It’s wrong that I’ve been driven to illegally use cannabis just to take away the pain of my MS

72% of people with MS felt cannabis should be legalised for medicinal purposes. (Picture: Michael Hornbogen)

Earlier this week the government announced it would be reviewing cannabis for medicinal use. It’s a huge step forward, and one thousands of people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) could benefit from.

I was diagnosed with MS in 2016. It started with dizziness and headaches, but as time went on things got worse. One morning I woke up and felt like I’d had a stroke. I couldn’t feel the left side of my face, arm, or leg properly and my stomach was numb. My hands had pins and needles all over, and I kept getting this awful burning sensation. Like when you’ve been out in the freezing cold then put your hand in a hot bath.

I think most people would agree they’d rather not smoke it.

Symptoms still affect me differently every day, and can make it impossible to manage daily life. But I find cannabis is one thing that can help – especially when the pain is really bad. I’ll also smoke it in the evening to stop my spasms as I’m trying to get off to sleep. I know smoking isn’t the safest way to have cannabis, but the alternative (CBD oil) is so expensive.

When they’re bad, my spasms keep my partner and me up all night. I end up exhausted and the next day I can’t function. My fatigue is bad enough as it is without that added into the mix! If people understood that cannabis can genuinely help with MS it would make a huge difference.

Theresa May facing more pressure to legalise medicinal cannabisvTheresa May facing more pressure to legalise medicinal cannabis

In a survey of people with MS by the MS Society, 72% of people asked felt cannabis should be legalised for medicinal purposes. I think most of these people would agree they’d rather not smoke it. We don’t want to get high, just something that can get rid of the pain.

One crucial point a lot of critics miss is that the ‘strong stuff’, with more THC, doesn’t even help – you need a specific type. Unfortunately if you buy stuff off the street that is going to be strong, because it’s what most people are after! That’s why it’s even scarier that people with MS who need cannabis for medicinal use are being driven to buy it illegally. There’s no way to know what you’re getting.

There are other issues with the current system too. If I go away and stay at a hotel for example, I can’t smoke outside. I’m desperate for relief but I know it’s frowned upon. There’s still this huge stigma attached and until people start to understand the benefits cannabis can have for health conditions like MS that’s not going to change. I don’t blame them for that reaction, they can’t know any better.

When you think about the situation current laws are putting people in, it’s ridiculous. There’s so much evidence in favour of cannabis for medicinal use, and refusing to acknowledge this puts our safety as well as our health at risk. A change to the law means people can be more confident about quality, safety and dose. Countries like Canada and Germany have already recognised this and legalised cannabis for medicinal use, and I’m hopeful we can catch up.

It’s simply wrong that people like me are being driven to break the law, just to take away some of the pain of MS.

MORE: Canada has made a huge mistake in legalising recreational cannabis – it’s a gateway to serious addiction

MORE: Family’s plea to legalise medicinal cannabis for their epileptic son

MORE: Theresa May claims she has never smoked cannabis in her life


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.