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Your Comments on Cannabis from the chemist

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What an uplifting programme. I felt so optimistic after watching. I want some cannabis - now! I just wish I knew where to get it. I have suffered from chronic back pain for nearly seven years due to spinal cord injury which was caused by an epidural injection. I suffer all over body pain, muscle spasm, acute nerve pain, numbness, burning sensation in the feet and legs and a very tender lower spine. The condition is called Arachnoiditis. This is why I feel desperate to try cannabis.

I cried during the programme when one sufferer managed to get on to a horse after not riding since 1992/3, as one of my dreams is to get back on a horse and go riding with my daughters. I felt so much joy for this lady. I have to agree with many comments made on the website regarding side effects from our prescription medicines, I'm sure we could all put up with whatever side effects cannabis throws at us compared to the pain relief it will give at the same time. Please lets see it in the chemist A.S.A.P.
Colwyn Bay

During a particularly stressful period of her life, my 25 year old daughter smoked cannabis on a daily basis. After several months she became psychotic, was unable to look after herself or her three year old son. Now two years on, she is homeless. Two weeks ago I paid for her to visit her stepfather in Spain, thinking that it would be a new start for her. After only one week I received a telephone call from a Spanish hospital saying that she had been found lying in the middle of a busy road. She had wanted to die. To function in today's society requires an increasingly sophisticated mind. To the confused and mentally ill, everyday life can be a nightmare. Young people should be made aware of the long term effects of using chemicals that disturb the gentle balance of the brain.
Maggie Sawkins

I have grave reservations about legalising cannabis. I know that evidence has shown us that there are medicinal benefits for certain illnesses but I feel that there are other issues to deal with.

We live in a society that consistently reproaches smoking tobacco, which is legal. What message are we sending out to children if we say that smoking cannabis is okay? Drugs are better than tobacco! I hope whole-heartedly that cannabis will continue to help those with illnesses and that those persons using will be beyond reproach but I think we are sending out the wrong signal to young persons. Sorry.

If people can use tobacco for recreational uses, which can cause cancer and many more problems, why can't cannabis be legalised?

It is the same with alcohol. People go out and get drunk, then act stupid. It causes slow reaction times, impairs judgment and produces a toxin that damages the liver. The government hasn't made them illegal.

They may tell the public that they are serious health threats, but they still sell them and almost anyone of any age can get them.

If these substances are legal why not cannabis? Just put a warning on the side of the packet. And this is from someone who has never taken cannabis.
Adam I. Roberson

I can smoke a spliff and the pain melts

I have been on the trials for 18 months. 365 days a year I take my sprays and have had no, and I mean NO side effects as yet. It has given me great relief from pain. If there were bad side effects I would have seen it by now. I for one will never go back to man made drugs, there very very bad side effects and I know what they were like. My child is 8 months old and is still growing up. I could never have been able to look after her but I am great with my child and she is well looked after.

I have been using Cannabis for the past year. I'm 28 and until this miracle helped me I have had chronic pain, panic attacks and depression associated with irritable bowl syndrome. I have been on every medication available and nothing ever touched the pain. Now I can smoke a spliff and the pain melts and I can at least function without being attached to the lavatory or glued to the bath for hours on end.
Carla Dimeloe

Well, a pleasingly biased programme as opposed to the usual uninformed 'Reefer Madness'. There is nothing wrong with recreational use. However, I concede that the two issues should be treated separately.

I was disappointed in the odd comments against as they unlike the position for seemed a little unscientific.

We must keep an open mind toward this subject, and consider the pain that so many patients endure.

There was no comparison with the acceptable drugs say, alcohol or nicotine. Experts asserted 'facts' such as, 'cannabis could change the brain's chemistry'. Nicotine changes the brain's chemistry after 3-5 cigarettes and therefore causes addiction, yet it is available at the age of 16. Never mind the many other ill effects! Here rests the case for complete legalisation.

There was no emphasis on any possible ill effects. What ill effects? For example, in my BSc Psychology course I was shocked at photographs showing the ill effects of alcohol addiction on unborn children. Why were facts such as these not shown in comparison to taking normal and high doses of cannabis?

Perhaps there are ill effects - but, as a self-medicating and recreational user, and (so I would hope) semi-trained scientific observer of others habits, I have yet to find them!

So what if seriously ill people taking cannabis as a medicine get high as a side effect!

Cannabis is not a 'Wonder Drug', as your documentary tried to imply. It is simply a drug, a herb, which can be used therapeutically or recreationally with very mild side effects, ie getting a bit high!

To claim it is a 'Wonder Drug' is overstating the case. So why does some of the scientific community postulate its 'Miraculous' properties'?

At most, it could help. At the very least, it can help a little. What is wrong with that?
Deborah L Baine

The program was excellent. I strongly believe that marijuana is a safe and effective medicine. We must keep an open mind toward this subject, and consider the pain that so many patients endure. Laws against cannabis use must be amended to allow certain patients to have legal access to this medicine. It is wrong to give some patients legal medications that are not as effective as cannabis when we have great knowledge on how to use cannabis properly.
Eau Claire, WI, USA

I only hope that my own government will soon have the strength to admit that in an effort to protect citizens from themselves, it has needlessly impeded the treatment of severely ill patients.

Mark Schroeder
New York, NY

Thankfully humanity might be just in time. Cannabis hemp is the wonder drug of the 21st century! With some more truthful reporting it might just be the wonder resource of the 21st century too. Hemp for sustainable environmental human development!
Colin Preece

I do not see why we should make something which is bad for you legal just because other stuff already is

I am 25 years old and suffer from Disassociation Disorder, which is similar to Post Traumatic Stress disorder. I have found marijuana to be both a huge help, but also on occasions a distressing hindrance. Much of that hindrance, it must be said, is due to the illegality of the substance I am using.

However I have to admit that I find the marijuana high a pleasurable experience, and so on occasions the line between medicine and hedonistic desire has become blurred. From my experience, when I have carefully rationed the drug I have been able to live a completely normal life. Too much, and I it can go as far as fomenting my problems. All I can say is that I was suicidal when I first tried cannabis, seven years ago, and I'm still here now and slowly improving.

Marijuana therapy for mental health conditions may well be reviewed differently from its uses towards physical pain relief, but I felt that perhaps, my comment might be appreciated. If cannabis can help in any way towards improving the lives of the physically impaired then it should be available to them legally on the NHS.
Ed Land

Despite being of the age where people regularly smoke cannabis for recreational use, and having done so myself, I am anti decriminalising cannabis, since I do not see why we should make something which is bad for you legal just because some other stuff already is.

However, when it comes to medicinal use I have been prescribed morphine which is effectivly a medicinal heroin, and do not see why a less adictive drug should be disallowed for prescription just because of its public perception.

I have smoked cannabis for twenty years. I am a schizophrenic, I was diagnosed a year after taking LSD, Ecstasy, speed, cocaine in 92. Cannabis has never given me an increase in 'voice hearing', in fact it has reduced the voices by relaxing me and stopping the stress.

I believe it depends on your state of mind and outlook on life. When you take drugs, they just enhance your thoughts. It also depends on who you take drugs with. If they are relaxed and not playing head games, then the psychological effects are less. Basically they should legalise it; they sell tobacco which has been proven to cause cancer. Where's the logic?
James T

I have been a sufferer of multiple sclerosis for almost 13yrs. I have been using beta-interferon/rebif, for 6yrs.

I was very interested in your programme and the coverage you gave to Cannabis, and the effects it has proven to have on my illness in other sufferers. May I point out that although beta-interferon has stabilised my condition I have experienced limited attacks and I am fortunate in that I am able to live life to the full. This drug does not take away the pain I experience and therefore I take painkillers everyday.

I welcome any drug that is available on the NHS that is natural and that can be easily absorbed by the system. Cannabis is one such drug.
Krishna Madhar

Cannabis has so much medicinal potential, but let's not forget its other properties as well

Justin Watkins
I've used cannabis as a recreational drug and found it to relax me after a days work. My mum suffers from M.E. and it has helped her a lot. After use she is able to move about much more freely and does not suffer as much pain. I think cannabis should be legalised for people not only with diseases, but for every day life. I suffered a bad patch where I went through depression and it helped me a lot to just have different approach on life. It would make me so happy if it was legalised.
Mr J Moss

It seems to me (it even had a hint of it in your programme) that there are some people who are out there that think getting high on cannabis is wrong but it's medicinal effects are possibly ok. Well what's wrong with wanting to get high and enjoying it? Life is about experience and too short to have hang-ups about enjoying yourself, be it getting high or whatever you choose to do.

It's great that cannabis has so much medicinal potential, but let's not forget its other properties as well. The seed is a complete nutritional package and it produces a lot of oil which has numerous beneficial uses. Then there is the plant material itself which can be used, and has been for centuries to make rope, paper, fabric and much more. In fact cannabis has more uses than I have time to write about. People who are stoned are not out robbing or fighting or causing trouble, no, generally they're just chllin'.
Justin Watkins

Except one argument missing, our NHS is crippled through lack of funding and it is common knowledge that Interferon is too expensive to be perscribed to all, surely the fact that a plant which can be cultivated quite easily begs the question why not use cannibis as it is so much cheaper. Surely economic necessity is a relevent consideration, especially since the agricultural industries would benefit from being allowed to grow cannabis as a legitimate crop.
J O'Neil

I have used cannabis for 7 years and have suffered no bad effects (well apart from the munchies). However I have experienced many good ones such as it greatly relieves stress. As a single parent with two sons this counts, it allows me to get a good nights sleep as I find it hard to sleep without constantly waking unless I smoke a joint before bedtime (this has been a problem for 20 years not just since I used cannabis).

It relieves arthritis pain in my knees shoulder and elbows and it allows me to deal with life without recourse to benzodiazapene anti depressants and tranquilzers as it gives me a few hours relief and peace in an evening to help lose the stresses of everyday life. Yes it is carconegenic but not as much so as tobacco, and it does not accentuate aggression anywhere near as badly as alcohol. LEGALIZE IT NOW.

What an incredible plant!

Since giving up cannabis I have gone back to college, got a part time job and I feel like a new person.

Mr Baldry
With more by-products than the average imagination can begin to believe, the 'weed' has been misunderstood for too long. Yes there can be down sides to over indulgence as with anything, lets not pretend. This herb has made a dramatic difference (for the better) to millions of people from all walks of life, and has not been openly discussed (as in Panorama) for too long.

This is hopefully the beginning of a mainstream open, intelligent and well-informed discussion, where this incredible plant can be utilised for the good of mankind rather the abuse it is currently facilitating. Medicinal- pain relief, the knock on to the NHS would be unbelievable. Less pills and potions, please!

Tax it to pay for the NHS. Take the drug market of the street. Educate about abuse. Knowledge is power!

I think that the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use is a good thing, especially for people who suffer from diseases which cause chronic pain. However I feel that if it is to be sold over the counter measures should be taken to ensure that people who don't need it don't get it.

I am 19 now and I smoked cannabis for 7 years, I gave it up on the 25th of February 01 due to the fact that I couldn't do anything, I was lethargic and very paranoid.

Since giving up cannabis I have gone back to college, got a part time job and I feel like a new person.

I strongly believe Cannabis SHOULD NOT be legalised for recreational use.
Mr Baldry

I was recently off work with a back injury. During this time I visited friends down country. I was invited next door for a chat and conversation got around to cannabis use for pain relief. I do drink alcohol but don't smoke tobacco. That night I smoked cannabis. My experience was that I had a lovely night laughed a lot. I went to bed with not a jot of pain and awoke with out a hangover. Which I would have had if I drank alcohol.
Sarah Smoke

I was quite distressed by the images of MS sufferers portrayed on the programme as I am myself in the early stages of MS. However after watching the whole programme I felt that there really was a glimmer of hope and I hope that the leagalisation of canabis is in the very near future. I can't understand why it is not legal as it really seems to help. Surely it would be better to prescribe a proper dose than have MS sufferers buying canabis illegally and getting high instead of getting the pain relief we all want.
Mrs Baker

I have memory loss,sight problems, unsteadiness, spasticity, the inability to think logically, drive- all of the problems associated with cannabis. But it is the MS causing it. Make cannabis legal, if only for medical use. I have never smoked, so the sprays would be ideal. Queen Victoria used it - why not us? MS is a terrible illness and why are we told that the cannabis could make us ill. Perhaps they haven't noticed, but we already are!
Margaret Crowe Coombes

Is it possible that we have criminalised the sick and mentally ill for seeking relief in cannabis

Simon Clarke
I am a long time user of cannabis, but I also have a history of class A drug abuse, which could have been completely avoided if Cannabis had been legal. I was introduced to Class A drugs in the pursuit of Cannabis. Being very young and impatient, I was pressured into trying the Class A drugs because of a shortage of cannabis. If I could have bought a pack of 10 joints from a shop I would never have been in contact with class A drugs at all. This is a common reason for using Class A drugs.

I have not used Class A drugs for 3 years but I still use cannabis regularly and resent the criminal implications of acquiring it. I paid the price of 3 years imprisonment because I was tempted to use Class A drugs after a period of 18months clean.

Is there a study to compare the dangers and social impact of alcohol and cannabis use?
Alan Denford

Is it possible that we have criminalised the sick and mentally ill for seeking relief in cannabis for nearly 70 years without actually researching the subject? Just because we were too frightened to go against the racial predudice of a bigoted american administration. It is worth asking in the light of recent events whether political bias will malform our world view over the next 70 years. Teach children to question the received advice of an older generation, Daddy might be wrong too
Simon Clarke

I have been diagnosed as having MS for well over 12 yrs now and have recently been persauded to try cannabis. At first I was very wary because I was unsure how it would affect me. However I overcame that wariness and have discovered that I can now be pain free and walk without hobbling, decrease the "pins & needles " in my hands and not feel as if my legs are like two cement posts. All this by having a smoke only when i am at my very worst!

Your programme has given me great hope that I may be able to attain comfort in the near future without being labelled a "criminal" I'm sure many of the opponents to the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes would change their minds if they were put in our position for only one week. At least now I see light at the end of the rainbow!

I hope that this programme opens peoples minds to the possiblities of cannabis. I was introduced to the drug by a friend who used the side effect of appetite to aid her in her recovery from anorexia.

It appears to be the remedy for a vast number of people suffering from horrific illnesses

Linda James
The programme was badly constructed. The impresion from the trailers was that it would be looking at the effects of new legislation. Only five minutes were given to discussion about cannabis and psychosis. The psychiatrist said that his clincs were full of people who smoke lots of cannabis and sufered from psychophrenic symptoms, but this was not picked up. My daughter has a dual diagnosis of cannabis addiction and psychosis - I suggest that Panorama, like most others, is indifferent to the suffering of the mentally ill
Mary Pickering

It seems to me that there are far too many drugs being given to people which have involved massive suffering for animals, these same drugs are often in the news as being life threatening after so called extensive clinical trials (remember Thalidomide). Cannabis is a plant and therefore natural in composition, regardless of the possible adverse side effects (a high) and the possibility of brain damage (as yet unknown) it appears to be the remedy for a vast number of people suffering from horrific illnesses and pain. Legalising is a must.
Linda James

There is no doubt that Cannabis has many properties. May I ask, was your programme innocenly broadcast as part of the government's move to decriminalise cannabis, as in Amsterdam?

I currently work for an unnamed (but recently merged) pharmaceutical company. The side-effects of many of the drugs that drug company manufacture are unpleasant in the extreme, as well as potentially addictive. Compare the side effects of the cannabis high to the side effects of the 3.3% of the population that are long-term benzodiazepine users (cheers panorama!)

A drugs legal status does not define its efficacy, or its toxicity, merely the political environment that outlawed it. As it is, millions of people are consuming a drug daily, where the risks of being caught smoking it far outweighs the risks of smoking it and that is ludicrous. To ban a drug such as cannabis for recreational use is ridiculous, to ban cannabis for medicinal use is criminal itself.

For the record I have been a recreational smoker for 12 of my 27 years and I am as dull and middle-class you could imagine. Somebody within Parliament must care enough to sort out this debacle, please?
Paul "Hat" BSc. RSC

It is farcical that people with debilitating conditions such as MS are denied the undoubted benefits of cannabis in relieving their chronic pain, due to archaic laws perpetuated by idiotic so-called "drugs war" propaganda. Instead, they must rely on much more sinister prescription drugs, deemed appropriate, as they are not of plant origin. The law is an ass.

While alcohol and tobacco - both much more toxic - are freely available from off-licences and corner shops, there can be no justification for the prohibition of cannabis sale from such outlets. The Government will inevitably find the temptation of a potential bonanza in tax revenue irresistible - it is just a matter of time!
Dave Tyas

Excellent programme - very informative. My partner suffers from tinnitus and cannabis is the only relief he gets. It relaxes him and helps him sleep. We want to be able to grow our own without persecution and because the quality of purchases substances is dire!

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