cuomo reluctantly (and highly restrictedly) “legalized” “medical use” in the state this summer. Users, even medical users, particularly now in the city of New York are more likely to get a ticket for unlawful possession than get a seat at a clinic even close to this level of efficient, friendly service within any of the five boroughs any time soon.
In a climate in the U.K. (which is far behind the rest of particularly Western Europe) where medical pot reform of some (weak) kind may begin happening next year, such scenes are a view of hope a few ganja scented years away.
That said, it is also very hopeful to know that such scenarios are not only possible within the confines, dictates and hospital halls of NHS, but given the vast impact on the bottom line and patient health – an inevitability whose time has come.
In America this year, particularly during certain state races (including Florida), and for certain populations (including veterans), the issue of “more research” calls from fence-sitting mainstream politicians (including Hillary Clinton) has begun to meet with a groundswell of social media (including in the mainstream) that tells a very different story.
With large Jewish populations in key states (for presidential politics as well as pot reform) such as New York, Florida and California, not to mention the agenda of Republican funding conservative and gambling magnate Sheldon Adelson (from Nevada), the impact of Israeli cannabinoid research spread in part by social media campaigns has wiped out such claims in less than six months by politicians who only seek a convenient excuse for more delay.
In England, the Jewish population is far smaller if not just as vocal, but it is also an important niche to spread news of country-wide impacts of reform.
From a cost saving perspective, the overburdened, cash strapped NHS could do well already to skip out on anaemic reforms offered to date by national politicians and follow a position seen in Germany of late. Namely, poor and sick patients are being slowly allowed to grow the drug at home (at no cost to the German state). And cost savings do not end with lack of this kind of provision. In annual end of year data now beginning to be analyzed by U.S. based reform groups keeping tabs, it appears that this first year of “recreational” reform in two states has also seen on average, a 25% drop in fatal overdoses from prescription pain pills in every state where there is a functioning medical marijuana program.
As is clear from the videos here, medical marijuana reform has taken well in a very socially conservative country (like Israel). There is no reason, including cultural acceptance, except for political foot dragging and delay, that the same kind of clinics could not be seen in the U.K. within two years.
Then again, as the Yanks have demonstrated time and time again, particularly this year and particularly on this front, where there is a green will, there is almost as often a green way.
By Marguerite Arnold