Herbal Bedrocan cannabis from The Netherlands.

Herbal Bedrocan cannabis from The Netherlands.

By Chris Bovey

A former university lecturer is believed to be the first patient in the UK to be prescribed cannabis following the botched changes in the law last month.

Carly Barton, 32, a former teacher of fine art, developed fibromyalgia, which leaves her in constant pain, after a stroke in her early twenties.

She had previously been illegally using cannabis to treat the painful symptoms of her condition. Unfortunately, she will have to pay for it on a private prescription costing £2,500. Dr David McDowell, a private pain specialist gave her the prescription, which the government must now authorise a specialist importer to procure the herbal drug from the Netherlands.

NHS doctors are still constrained by interim guidelines that make it very hard for them to prescribe the drug. Some have even resorted to putting up posters telling patients not to ask for it.

Ms Barton will still have to wait weeks for the License from the Home office to legally import the cannabis grown in The Netherlands and has blown all of her savings to get the medicine.

She claims the system is unfair where the rich will have access and the poor will still have their doors kicked in by police.

Photo of medicinal cannabis patient Carley Barton

Carley Barton claims the high cost of her medicine will create a “two-tier system”, where most people will not be able to afford cannabis and will have to continue to source the drug illegally.

“He’s given me a three month supply that’s going to cost me £2,500. I’m going to blow all of my savings on this initial prescription, and after this three-months is up I’m going to have to go back to being a criminal, breaking the law,” she said in a Facebook video.

She is hoping an NHS doctor will fill out a repeat prescription for the drug when her supply runs out and that by obtaining a private prescription.

Currently, the vast majority of medical cannabis consumers will not be able to get a prescription, unless they can afford to pay for a private prescription, as the NHS will not pay and there are many hoops of fire to jump through.

That means they will be forced to buy on the black market or grow their own medicine. This week, Feed The Birds, reported how two medicinal cannabis patients ended up in Court with fines and unpaid work orders for growing six plants, while at the same time the husbands of British PM, Theresa May and her prohibitionist Drugs Minister have the biggest legal medicinal cannabis grow-op on in Europe, with 45 acres of it growing in a huge greenhouse in Norfolk.

The product Ms Barton is to receive is herbal cannabis grown by a Bedrocan, which will be very much similar to the raw herbal cannabis sold in Dutch coffeeshops, but more expensive. In The Netherlands, most medicinal cannabis consumers source their medicine in the coffeeshops, as it’s better and cheaper.

High THC medicinal cannabis

Ms Barton will be receiving in herbal form enough for one gramme a day each of Bedrocan’s Jack Herer, a Sativa with 22% THC Sativa and Bedica, an Indica with 14% THC.

While it is good somebody in the UK is to legally receive a herbal based cannabis medicine they need, it is strange the government emphasised when they were making the botched law changes that raw herbal cannabis has “no medicinal value” and high THC cannabis is more dangerous. 22% THC is pretty fucking strong, way stronger than most British street weed and Bedrocan is raw herbal cannabis.

It is also an outrage she has to pay £2,500 for a three-month prescription that will take weeks to arrive. If the NHS does not issue a repeat prescription when her medicine runs out then Ms Barton says she will be forced to go back to sourcing on the black market.

Meanwhile, patients who cannot afford a private prescription or obtain it on the NHS will have no choice other than to take addictive less-effective opiate-based medicines or source cannabis illegally. If they dare to grow their own medicine at their own expense in order to have a better quality of life they potentially face arrest, prosecution and being hauled through the Courts if they are caught by the authorities.

What was that about the Tories legalising medical cannabis? I call bullshit!


Chris Bovey, writer and musician.

Chris Bovey is a businessman, writer, musician and practical joker. He lives in Devon with his partner, two children and cat.

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