WTU MEMBER’S PERSONAL STORIES

Below are some testimonials from people who use cannabis for a variety of reasons.

WTU are gathering statements of evidence to present in Court as part of the WTU evidence bundle, with First Hand Experiences of surviving on the front lines of their “War on Cannabis”. Please add your testimony as evidence of the effect that cannabis and its prohibition has had on your life. Thank you for contributing your voice to the WTU legal challenge. You do have to provide your full name, initials or forename is okay.

If you would like to submit your testimonial but not have it displayed on the website, please say.

If you would like to contribute your testimonial to WTU about why you choose cannabis then please email us and they will be included in due course.

My testimony

I am Tony Bevington. 80 years old. I have been using Cannabis since I was 30. Initially for recreation.. Nowdays and for the last few years medicinally. I was told by my Doctor I have stage three kidney failure. No treatment, possible to halt but not possible to reverse. I use Cannabis Oil daily. It has reversed my readings, eliminated all pain and discomfort of the complaint. I am improving and lead a normal life of activity and recreation. I am unable to afford the legal route, since the Government have made it prohibitively expensive, only available to the rich. So I grew my own. Now twice recently I have been arrested, for 'trying to save my life.' I am providing , what the state and Health Service are unable to. yet am being punished. Such a strange society we live in, denying me the freedom of choice to save my life.

Tony Bevington

My testimony

I started smoking cannabis when I was about 14 years old. Looking back now I can see that this was probably not the best of things to be doing but it was available and my experience with alcohol wasn't a great one from being sick (as most teenagers do) to getting punched on because I was the bigger guy in our group after a few beers. So I turned to cannabis as the people I knew associated with this were chilled out and good friends. We would hang out listening to music and being creative. We tried as often as possible not to consume on the streets and always looked for somewhere to go where we would be comfortable and safe. Obviously trying to get cannabis at that time was a little harder than it is now and this meant contact with dealers that were also selling harder drugs. On several occasions we were held at knife point and robbed. There was no where to turn in this event. Each time we would try and find a new source gradually connecting with brothers/sisters of friends or other groups that could source better quality and without the negative impacts or risk to our lives. We would also meet people that would be treating their illnesses with cannabis and this made it more appealing as I was suffering from undiagnosed ADHD and mild RLS. I made no secret of my cannabis use to my parents whom being religious I thought might understand but instead I was met with constant resistance and made growing up through my teens a very difficult experience (as with most teenagers). Since then I have trained as a TEFEL teacher and gained a B.A. Spanish & Film degree. In 2006 I started working in the film industry today I am an award winning film producer. I didn't use cannabis (regularly) for about 8 years but once my children were born and had reached the end of primary school I realised that it actually was a help to me and helped me manage my well being. I became less stressed and uptight creating a happier family environment. I have started to grow my own for ethical reasons so that I don't contribute to the un-taxed market giving money to criminal organisations. I also do not want my children, if they choose to do so, to have contact with violent criminals and for their lives to be at risk. I want to be able to grow my own without fear of police raiding me for a few plants which I choose to consume at night in my home without harming anyone else. I want that my children don't have to go through what I went through growing up. I also want to support those that need it for medical purposes and for the recognition cannabis deserves as a pain relief. We have all known people that have died whom may have benefited greatly had cannabis been a recommended form of medication.

Lawrence

My testimony

This is my testimony in fact providing evidence cannabis is a proven adjunct and first line medical treatment. It is also a recreational enjoyment . It is the simplest form of Gods gift. Go back 1985 I’m finishing a degree in nursing Santa Cruz CA. . There was a ward for end of life , spinal cord and other life changing conditions. The patients and the families were allowed to use cannabis peyote mushrooms and mescaline. These people were at the end of the line, emaciated ,in agony and fear. Within a week or 2 they were able to eat , sleep some even went home to die in peace . I saw smiles laughter and moments of respite and peace .Thank God for Dr. Halpern and others who drafted the first bill to the CA Supreme Court for medical cannabis . for Fast forward after working in The A+E emergency room for 13 years , to 2002 UK I was working as a RN on a nurse lead motor neurone rehab in a local community hospital in Gravesend Kent . I saw the relief cannabis provided to these patients, 2010 as a community RN Again I witnessed cannabis used in conjunction with many health problems as MS spinal cord injuries chemo and anti viral, radiation therapies for retractable nausea , sleep , anxiety and hopelessness . 2018 , I myself under went a killer chemical regime . I was so sick from this cure I wanted to die. I then was offered Cannabis to help with the ill effects. It saved my life . I would not have finished the treatment. The pharma anti nausea ,meds did not help enough . To the lawmakers and law reformers , put a 62 year old nurse of 41 years in jail for a flower then you are The criminals .

Lisa Lecour

Are the majority of cannabis consumers in the UK primarily medicinal users?

I don't use cannabis as a medicine, in fact I have not consumed any for over 5 months, out of choice; i have not had any craving for it even though I have easy access if I wanted; the only real difference is that I remember my dreams more often; so I think my main reasons for use was for social sharing and to some extent just habit; strange after 50 years of using; I did not and have not decided to stop for ever, at the start I just thought I'd give it a break and it just went on though "lockdown";    I can say that I used cannabis almost every day for almost 50 years - just the occasional break or holiday without it - and I never had a problem with it.  I have seldom been ill and had to see a doctor and when  I did it was due to blocked ears or the flu.

I will 100% fight for anyone's right to choose to grow and possess and use and share cannabis in their own homes and in private clubs such as CSC's and public coffee shops as in Holland; but I believe that the reasons why people choose to consume are a private matter - testimonials of medicinal benefit, I can understand, but I wonder that although often "medicinal" users may be more up-front and open about their use, are the majority of cannabis consumers in the UK primarily medicinal users?   Personally I think most would call themselves recreational, social or religious users although I have met many that said they feel it was beneficial to them.  I have also met many cannabis consumers in other countries.

Alun Buffry

Pain and my life

Hi there, I am a 48 year old woman who has arthritis,  copd and fibromyalgia.  I used to use cannabis to alleviate the symptoms of my illnesses. I have 5 children and I am only able to use cannabis late at night,  just before bed as I am so scared of someone finding out and reporting me to social services. If I lived in Canada I would be able to access cannabis legally for my problems but as I'm here I could potentially have my children taken off me because of my 'drug' use. I have been on morphine for the past 5 years and I have such a tolerance now they don't work for my pain. If cannabis was legalised here it would allow me to get rid of my opioid addiction and be in control of my pain relief. I do not smoke it to get high or stoned, I only use it for pain relief but I have to do it in secret, like a criminal. I long for the day when I will be able to grow my own and take control of my pain and life. Until then I'm just another opioid junkie.

Kate Talbot-Hurn 

The effects of cannabis and prohibition laws upon my life.

"Trying to get cannabis legalised has been my 'hobby' since 1979 or earlier. At University from 1968 I observed fellow students using cannabis. In 1973 I first saw the plant growing wild by a river in Pakistan and was impressed by the beauty of it. I saw more growing wild in India and tried it there in the company of holy men (sadhus). It was still legal there then. Since that time I've appeared on television, radio, in newspapers & magazines and spoken at public meetings to publicise the issue. I stood for parliament for the Legalise Cannabis Alliance in the 2001 General Election. I did research in the Netherlands, where cannabis was 'normalised' in the 1980's, and more recently in California and Oregon after cannabis became legal in those USA states for both medicine and recreation. Two years ago I was optimistic because UK Home Office 'legalised' medical cannabis and I thought 'Half my work is done'. I am sadly disappointed by reports since then that cannabis medicine is almost impossible to obtain from the National Health Service and beyond the means of thousands of people to obtain privately because of cost. The result is that they are stuck with black market supplies of unknown purity. Tax money I pay is being wasted on police resources, court and prison time maintaining the prohibition of cannabis. I want cannabis to be sold with contents labelling under a system similar to that which controls alcohol and tobacco. I know that hemp the low THC version of cannabis would be valuable in reducing UK climate emissions but that Home Office 'red tape' makes it difficult for farmers to grow the crop. I wear hemp clothes when I can afford them. A hemp processing industry would be a worthwhile job creation scheme for the UK. Hemp was grown in the UK in the Middle Ages as is shown by place names such as Hemel Hempstead. If Westminster will not follow many jurisdictions in other parts of the world (Canada, Uruguay, Argentina etc) by making cannabis more easy to obtain, my hope is that the situation for me could be remedied by Drug Policy being 'repatriated' to the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood. My conclusion is that it would be very beneficial to my life, health and happiness if I was allowed to grow a few cannabis plants legally at home. Spokesperson Legalise Cannabis Campaign Scotland.

Linda Hendry

Cannabis Helps with pain

"Cannabis helps tremendously with pain for me, feeling like a criminal when I'm getting my medication isn't right "

Laura T

Cannabis gave me my life back

When i was 29 years old whilst driving home from work i was stuck by a car. The crash caused me to become disabled. Physically and Mentally. Culminating in a suicide attempt as the thought of carrying on so disabled and living a new life so different to the life i led was too much. I was on Lorazepam, Codein, Diazepam, Morphine, Risperidone, Sertaline, Amitryptiline and some gastro stabilisers from all the side effects of the pills. I couldn't get out of bed, My hair was failing out. i was gaining so much weight, becoming a zombie. I found cannabis after researching online and saw it was being used in Canada to treat 5 of my 7 conditions. The effects were instant and the relief is amazing. I quit all prescriptions, as well as tobacco ( i had been a smoker since 14) I don't care about your laws because my body is a prison and cannabis is day release. I do care others may be put of trying this wonderful healing herb. Legalise now!

Jim Finch

Quite honestly, I think I owe my life to this plant!

I have been a cannabis user for various reasons, both medically and recreationally since the Autumn on 1998 - almost 22 years now! My mum took her own life when i was 15 and I didn't really cope well instantly started smoking cigarettes and drinking, getting into some right states and unfortunately for the next 18 years, alcohol was going to be a major part in my life although i used cannabis in a recreational context throughout that time. My Mum's passing was a major factor in me seeking out new things at that time and luckily cannabis was also one!   Before my mum passed away, I was quite disruptive in class at school and always seemed to be twice as much of a pain in the backside as the next "naughtiest kid" in the class ha! Que the first profound benefit i can remember.... within a month of general recreational use, i had calmed down massively at school and my outlook was much better, i managed to get a decent set of GCSEs and that saved me a massive amount of trouble in the long run. Turns out I have suspected ADHD (awaiting final diagnosis) and the cannabis i was using had a very good levelling effect and was helping me focus - yes i had a joint before most exams and not ashamed to admit that! Alcohol had masked this for 18 years and it only became apparent when I stopped drinking. The cannabis does not cure ADHD it but makes everything much more manageable and stops the "noise" (the distraction by everything around me). I have a full time job and a fast growing Android software development project going also thanks to the focus i have been afforded by Sativa cultivars especially - reason number 1 i owe my life to this Plant!   I have epilepsy which i am controlling with the one and only pharmaceutical i have been able to tolerate plus an indica tincture that i take every evening. This has stopped any auras that i was experiencing when just using sodium valproate alone. I also have PTSD following witnessing my best mate go through an uncontrollable breakdown and then hear that he's taken his own life after being failed by the system and remanded in Jail following erratic behaviour and not sectioned or given constructive help as was needed at the time. Que reason number two and three. I have been able to decline drugs such as keppra and lacosamide thanks to the success i have had in controlling these auras myself. I would be screwed without this and the current laws do no one any favours when they just need to access truly helpful medication and they can't I have the diagnosis of PTSD and it does rear it's head very occasionally (during times of extreme stress) but cannabis has stopped it in it's tracks for the most part!! I'm so thankful to mother nature for this medicine.   Finally for reason number 4. 5 years ago i broke my leg like an idiot, following three pints of carling and 2 shots of brandy. Spiral distal lower leg open fracture (Nice!) - although due to the complications with this injury, like so many others, i became addicted to oxycodone, gabapentin and codeine as i had to rely on these drugs for pain relief during my recovery. i read that CBN had been shown to promote bone growth and also THC and CBN both showing antibiotic properties. As i was prone to infection at the break site on my leg, i started consuming edible preparations of varying sorts rich in both compounds. within 6 months (after being in near stasis for a year following my break) - the bone started to fuse, the wound had healed and the new tissue had completely established itself and I was removed from the leg frame that was installed. Yet again thank you to cannabis! I have a fully functioning (if sometimes still painful) leg that can bear full weight and i can even sprint after my son lol!! I was looking at loosing it and rehabilitation with a prosthetic prior to this. Furthermore, cannabis has been instrumental in coming off gabapentin and oxycodone. two drugs that should never be given out.   I love life thanks to this plant and i also love this plant.   To have to be this way illegally thanks to an outdated and unsuitable set of laws is as disgraceful.

Tom Turner

A Whole New Life

When I was 14, I had been in and out of the doctors to be miss diagnosed with IBS which later was diagnosed as Ulcerative Colitis. I would go to the toilet 8-10 times a day, I was losing around half a pint of blood a day at my worst. I have then been prescribed pharmaceutical pills that would help my stomach repair and they semi worked for a year, but in the meantime every month I would have to go and get blood taken because a side effect of these pills is moderate to common and that is kidney damage or kidney failure. At that point not knowing any better I carried on taking them and then my condition got worse, then I ended up on immune suppressant steroids (prednisone). These drugs have been linked to multiple health issues, but they have also been known to aid in the repair of the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. After taking 14 of these a day or 70mg.   I was getting symptom free but year after year there would be a flare-up and back on them I would go, steroids have a side effect that is very common and that is mood swings, I would often feel depressed or angry, this got to the point that I went cold turkey as I could not control the anger I did not feel like if I carried on taking them I would end up hurting someone. It was during one of my mood swings that a friend of mine took me out of the office and offered me some cannabis to help calm me down and I accepted.   The next day I woke up symptom-free and I thought it was the steroids, it would be later I found the cannabis I had been smoking to help control my mood was actually helping my stomach heal, I have since become a regular smoker of cannabis and Im happy to say I live a new life and am symptom-free for 8 years. I can go to festivals, I can go out for a meal, I can live the life of a normal human being. My specialist doctor has told me to carry on smoking and we have even been to the medical board twice to get my case approved for NHS prescribed medical cannabis, but I have been rejected on every occasion.   WTU give me hope that we might actually one day to have access to the medication that a lot of us need, I support both recreational and medicinal cannabis because I believe it's your own body it's up to you how you treat it!  

Samuel K

Responsible cannabis consumer.

My cannabis use over 34 years has evolved considerably as has my relationship with it. As a curious teenager I enjoyed occasionally getting high and contemplating, on a deeper level, music, nature, fellow man, and my own existence. Now I’m a middle-aged, tax-paying, self-employed professional, a doting father of two and a committed husband. I deal with stress, insomnia and joint pain with the help of cannabis. My path has changed considerably and I feel my life is now enhanced by the use of this plant. Back in the day I would smoke it with tobacco and have to sneak about avoiding authority to enjoy it. This usually lead to feelings of insecurity and guilt. Factual scientific knowledge has enabled me to abandon the propaganda of the past and has allowed me a paradigm shift in my understanding of this plant and its effects on my body. As a bonus, I now feel guilt free despite the current legal ramifications of being caught. Today, with the insight gained from other countries such as Israel and the USA, we know so much more about the cannabis plant and its effects. I now have the luxury of being able to dry vape cannabis flowers containing roughly my desired cannabinoid ratios and no longer mix in toxic and addictive tobacco. This has a two-fold effect for me. I no longer have the guilt from smoking tobacco and I know that avoiding combustion all together, my lungs are happier and healthier. Also, via this foreign research, we are learning so much more about the benefits of this wonderful plant. It’s become obvious to me that in this country, cannabis use is continuing to be criminalised to protect the pharmaceutical industry's bottom lines as, to the best of my knowledge, they are the biggest political donors in the UK. (The pharmaceutical sector is worth close to US$1.5tn globally, making it one of the biggest and most  powerful lobby groups). I see a very strong "profit before health" approach when it comes to policy. The scientific research has been quietly ignored, including the very positive research conducted by our own governments over the last 40 years. Now, with decriminalisation accelerating globally, the cat is out of the bag and it’s hard for the government to continue to hide the fact that cannabis is beneficial for health and wellbeing. The real turning point for me (my epiphany) happened a few years ago when I was beginning to feel rather middle-aged, a little depressed and very low in energy. The whole “groundhog day” experience of being a parent I guess. I was at the point of going to see my GP and exploring the use of antidepressants. I really didn’t want to take this path as I was well aware of the myriad of unpleasant side effects that accompany these powerful pharmaceutical drugs. At this point CBD was just starting to be talked about so I thought I’d give it a go. I still remember the first day I tried it, that little drop of oil under my tongue was a game-changer. Very quickly I felt my energy come back and within 3 weeks my morose feelings had lifted and I really felt rejuvenated! I still had tough days but I felt better. That was about 3 years ago and I still take the oil on a daily basis but I feel much more level all of the time. I suspect I had an endocannabinoid deficiency that was causing me issues. Additionally, now I'm able to source more balanced cannabis strains containing some CBD. This works very well for me on all levels. Throughout this COVID crisis, cannabis has been a godsend for me. It's allowed me to reduce my anxiety and be calm and playful with my children, in turn enhancing their mental health too. (A grumpy dad means an unhappy family!) I actually feel sad for people who have been taken in by the "devil's lettuce" doctrine of prohibition, particularly at this time of pandemic. They too could be enjoying the therapeutic benefits of its use if they so choose. I believe in choice, and this option is not currently available without risking your freedoms. I look forward to the day (it’s coming, not if, when), when I can consume cannabis freely without the fear of being made a criminal for an activity that’s beneficial for me and does not hurt any other person. I am permitted to brew alcohol at home, which is toxic, but I cannot grow a non-toxic plant in my garden! I believe it to be a basic human right that I’m being denied. I would love the freedom to grow my own strains, organically at home, so I can enjoy the cannabinoid ratios I want. I'd also like the freedom to gift my produce to friends and family. I do not wish to support the sinister organised crime gangs that exist in the UK by buying cannabis from the streets, nor do I wish to consume cannabis that potentially contain harmful pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilisers. Decriminalise it and this revenue source evaporates for these people. Equally, I’d like to see licensed and taxed dispensaries selling clean, safe and tested cannabis to those who wish to use it for whatever reason. Most people don’t have the time, space or energy to grow their own at home and they shouldn't miss out either. The estimated 5,000,000 UK cannabis consumers will agree! End this hypocrisy and let's start seeing what good this plant can do. My life is still not perfect, but it is enhanced with cannabis in it. We all have X number of days on this planet, why should we be denied our right to live a peaceful and happy existence? To me, decriminalising the use and cultivation of this plant and allowing it to be grown at home is a justifiable and obvious thing to do.

Mitch B

My Story

Basically if I had kept listening to my doctor there is a good chance I wouldn't be here , I've had 2 discs removed from my spine and muscle wasting on my right shoulder and severe nerve damage down right arm n I've also got 2 types of athritist n asthma . I think I've been on every painkiller n anti psychotic out there tbh, I was on 900mg of pre gabbas a day and 90ml of methadone amongst others and started passing out smashing my face and concussion for 4 days one time . I didn't know what was going on as I ballooned up to 16 stone and couldn't even gather a thought because of mind fogs and sleeping. I was also told to put my right arm in my pocket as it was no good to me after a few visits to physiotherapy then got told I might have copd which killed my older brother and watching him struggling for a breath got me so scared I started looking more into the healing properties of the plant , I started taking Cbd and thc and getting some oil from friends and now off the pre gabbas and No copd and reduced to 25ml of methadone but now I have clarity n lost 3n half stone and still have pain but I feel so much healthier and alive thanks to the power of the flower .

Anonymous

My Story

I am 52 years young. A wife mother and granny to two beautiful girls. About 6 years ago I went to my GP regarding my family Hx with the amount of cancer in my family! I wanted blood tests for a few genes, especially the barac, My GP referred me to a genealogist (took months and months and months) At appt, I asked for tests (No) as I didn't have cancer! They needed someone alive that had it..(My Sister) who lives in the states refused (fair enough) "meanwhile I had been going to Go again for Pain in my right hip" Doctors telling me I had athritis (Just booking at me" they are amazing these docs, anyway back and forth with all sorts of opiates nothing helped. Fast forward  February 2016 was referred by genealogist to Gnynocologist (to have a chat ) about having a hysterectomy! (routine) off course, as that was the recommendation from genealogist- fine. Gyno said we will do a routine hysterectomy! Due to family Hx fine I said. He then said we will do a partial because of dull blown MENOPAUSE.. I agreed that that was the way to go forward.   Pre-Op 2017 Feb I told gyno surgeon do a full hysterectomy if your going in TAKE IT ALL OUT. Ok Told him about my general health (Just like I told my gp) for a couple of years. Feeling blah, bloated painful, hip pain, indigestion. Ok no problems then. July 18th 2017 surgery all was well, doc said a very tiny cyst on my right overy! But absolutely nothing to worry about.. 2 weeks later phone call.. Hospital - to come in. Why ok PANIC STATIONS..   Was met by Oncology Surgeon (You have Ovarian Cancer stage 2b. And a further debunking Surgery required, explority to have a look to see if anywhere else. Low and behold..  they removed my Omentum & 7 lymph nodes.. (I had no appendix to remove) Stage 3b Ovarian cancer.   Well that's when I started researching Cannabanoids, was able to find an amazing compassion club.. (I was so against smoking cannabis) might I add. Anyway I started taking a 1:1 and a cbd rich tincture daily along with Feco.   I started using Cannabanoids September 2017 as soon as I found a caregiver that I could trust with MY LIFE.. as I had got hemp oil a few times as a stupid price.   Anyway September 2017 I started with oil and i have never looked GENUINELY & still does save my life. I started Chemo carbo/taxol October 2017 6 treatments. On my 4th which was December 23rd 2017 I had a CT Scan NO Evidence of disease.. I was cancer free.. I did continue with the rest of my treatments as it was recommended by my oncologist GRRRR.. but I did and had to have transfusions and wanted to die. If I hadn't had my oils I would be dead today this I know for sure. I so fast forward to June 2018 due to money problems, pain, this and that. I decided I would stop my oil for a month or to, as my pain levels are always through the roof Due to the side effects from Chemo.   Anyway I stopped and told no one. I ended up in hospital a few weeks later with such pain, they thought I had a blocked bowel (Nope) All sorts of tests, nothing found. I got a chest infection & antibiotics and steroids, came home wouldn't shift and my pain was a steady 9. More steroids.. (all the while no oil)   End of July 2018 I was sectioned I had an awakening! And told everyone I wasent taking my oil.. Waw this is what my oil is actually doing to me, it keeps me from pain off the scale pain, it keeps me from having panic attacks, anxiety, depression, helps oodles with my pain levels, helps me eat & sleep.. Cannabanoids saved and still is saving my life every day, that the Lord gives me on this earth. I want to get my family back, I have a daughter that won't talk to me (I'm a druggie) in her eyes, after all I have been through, people just don't get it.. well I'm here to help educate anyone that will listen. A shout out to my compassion club #ttcc saved my life. Free us, let us grow let us medicate with a natural plant. Not Opiates i habe had enough poison in my body. And i suffer daily for that.  

Sharon Kennedy

Medical: Life Dependent

I have kept myself alive by smoking certain strains of cannabis since I was bitten in 2004. Prior to that I smoked it to calm my ptsd and stop night terrors, which the correct strains do perfectly. Without it I go downhill within 24hrs and am disabled within a couple of days. On the 2 occasions I have been without cannabis for longer than a fortnight, I have ended up in hospital with suspected organ failure (kidneys & heart) Since being cared for by a Compassion Club I have had access to clean, organic bud of the appropriate strains for my brain, pain & appetite issues, cannacoconut oil has repaired my mouth, teeth, tongue, digestive system & serious stomach pain & sensitivity, it also improves my cognitive function and removes 90% of my severe pain as well as being an excellent topical for the fungal infections, skin sensitivities etc. Cannaolive oil in every meal had a very significant effect on my physical health and walking was not a problem when I had a consistent supply. Cannabis FECO has put my heart back in rhythm and reduced my heart problems from Lyme Carditis considerably. I no longer suffer from gastrointestinal malabsorption until I run out of cannabis. It has reversed serious & upsetting dementia symptoms such as confusion, not being able to form a coherent sentence, not recognising familiar faces, getting lost in familiar places, not understanding other people when they talk, brain fog etc. My hands don't shake and have strength in them and the blackouts cease. It has also clearly impacted on the reproductive cycle of the bacteria and, whilst taking it, monthly reproduction seems minimal. The longer I took it the better I was but it is too expensive to be able to afford as a daily protocol.   Through the Compassion Club support I have learned that my cannabis needs are comparatively great and I have a need for high THC strains with different terpene profiles according to symptoms. I should have the right to grow the necessary strains in the necessary amounts in order to produce my own FECO, cannabutter & bud for next to no cost to support myself. I, and all Lyme patients. have no medical or financial support whatsoever.   The only problem I have ever had with cannabis is the fear of criminalisation. My health could not handle the stress of the police & my mental health could not handle being criminalised for keeping myself alive in the only way available to me. It is isolating having to be discreet and not being able to go out due to needing to inhale my medication as well as eat it. My life is seriously & unnecessarily limited due to prohibition. The fear that goes with staying alive for me is an unfair burden on my already depleted body & brain.   With a consistent supply of oil, cannabutter & bud I am a functioning, self-employed, active member of society. Without cannabis I face a fairly quick, painful & terrifying descent into severe pain & disability then death. Due to prohibition, I face this every time I run out which is regularly due to the exorbitant cost and difficulties my Compassion Club also face in supporting me consistently. It provides considerably more than 'pain relief' to me.   It is against my human rights to die because of an unjust law when there is literally no help out there for me whatsoever and evidence from the US shows that Cannabis is crucial in fighting Lyme: https://www.sophiahi.com/cannabis-crucial-in-lyme-medical-marijuana-and-overcoming-chronic-illness-by-dr-tristin-wallace/ http://lymewarrior.us/cannabis   Aside from treating Lyme disease, ptsd & night terrors, I also choose cannabis over alcohol for relaxation and social life - I find being around people drinking alcohol often becomes stressful & unpredictable and I have been subjected to far too much sexual harassment around drunk men. I also know many legally & socially accepted alcohol addicts whose brains & bodies are being destroyed, along with their lives & families, which makes me very sad. I've never seen the same problems with those who favour cannabis. I have just been granted a UK patent - I would not have been able to develop this technology or patent it without cannabis and I have a team behind me to implement this technology. I find the only side effects from cannabis for me are that I am kinder, more compassionate and calm and I handle whatever is thrown at me in a thoughtful and steady way.   There is no just reason why I shouldn't be at liberty to look after myself as a responsible adult.

Med

Cannabis has effectively changed my life

I am a 17 year old girl with the diagnosis of chronic migraines. I’ve been suffering with them for about 16 months now, gradually have gotten worse. 

I find it extremely difficult to explain what migraines are like for me, however I feel it is important as to know the true benefits that cannabis gives me, you have to know how severe I get them without it. 

I usually have a constant headache which will linger throughout the day.

I will get what is called an aura before the migraine hits, this is a type of visual disturbance which for me is where I will see flashing lights, blurred patches and something I call lightning as that’s what the flash seems to look like. On most occasions I will get tunnel vision and go physically blind.

I’m sensitive to light,sound and Serbian temperatures. this has became a constant effect over time as even on a good day I am still extremely sensitive.

When the migraine hits I feel an excruciating amount of pain all over my head, eyes and neck. My face has gone numb before on one side, as well as one side of my body. My parents were concerned I was having a stroke and on many occasions have called the emergency services. 

After a migraine I will be exhausted as they take the life out of me, it would usually take me a day or two to recover so by the time I’ve recovered, I’d have another one. 

These migraines would occur over 4 times a week at one point. I’ve had a migraine every day of the week before now. 

I feel like I have been through hell and nothing that any doctors have given me seem to help. I have been on a number of different medications which wouldn’t scratch the surface on the pain I was dealing with. My family have even paid for private appointments because I could not get an appointment with the NHS for months. I am currently waiting for a nerve block appointment as no medication has worked for me.

I tried cannabis at the beginning of the year, it really seemed to help me at the time but I wasn’t able to smoke it often due to the controversy around it. My family have now been able to see the positive effects that cannabis has on me and are happy for me to smoke it. 

For me, when I use cannabis it’s like my one moment of release, I feel no pain in my head and for me that is all I could ever ask for. To go from having a constant pain to no pain, even for a few hours is heaven for me! 

Cannabis also has really helped me mentally as my migraines have almost pushed me to suicide on many occasions due to feeling like I have no quality of life left. But when I smoke cannabis I am able to change my point of view and it really does help me get through dealing with the pain. I have gone from being locked up inside due to sunlight, temperature, being petrified of going blind and more to being able to go out again. From sleeping all day to being a morning person and I love being able to be myself again. 

Thank you for this opportunity to share my story.

Megan

My Story

Hi my name is Jamie Blackwell I’m 39 and from Birmingham and married and a father of 3 , my father was a police officer for 33 years now retired I have a clean criminal record and have no intention of getting one what I’m about to tell you is why I use and need cannabis on a daily basis this is hard for me as I’ve never told my story to people before. When I was growing up I was the kid everybody bullied including by my sibling , in fact I’d go as far as to say she was the worst but being not much older than me she didn’t know much better and anything done never in the eye of our parents , I was kicked punched not hard just enough, the worst was when I was 5/6 when I was made to eat dog food being threatened with a knife , I was terrified of telling my parents.I used to get picked on at school no idea why till I got to secondary school where I found my answers pretty quick , first it was piglet then I it was oink oink , if I said anything back I’d have to run home from school so I didn’t get a beating , when I got to my last 2 years of school I started hanging around with friends from my football team that just took me for me but they didn’t go to my school . So I used skip my school and go and sit in there lessons ( how the teachers never realised I do not know) I hated confrontation and still do but in summer 1996 me and 3 of my friends was walking down the road when an older lad probably 18/19 barged through us telling us he’d get each of us on our own and told each one us where we lived then brutally stabbed 2 of my friends , now if you can imagine that and then me being scared of confrontation anyway the affect it had on me I was scared to go out anywhere , and one day I tried cannabis with a different friend and I didn’t feel so scared or anxious about going out and being confronted. Then one Xmas Eve I was assaulted ended up having 9 stitches on my left eye and a permanent lump on the back of my head which is still there 18 years later , I can’t handle confrontation it makes me anxious and I get very depressed from it , I’d been ok for years carried on using cannabis till Christmas 2018 when working on a job for a friend when things didn’t go his way and he refused to pay me he started threatening me( confrontation ),anxiety depression kicked in bigger than ever before , I was on cbd oil at this point and had to convert back to thc cannabis , what I’m trying to say is I suffer with anxiety depression scared of confrontation PTSD because of what’s gone on I’m my life , I now live in an area where there’s been at least 10-15 stabbings in 3 years I’m scared to go shop at times if it wasn’t for me smoking cannabis I wouldn’t go out .. There used to be 3 police stations within a 4 mile radius of where I live now there’s none no cars hardly ever patrol. cannabis when legalised both recreational and medical can open at least one of these stations again through taxes or doesn’t our government want our streets safe and cut out that knife crime . And I say recreational because I wouldn’t qualify for medical with how far behind our government is I don’t like going to back street dealers to buy weed and I don’t want to feel like I’m a criminal if I grow my own as I said before my father was a police officer he believes it should be legal and he has seen how it’s helped me through the years . I hope this had made sense as I’m not that good at this type of thing , Cannabis has helped me through very traumatic experiences and there are people out there that could benefit from it as much as I have that have been or going through the same as me , recreational does not mean it can be smoked here there and everywhere but it’s available without having to look over your shoulder , without having to go to dealers that you have no idea where or what has been used on it !!!       I live in a nightmare sometimes good sometimes bad , if cannabis has no “medicinal value” how can I get out my front door everyday , !!!    

Jamie Blackwell

Cannabis saved my life

I am lucky enough to say I’m due to be 33 this year.  Lucky because I have suffered with mainly unexplained, life threatening Grand mal siezures, for 20 years of my life. That’s 20 years that my family have prayed I wake up the next morning. 20 years of doctors giving me numerous, unsuccessful, mind altering, overpriced medications and tests with vast amounts of adverse side effects. 

As the song goes, the drugs don't work so the next step was Brain surgery in 2016, (a temporal lobectomy) which was the only focus for my doctors for the next 2.5 years leading up to my surgery. Scarring/ sclerosis was found on my right temporal lobe. How much, they wouldn't know till they opened me up. Would it work? They didn't know for sure until they removed a major part of my brain. So after around 20 failed attempts at medicating my seizures I went down the surgical route with my faith blindly (besides a few generalised statistics to go by) in the hands of the surgeons and professionals. 

After the surgery there was a time where I felt some hope that it had improved/cured my epilepsy. After 2 years of telling everyone around me and my neurologist that something wasn't quite right and being refused an eeg, sadly, last June I had my first (to my knowledge) post operative grand Mal. My world came crashing down on me and if anything its now harder to cope with my illness. The hope, through trauma that I was offered by a health service that refused to listen to my wishes and preference of proven more viable palliative medicinal options has caused me more trauma than just my initial diagnosis/condition alone.

I have suffered with Grand Mal seizures for at least 17 years, for 15 of those years I have told every health professional I meet that natural, organic, full spectrum cannabis is the answer for me. I was ignored but I persisted and was forced to use inferior/unregulated/ potentially dangerous criminally sourced product. I am convinced had I not defied criticism and risked years of criminalization and self medicated I’d most likely have suffered a huge amount more brain damage than was “removed” from me in 2016. At the height of my epilepsy I was recorded as having up to 70 partial seizures a day. I now seizure daily, with grand mals reduced to once every few months. In my opinion doctors don’t really know what “epilepsy” is and they chuck whatever expensive drugs or procedure they can get their hands on to try and make sense of it. My seizure frequency is only fully controlled with full spectrum cannabis but the institution I have to trust to care for me have never listened to me, while alienating my truth. For years, at great cost and criminal risk to my family I have used cannabis to control these and stop them from formulating into life threatening Tonic clonic seizures, something the prescribed medicine has NEVER managed to achieve. Had I not been using cannabis for so many years I’m sure it could be proven that I’d likely have suffered huge amounts more irreversible neurological and physical damage. 

My story began when I was a teenager waking up at 7am on the floor, jumping up screaming about how I’m late for work. I was sore in my head, my mouth and all over my body. I was extremely confused and unable to make any sense of anything. The next thing I knew I was shipped off to A&E by police, monitored for a few hours and sent home. It’s all a blur but 3 days later I was on prescribed pills that I didn’t understand and have never worked. These pills cause a multitude of side effects that are hugely debilitating in themselves and make functioning daily harder for many reasons.  All this on top of the fact that I still seizure when I take them is pure madness . It is now becoming clear to me that the forced dependency on these AED’s is likely increasing my seizure frequency and could just as likely be the cause of a majority of my smaller seizures. If it wasn’t for naturally occurring organic cannabinoids  I am convinced my quality of life would be hugely reduced, that on the assumption the epilepsy wouldn’t have killed me thus far! 

I’m now in a position where I can see and feel the cycle of pharmaceutical tolerance coming again as it has done for some many years now and I refuse to put myself and my wife and children through the well travelled road of outdated care options available to me in this country. My “care” team refuse to help me safely come off the medications. The meds don’t agree with me, have never controlled my illness and constantly test my brains hardwired complexities while twisting my biological and neurological balance. Most frustrating, and farcical is I know a mixture/variety of organic cannabinoids and terpenes work for me, I’ve been saying it for almost half of my life!! Sadly to do this and know I can be guaranteed my life saving medicine I would have to leave the U.K. I have little to no hope here, my health service refuse to acknowledge the wealth of international research and success available, while shipping kilos of it worldwide for that exact reason! 

My goal  has always been to come off the AED’s and just use natural alternatives, palliatively to medicate my brain as best as possible. This has been denied to me by every doctor I have ever met in the UK. What’s more farcical is after essentially reclassifying its medical applications and properties last year it has seemingly made clean, medically beneficial cannabis even more expensive to obtain within the UK. 

All I have to show for this recent law change is a forced dependency on a pharmaceutical drug that has never worked on me and is hugely detrimental to my long term physical and mental wellbeing. It merely worsens my seizures and the complex array of co-morbidities associated with them! 

But this is just my story. There are potentially thousands like me telling our health service and government that the prescribed pharmaceuticals don't work and a full spectrum of organic cannabinoids in their unadulterated form can aid with our illnesses, and reduce and even potentially eradicate our disorders and therefore risk of sudden death through an epileptic seizure. The governments/health systems refusal to allow thousands of individuals the use of a naturally occurring, food grade, medically beneficial, PLANT that has grown like a weed in the ground for millennia is equivalent to man slaughter through neglect. This coupled with the fact that most of the medical cannabis in the world is grown and taxed under licence in the UK by UK based and government sanctioned GW pharma and British sugar is the biggest controlled substance policy farce and example of intergovernmental corruption known in my lifetime. Especially when considering it is our drugs ministers husband who profits greatest from this policy, while our prime ministers husband also reaps some of the remaining rewards.  I ask you to please research these facts for yourself if it seems too far fetched to be true. My own health service have called me a liar, and decided that invasive brain surgery and poisonous pharmaceuticals were safer ways to try and treat mine and thousands of other epilepsy or neurological disorders.

What is most traumatic for me is in the time since my operation, cannabis has been widely acknowledged worldwide as a successful treatment for epilepsy. Meanwhile our own government, refuse to prescribe medicinal cannabis and continue to criminalise those who defy outdated policy and use it for medicinal and nutritional benefit. 

Ed Granger

Rev. Martin Brown

"I'm 66 now, and have been a Cannabis user for over 50 years. My reasons for choosing cannabis as my "drug" of choice are many. I use it to relax, as well as to stimulate my imagination. I use it spiritually (I am an ordained priest in the Church of England), and as my health has deteriorated in recent years I have come to appreciate its medicinal potential too. I now live in chronic pain from degenerative spinal stenosis both lumbar and cervical (for which there is no cure) and arthritis (I have had my left knee totally replaced already, and now my right knee and both hips are starting to be an issue). I was also diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease some years ago. Thanks to Cannabis I have been able to come off a whole range of prescribed and dangerous drugs including Clonazepam, Pregabalin, and Morphine; I have also cut my daily Oxycontin dose by over 50% and counting (I hope to come right off, if possible, within the next six months). I had begun to feel positively toxic, as if being slowly poisoned by pharmaceuticals. Some of the side effects are as bad as if not worse than the symptoms the drugs are meant to treat. The only side effect of cannabis is hugely enjoyable and not at all addictive, unlike so many pharmaceuticals. The laws of prohibition are a harsh and cruel response to a non existent problem, and it is time they were taken down. That is why I am happy to be a part of WTU. Rev. Martin Brown"

Why I fight

I’m now almost 48, I’ve had Fibromyalgia since I was 7 years old that has flared up here and there through the years.  I also have IBS, Reynaulds, Bipolar and Duanes Syndrome and a few other things besides. I’ve been taking Full Extract CBD Oil since December 2017 and using CBD Topicals.  I also use cannabis infused oils sublingually at night, also I use a dry herb vaporiser with cannabis at night to help me relax and quiet my mind.  The combination of all things is treating everything, I’ve not taken ANY PRESCRIBED MEDICATION since December 2017, not even paracetamol.  Previously I was taking Gabapentine, Tramadol, Naproxen, Osomeprazole, Diazepam, Lithium to name a few. Medication caused me more harm than good.  Mirtazapine damaged my thyroid and made it under active, so they fed me Leviothyroxine.  Osemaprazole damaged my gut and has left me B12 and Folate Deficient.  CBD and Cannabis infused oils have reversed the thyroid damage, the B12 is still a struggle daily. Without CBD and Cannabis I FIRMLY believe I would not be alive now, I reached the point where none of the medication was working, it was just doing me more damage, mentally and physically.  I’m not cured of ANYTHING, but I have some of my life back, and a great deal more of me back.  My family will happily testify to the difference they have seen in me. I want the right to choose my treatment, and to grow my own cannabis strains without being persecuted and prosecuted.  MY BODY MY CHOICE.  xx

Claire Sparey

My life before Cannabis

As a teenager I developed arthritis in both my knees, As I’ve aged this has only got worse. The pain is kind of normal for me now but when it gets really bad a mixture of topical CBD balms and ingestion / smoking of cannabis gives me great relief. The cannabis also allows me to get good sleep (Something that is rare with pain). The quality of my life has improved since I started using cannabis.

Paul S

My Story

Due to the classification of cannabis, I have been forced to source the THC oil illegally but it’s a risk I am willing to take, rather than be a dead law-abiding citizen! I have seen significant effects on my health – lower blood pressure, improved sleep, helping to mitigate the debilitating side effects of the hormone therapy, alleviating my anxiety, increasing my appetite, being able to reduce my immune-suppressants, and most importantly my PSA (Prostrate Cancer indicator) has dropped from 117 to 0.1. My Renal Team and Oncology Team are fully aware that I am using cannabis oil to improve my quality of life and to fight for my life.  My kidney function has never been better and the PSA result is impressive, in their words, “keep doing what you’re doing”.

Gareth Morgan

My truth

Hi there, I’m Phil Monk, the founder of WTU, husband, father of 3 and non-practising college teacher of Adult Literacy, numeracy, English for Speakers of Other Languages and Spanish. I am now disabled by constant chronic myofascial pain from joint hypermobility syndrome, bilateral ulnar impaction syndrome, childhood PTSD and the subsequent depression disability generally causes. Prescribed drugs have nearly killed me thrice with horrendous hospitalising side effects, including a TIA mini stroke episode from Citalopram, a brain haemorrhage scare from Beta Blockers, a bowel /bladder cancer / nerve damage scare from tramadol and a liver/bile duct cancer scare from Zomorph and Omeprazole. Consequently, I am now terrified of taking any more prescribed synthetic drugs. The only relief I have been able to get has been achieved through herbalism and the therapeutic practise of natural herbal cannabis. Without this herbal remedy, I am like Dorothy’s Tin Man, all seized up with crunchingly painful toes, ankles, knees, hips, back, neck, shoulders, wrists and knuckles robbing me of my strength and mobility, positivity, connectivity and creativity. Natural herbal cannabis remedies are like oil to my joints, releasing the shackles of pain which bind me, lifting my mind above the pain, enabling me to better function in my life, with my family and community and empowers me to achieve the best quality of life and well-being possible, in the face of my conditions.

Phil Monk

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