A patient in Scotland claimed that physicians at the Royal Alexandra Hospital refused to perform her surgery after she told them that she had cannabis oil in her handbag.
Bernadette McCready is a campaign manager for a cannabis advocacy group called Medicinal Cannabis Reform Scotland. According to her, she visited the hospital in June 2018 and was immediately asked to leave after she mentioned using the cannabis oil.
She explained that she uses cannabis oil to manage symptoms related to a weakened immune system brought about by a hysterectomy.
McCready recalled that she was sitting on the edge of her hospital bed minutes before she was scheduled to be wheeled in for surgery. Before she knew it, she was kicked out of the hospital.
In 2014, McCready had successfully fought charges for criminal possession.
Medical cannabis is technically legal in the U.K., but patients have emphasized that there is a big difference between access and legalization. Many of them have reported how extremely difficult it is to secure a prescription for medical pot from the National Health Service.
The first medical cannabis clinic in the U.K. opened in March, but its services are beyond the means of many due their high fees. Patients, for instance, have to pay around £200 per visit, and this is separate from the £600-£700 fee for a prescription.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde argued that policy wouldn’t allow the hospital to refuse surgery to any patient who used or is found to possess cannabis oil. They said that their policy is to offer treatment to all, regardless of lifestyle choices, unless there are specific clinical circumstances.