Medical Marijuana in the UK: So Near and Yet So Far

John Connor avatar

by John Connor |

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As I’m writing this, my right arm is tight and my right hand is cramped up.

I was out working last night and night work always shatters me the next morning when I awaken with exacerbated MS symptoms.

Luckily, I never learned to be a copy typist when I started doing student journalism at my university in the 1970s — hunting and pecking did the job. Now pecking is all I can reasonably manage. It’s slow, but as I never could think faster than I could type, it is something of a natural balance.

Today, keyboard skills are ubiquitous, but back then, there was a decade when I was one of the few. If you turned up at a magazine and banged out copy on a manual typewriter you were taken seriously; it also obviously helped if you had a flair for writing. That made you impressive squared!

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Some sort of cannabis would help, but certainly not the modern, highly engineered skunk that makes you so high you think you’re the first human to land on Mars.

Last week, the U.K. finally licensed medical cannabis, but access is effectively completely restricted to anyone with MS. It seems you have as much chance of getting it medically prescribed as Alice did in getting a straight answer at the Mad Hatter’s tea party.

I naively wrote to my general practitioner on day one, figuring you’ve got to start somewhere. It transpires that they’re not allowed to prescribe, which I eventually figured out from the press and the MS Society. It’s a nebulous group of specialist doctors that you need, but how you find out who they are is a medical Catch-22. Neurologists are mentioned, so the next time I see mine, I’ll ask. I expect a blank — and a blank look!

A few weeks ago, Canada became the second country after Uruguay to legalize recreational marijuana. Hilariously, they ran out after a few days.

Suitably, that made me giggle.


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Mary avatar


Medical canabis is available in the U.S. Fortunately for me living with MS is legal in my state. This herb makes dealing with this illness more bearable ........Get with it! Give help to the people that could benefit from this plant......and not chemicals.



Medical Cannabis is not yet legal in Texas; we are a politically Neanderthal state and legislature. Yet,
Cannabinoid Hemp Oil is legal. It helps, but I've had to resort to the highest concentrate for relief-- 3400 Millimeters per milliter which works out to twenty days at, get this, $168.00 per ounce, OUCH!!! But, when one suffers the chronic agonies of neuropathic pain, he or she will do or accept ANYTHING in desperation, for pain is surely being possessed by Satan: it destroys and erodes every benevolent and creative initiative we possess. I PLEAD with Texas State legislators to somehow become empathically, compassionately homo sapien and legalize, maybe even desolate illegal trafficking, and be entepreneurial besides. Win-Win. No brainer.

Stan Quick avatar

Stan Quick

Yes, Canada could not supply enough legal marijuana from day one. Lack of forethought and planning. The street dealer has a supply of quality product and at lower prices.

Stephen Wolstenholme avatar

Stephen Wolstenholme

I have had PPMS for nearly 50 years. I lived near Manchester and I smoked cannabis in my teens, 20s and 30s. It was readily available. In those days I smoked it with tobacco in roll-ups. These days I smoke it in a pipe without tobacco. I gave up cigarettes a long time ago. Cannabis without tobacco is more pleasant. It makes my PPMS feel better and I don't suffer the coughing caused by tobacco.


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