Letter: Cannabis therapy

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The Independent Culture
Sir: With the publication of the Lords report on medicinal cannabis, I thought it prudent as a cannabis-using multiple sclerosis sufferer and a representative of the Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics, to present the views of the people most affected by the blanket prohibition of cannabis.

There are thousands of sick people throughout the UK using cannabis and finding it of benefit for many illnesses. If we carry on using cannabis we are leaving ourselves open to criminal prosecution, but if we obey the law and desist from the practice we are faced with the very real possibility of our condition worsening.

It must be understood that we are not hedonistic, irresponsible teenagers, but ill people who find themselves in the absurd position of being denied the one effective means of palliative treatment available to them by, in many cases, the party they had supported at the general election. It is disturbing that instead of endeavouring to institute objective research into the medicinal properties of pure cannabis, the Government, without scientific justification, seems to take some satisfaction in denying us this vital medication.

I did not expect, or intend, to be in conflict with my own government at this point in my life - MS itself is a daunting foe - but this government must surely have the wisdom to understand that we are no threat to society's stability, but just incurably ill people wishing to treat themselves as they, and in most cases their doctors, see fit. It is an absurdity, if not an obscenity, to be forced to seek our medication from criminal sources.

ANDREW COLDWELL

Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

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