Medical cannabis as a treatment for depression, anxiety and many other illnesses.

Medical cannabis as a treatment for depression, anxiety and many other illnesses.By Chris Bovey

Celebrations by supposedly pro-cannabis organisations in the UK that are funded by Conservative Party lobby groups and pharmaceutical companies with a vested interested in corporate medical weed have not been of much comfort to Brits still being hauled through the Courts for growing their own plants as medicine.

Following a few high-profile media cases involving children who suffered dozens of potentially fatal seizures every day which was massively reduced when using a cannabis-derived medicine, the Government made minor changes to the law, to allow certain specialists to prescribe cannabis-based medicines, despite the fact they’d been lying to us for years saying cannabis has no medical value.

The decision, which came into force at the beginning of November, to prescribe any unlicensed cannabis medicines must be made by a specialist doctor – not a GP. These doctors focus on one field of medicine such as neurology or paediatrics and are listed on the General Medical Council’s specialist register. They must make decisions on prescribing cannabis-based products for medicinal use on a case-by-case basis, and only when the patient has an unmet special clinical need that cannot be met by licensed products. Even a Tory MP described the changes in the law as “cruel and botched

These medicines are produced by companies like G.W. Pharmaceuticals, which the Prime Minister’s husband’s investment company has a 22% share in and the weed is grown by British Sugar, who have a huge 45 acre grow in the largest greenhouse in Europe and is headed by Paul Kenward, the husband of  the Conservative Drugs Minister, Victoria Atkins.

They are packaged in a bottle and sold at a massively overinflated profit to the NHS, or if you are lucky enough to be rich, you can spend about £2,500 a month for a private prescription. The Government is still maintaining the lie that cannabis in its raw form is dangerous and only becomes George’s Marvellous Medicine after a big price tag is put on it to line the pockets of greedy Tories.

The plebs risk prosecution if they grow a few plants, while Paul Kenward, the husband of the Tory Drugs Minister, Victoria Atkins, makes a fortune growing 45 acres of it in Europe’s largest greenhouse.

For the vast majority of UK medical cannabis consumers who are unable to jump through the hoops of fire to get the medicine on the NHS or be able to afford to pay for a private prescription, these small changes in the law mean diddly squat. They still have to either try to source it on the black market or grow their own medicine, facing criminal sanctions if they are caught by our under-funded police who have suffered eight years of Tory austerity cuts, with a reduction of 20,000 in police numbers.

Medicinal cannabis users still being prosecuted

I found two cases in Google news this week concerning medical cannabis consumers being busted, having their medicine stolen and being hauled through the Courts.

David Ian Bateman was forced to plead guilty to growing six plants that he was growing to self-medicate to treat anxiety. He was placed on a 12-month community order and must carry out 180 hours of unpaid work as well as pay £85 costs and an £85 surcharge. His defence solicitor had to spout the usual bullshit to the Magistrates how his client’s life has now changed and he was now drug-free just to get him off with him a small fine and forced unpaid Labour.

Not quite sure how your life would change for the better if you suffered from anxiety and had an effective medicine taken away from you, arrested, prosecuted and sent before the Courts where they gave you a criminal record, financial penalties and community service? I should imagine it would have quite the opposite effect.

Meanwhile, yesterday, the York Press reported a man who tried to deal with his severe depression by growing cannabis in his garden greenhouse has appeared before York Magistrates.

Jason Clark was found in possession of six plants innocently growing in his greenhouse, three of which were six-foot-high and the poor police officers could smell them as soon as they went onto his patio at the back of his property.

His lawyer also had to come up with the naughty schoolboy excuse for the headmaster, in order to avoid a harsher penalty, telling the Magistrates: “He has had a very sharp shock,” she said. “He has been in police custody for a time and now he is in court. He fully understands he must not go about producing cannabis under any circumstances.”

At least he escaped a forced unpaid labour order, but he too got a 12-month conditional discharge was ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs and a £20 statutory surcharge as well as being in police custody, along with the criminal record that comes with any cannabis conviction

Representing solicitor Jackie East said, “He grew these plants for his own personal use,” she said. “He was using the cannabis to alleviate some of the symptoms following his diagnosis with severe depression.

“He didn’t want to involve himself with dealers and therefore took the decision to grow the plants in this way.”

Cannabis has been proven to help people with both depression and anxiety disorders and in absence of a legal cannabis market, it is advisable to grow your own strains, so you at least know what you are consuming, as not all strains have the same desired effects.

Taking Mr Clark to Court to secure a conviction and penalty, as well as depriving him of an effective herbal medicine, should be an ideal way to make the poor guy even more depressed. It made me depressed just reading about it.

Green Rush for the Tories

UK Home Secretary, Sajid Javid’s minor changes to the law to help his rich Tory buddies cash in on the new so-called ‘Green Rush’ did not help David Ian Bateman or Jason Clark in the least.

Nor will they help the vast majority of medicinal cannabis consumers in the UK who risk having their doors unceremoniously kicked down at 6 am to have their medicine confiscated and a criminal conviction over a small number of harmless plants while the fucking husband of the prohibitionist Conservative Drugs Minister is legally growing 45 acres of medical cannabis in Norfolk for huge profit. If you can sense boiler point rage here, you are right, I am outraged!

Feed The Birds is also aware of at least one case where a legal pharmaceutical cannabis-based medicine was prescribed to a child whose parents are now seeking oil again on the black market, as the Big Pharma product didn’t work.


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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