3.3 Cannabis and the criminalisation of chronic pain – with StevoTheMadManChronic pain is a silent pandemic affecting somewhere between 8 and 28 million people in the UK alone. Recent headlines (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-65596283) 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.Mathilda and Helena are joined in the studio by football pro and chronic pain warrior Stevo the Madman (@stevothemadman), also known for his unhinged comedy stunts storming social media! They examine the mainstream media’s approach to 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).GuestsMaria Kalinowska @m.a.kameraArthur Wakely @CeladonPlcJon Robson @mamedicaukStevo the Madman @stevothemadmanSourcesChronic pain figures: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/ https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/20130105021744/http:/www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/AnnualReports/DH_096206Licensed cannabis medicines UK https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/docs/default-source/improving-care/better-mh-policy/position-statements/ps05_19.pdf?sfvrsn=2db968d3_2Unlicensed cannabis prescription figures UK https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2023-01-06.117459.h&s=cannabisUK opioid prescriptions https://www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(21)00479-X/fulltext#%20US opioid deaths https://www.cdc.gov/opioids/basics/epidemic.htmlNHS chronic pain guidelines https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng193/chapter/Recommendations#managing-chronic-primary-painScale and cost of UK black market https://news.sky.com/story/rise-in-people-using-cannabis-to-treat-health-conditions-but-doctors-warn-patients-are-putting-themselves-at-risk-12828381Cannabis addiction rates https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2797098/More on Media StormFollow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/mediastormpodor Instagram https://www.instagram.com/mediastormpodor Tiktok https://www.tiktok.com/@mediastormpodlike us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MediaStormPodsend us an email email@example.com out our website https://mediastormpodcast.comMedia Storm is brought to you by the house of The Guilty Feminist and is part of the Acast Creator Network.