Eligible medical cannabis patients in the U.K. are set to start benefiting from Cancard. A cannabis smart card will ensure patients don’t get arrested for having cannabis medicine on their person. The objective is to ensure that no one who needs medicinal cannabis has to worry about the law, even with an expired medical card.
Cancard producers project that more than one million people could access the card by 2021 officially. The card currently supports a wide array of conditions ranging from anxiety and nausea to chemotherapy, depression, appetite loss, pain, Crohn’s Disease, cerebral palsy, and ADHD.
The Police Federation, the National Police Chiefs Council, the Police Foundation, and the Drug Expert Witness Board have already approved Cancard.
What is Cancard?
Invented by Carly Barton – a chronic pain survivor and medical cannabis enthusiast, Cancard aims to be on the radar of police forces across the nation to ensure that as long as they honor the card, eligible patients don’t have to worry about the law regarding cannabis.
“We all know that cases, where patients have proved legitimate medicinal use, are unlikely to make it to court, and if they do, these cases are consistently dropped. This is especially the case when a patient presents with the condition that is being privately prescribed for. There is currently no way of identifying these people before emotional distress has been caused, and public resources have been wasted,” said Barton.
Benefits of both patients and the police
According to Barton, Cancard is designed to change the current system by providing a solution that benefits both the patients and the police. She noted that Cancard aims to give patients peace of mind while giving the police “confidence in using their discretion before any stress has been caused to vulnerable people.”
Without a law change, we have national guidance and discretion with which to build a solution, both of which are huge parts of the design of Cancard. Having the police on-board with the design and implementation of this has been essential to make this a plausible project, Barton added.
Medical cannabis patients can now scan cards on their smartphones to confirm to police that they are eligible to use and possess medical cannabis. They can also use the information on their phone for resources related to their medical conditions.
To get Cancard, patients must apply in the same way they do for a passport. They also need to include a summary of care from a certified GP as evidence of their medical condition(s). Once approved, users can install an app on their phone to manage the card or present their information when flagged by authorities.
This process has just launched, and it’s still unclear whether all law enforcement branches will embrace it right away. The implications are quite exciting, and it remains a wait-and-see scenario, whether it will push the U.K. closer to a practical medical cannabis future.
The list of conditions you’re eligible for Cancard with
Cancer: Anxiety, Chemotherapy-induced nausea, Cancer-related appetite loss, Depression, Palliative care.
Gastrointestinal: Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, IBD, IBS.
Neurological: Autistic spectrum disorder, Epilepsy, Migraine, Cluster, headache, MS, Neuropathic pain, Parkinson’s disease, FND, MND, Cerebral Palsy.
Pain: Arthritis/RA, Chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, Cluster headache, Neuropathic pain, Palliative care, EDS.
Psychiatric: ADHD, Agoraphobia, ASD, Insomnia, PTSD, OCD, Tourettes.