Professor Mike Barnes is Honorary Professor of Neurological Rehabilitation and Clinical Director of The Christchurch Group. He has previously been Founder President of the World Federation for NeuroRehabilitation (WFNR) and is currently Treasurer. He is also Treasurer of the British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine (BSRM). He is Chair of the United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF) and of the Independent Neurorehabilitation Providers Alliance (INPA). He has a long standing interest in the management of spasticity and is a long term advocate of the legalisation of cannabis for medical usage.
UPA first met Mike during the APPG Inquiry into cannabis as medicine, which led happily to us handing in our respective parts of the report together at the Prime Ministers door. Not a bad place to be breaking bread on future collaborations.
Mike's qualifications and experience carry the trustworthiness and credibility of his profession that the UK campaign for cannabis as medicine had been lacking so far. That said, we must never forget that speaking out publicly in support of cannabis for a medical professional carries a risk to their license to practise. So thank you for stepping up, Mike and being our cause's first medically qualified and experienced spokesperson - and you do have a very calm manner when you speak too:
Mike has a very effective way of expressing the risks associated with cannabis consumption that I think we could all do to learn from.
His comprehensive and authoritative report on cannabis' efficacy vs many conditions for the APPG inquiry has certainly had an impact in the Republic of Ireland where the term "The Barnes Report" needs no further introduction and has become a the central theme for the progress that has been made in the last 12 months. We should be so lucky in the UK.
Over the last year and to date there have been a number of things we have collaborated on, most especially on an informal team of Medical Cannabis collaborators who come together every quarter or so to share, help and coordinate. Besides Mike and UPAs Political Director, Jon Liebling there is:
Tim Colbourne: Director of Open Reason
Gavin Sathianathan: CEO of Forma Holdings
John McCracken: Drug Policy Expert UK Department of Health
William Notcutt: Hospital Pain Consultant and Board member of International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines
Dr Henry Fisher: PhD Chemistry, Policy Director at Volteface
Baroness Molly Meacher: Cross bench Peer in Lords
Frank Warburton: Consultant at The Institute for Criminal Policy Research and assistant to Molly.
With Mike's help, all the medical, safety and safer consumption information on our website now has either been written by or approved by a qualified medical professional, which means we really can claim to have the most up to date accurate and credible information for cannabis patients in the UK.
Mike attended our Medical Cannabis Conference in September 2017 and talked about his research and some of the next steps in getting it published into academic journals and we can be sure that he will be helping UPA improve our next patient survey.
United Patients Alliance are delighted that Mike has accepted the appointment of Trustee.