News that starts with the people who are normally asked last

S3E3 Medical cannabis: The criminalisation of chronic pain - with StevoTheMadMan

Chronic pain is a silent pandemic affecting somewhere between 8 and 28 million people in the UK alone. Recent headlines ( reveal it’s contributing to 2.5 million Brits leaving work. But more alarming still, is our response.
The UK prescribes more opioid pain killers per capita than any other country in the world. This is in spite of NHS guidelines warning against its use for chronic pain. It is also in spite of a US opioid crisis that has plagued the nation with half a million fatal overdoses.
But opioids are not the only option. Medical cannabis has been legal in the UK for almost five years, yet fewer than five people have ever been prescribed it on the NHS for chronic pain. Private clinics, by contrast, have issued over 89,000 prescriptions for unlicensed cannabis medicines not available on the NHS.
Those who cannot afford private healthcare are left with a difficult choice: legal opioids, or illegal cannabinoids. And over a million are choosing the latter. Join us as we explore the UK’s thriving black medical market, meeting patients, police officers, doctors and dealers.
We also hear from those driving the UK's legal market in the face of many barriers, such as Arthur Wakeley, Managing Director of Celadon Pharmaceuticals Plc, and patients on their breakthrough clinical trial, who are fighting to spread awareness and acceptance of a plant that has been medically celebrated around the world for centuries, but painted as the world's worst drug in our own.
Mathilda and Helena are joined in the studio by football pro and chronic pain warrior Stevo (@stevothemadman: also known for his unhinged comedy stunts storming social media!). They examine the mainstream media’s approach to medical cannabis, asking questions of accuracy, balance and blatant mistruths. 
The episode is created by Mathilda Mallinson (@mathildamall) and Helena Wadia (@helenawadia). The music is by Samfire (@soundofsamfire).

Maria Kalinowska @m.a.kamera

Arthur Wakeley @CeladonPharmaceuticals (LinkedIn)

Jon Robson @mamedicauk

Stevo the Madman @stevothemadman


Chronic pain figures:

Licensed cannabis medicines UK

Unlicensed cannabis prescription figures UK

UK opioid prescriptions

US opioid deaths

NHS chronic pain guidelines

Scale and cost of UK black market

Cannabis addiction rates

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