Pubdate: Fri, 11 Feb 2000
Source: Guardian, The (UK)
Copyright: Guardian Media Group 2000
Section: Letters
Author: Andrew Coldwell, Alliance For Cannabis Therapeutics


I am a 52-year-old male with multiple sclerosis and I've taken cannabis for 
therapeutic use for many years (Polly Toynbee, February 9). Before I used 
cannabis, I was prescribed a multiplicity of drugs, some of which left me 
at best disorientated, at worst, psychotic.

Last July I appeared as a witness for the defence in the trial of Colin 
Davies, from Stockport, who admitted growing and using cannabis to relieve 
pain from spinal injuries. He successfully pleaded a defence that he took 
the drug through medical necessity after suffering side effects from 
conventional drugs. During the trial, local public houses did a healthy 
trade, patronised by witnesses, solicitors, the police, and others.

Davies was arrested five days after Jack Straw rejected the recommendations 
of a House of Lords select committee that the use of cannabis should be 
allowed for medical reasons. Since then, ill people have continued to be 
prosecuted for using cannabis. A fellow MS sufferer in Cumbria is now 
awaiting trial. Criminalising ill people is in itself criminal.

Cannabis works for me and thousands of other ill people. Are we to be 
tainted with criminality? Will I have to buy medication of variable quality 
from drug peddlers?
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart