According to a new survey from the Center for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC), 1,4 million adults in the UK use illegally obtained cannabis to treat a chronic disease.
Previous estimates which suggested that between 50000 and 1,1 million people in the UK used cannabis for medical purposes now appear to be grossly underestimated. According to the largest sample of surveys ever conducted, the number of people who report using street-bought cannabis to treat a diagnosed medical problem is around 2,8% of the adult population.
Of this number, 56% use cannabis daily to treat their symptoms. 23% use it every week. 9% have not spent any money on the purchase of cannabis (which involves personal production), 44% have spent up to £ 99 (115 euros) per month and 21% have spent between £ 100 and £ 199 (230 euros).
More information on the diseases for which cannabis has been used, as well as the social, age and geographic groups that have used it, has been collected and will be published in a future report.
Anne Keen, President of Cannabis Advocacy and Support Services (CASS) and Member of the Queen's Nursing Institute, said: “These figures demonstrate the large number of patients in the UK with chronic and disabling conditions who feel they have no other choice than to expose oneself to all the risks associated with access to a product acquired on an illegal market. Controlled, safe but innovative solutions should be explored as soon as possible. "