Pubdate: Sat, 10 May 2014
Source: Argus, The (UK)
Copyright: 2014 Newsquest Media Group
Author: Emily Walker
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


A man suffering from debilitating MS has told how he breaks the law 
every day to rid himself of debilitating pain.

Clark French said that using medical marijuana has also increased his 
chances of living longer.

Mr French, 28, of Fiveways, Brighton, was restricted to a wheelchair 
after being diagnosed with MS in 2010 and suffered extreme pain 
before trying cannabis as a treatment.

He said he was prescribed medical marijuana while living in 
California and it had helped him walk unaided again.

Having returned to the UK and now living in Brighton he says he is 
forced to break the law to stay healthy.

He now no longer needs the NHS prescribed and takes between two and 
four grams of cannabis a day to keep the pain and muscle spasms at bay.

Mr French, who is unable to work because of his illness, said: 
"Before I started taking cannabis I needed a wheelchair and walking 
sticks but now I don't really need them anymore.

"I'm not cured but it has made a huge difference to my symptoms and 
it's improved my life expectancy.

"I know it's not legal here, but when it's the choice between 
following the law that you know is wrong or not being able to live 
your life, it's not much of a choice really.

"The traditional treatments tramadol and morphine and a type of 
chemotherapy have a significant impact on your life expectancy. I was 
on ten different drugs, now I don't need any other treatment. I take 
two to four grams a day and it's changed my life.

"After being diagnosed with MS I started to look at the science 
behind medical marijuana.

"I travelled to California where I was given a doctor's certification 
to get medical cannabis and I got a lot better.

"Before this I needed a wheelchair and a walking stick to get 
anywhere, now I don't."

Mr French is now planning on campaigning to get the laws on the use 
of medical marijuana relaxed.

Cannabis is not recognised as having any therapeutic value under the 
law in England and regardless of the purpose for which they are 
taking it still faces the threat of arrest or being charged with 
possession of an illegal drug.

However, there is a cannabis-based product - called Sativex - which 
has been authorised for the use in patients with spasticity due to 
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in exceptional circumstances.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom