According to those running the Cancard Scheme, the launch has been a great success. Reportedly more than 200 people were applying for the card per hour on the first day. With the police and MPs backing the initiative, it is believed that around 1,1 million patients would be able to avoid persecution for possessing cannabis with the card.
Cancard is an agreement between police officers and patients whereby those who are caught in possession of cannabis will be able to present a card, demonstrating they are medicating for personal use. Every police officer in the country will receive guidance, advising on how to deal with a Cancard carrier.
The scheme, which is the brainchild of disabled medical cannabis patient Carly Barton, received over 200 applications per hour on the day of launch, with 15,000 initial sign-ups still being processed. It is believed that 1.1 million could be eligible for the card.
The official design of the card (Source: Cancard)
Speaking about the launch of the scheme, Founder Carly Barton said: “We are delighted that the Cancard Scheme has launched.
“We are grateful to the police for their active involvement in the card, and making this a reality. We look forward to continued collaboration and development to ensure medical cannabis patients are not criminalised.”
The team behind the scheme are keen to point out that cannabis is still technically illegal, and urges card carriers to build trust and respect with the police by respecting the processes.
The card is aiming to bridge the gap for those who would be eligible for a private prescription, but cannot afford one.
Conservative Party MP, Crispin Blunt, added: “Despite the law change in November 2018 very few of the estimated 1.4 million people in the UK who consume cannabis for medical reasons have a prescription and thus face prosecution for treating their illness.
“This is a wretched situation both for patients who constantly fear a knock on the door from the police and for the police themselves who are in the unenviable position of having to arrest the sick.
“The Cancard initiative is a welcome step forward that provides necessary immediate relief, and I look forward to even further progress to ensure this medicine is legally available to all who need it.”