HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html 'One Joint Changed My Life'
Source: Times, The (UK)
Copyright: 1999 Times Newspapers Ltd
Contact:  23 Jan 1999
Section: Newsfeatures
Author: Joanna Bale


WHEN a friend showed Clare Hodges how to roll her first joint, it
transformed her life. The former television producer had suffered from
multiple sclerosis for nine years and was experiencing bladder spasms that
made sleeping at night almost impossible.

Mrs Hodges, who has now been using cannabis for seven years, said: "I had
been prescribed all sorts of drugs which did not work, when someone
suggested I try cannabis.

"I had never used it before and it took me a while to find someone who
could get hold of it. Eventually I discovered that one of my old work
colleagues used it recreationally. She agreed to come round to my house and
we smoked a joint.

"The effects were immediate. My whole body seemed to melt and all the
discomfort, spasms and nausea disappeared."

Shortly afterwards Mrs Hodges and two other MS patients founded the
Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics, to campaign for more research into the
medical uses of cannabis. The group's first major breakthrough came in 1997
when the British Medical Association voted overwhelmingly at its annual
meeting for cannabis products to be available on prescription.

Later that year ACT took a delegation of politicians and doctors, including
Dr Guy, to see Paul Boateng, the junior Home Office Minister.

Four months later Dr Guy was granted his licence. 
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