‘I can’t afford to buy NHS cannabis so I have to get it from my local dealer’


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A woman who began smoking the Class C drug recreationally when she was 20 has told how she started taking it “medicinally” in her late 20s, thanks to her chronic pain condition

The woman smokes weed medicinally (stock image)

A cannabis user who claims she would be eligible to get the drug legally on a prescription says she won’t because she says it’s cheaper and better quality on the black market.

The woman began smoking the Class C drug recreationally when she was 20 and started taking it “medicinally” in her late 20s.

This is to help her deal with PSTD, borderline personality disorder and Fibromyalgia – a chronic pain condition that affects her whole body.

The woman, who has asked to stay anonymous, is unable to work and is receiving Personal Independence Payment because of her condition, said that she has been told that she would be eligible for a private prescription of the drug.

The government legalized the prescription of the drug in 2018 for certain conditions including children and adults with rare, severe forms of epilepsy.

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The woman claims it is cheaper (stock image)
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Very few people have been prescribed it on the NHS, but private firms have moved into the market, with one saying in March that it had 4,400 patients.

The woman claims her medical conditions, and the fact that the drug improves her quality of life would make her eligible to get it legally through this channel.

Despite this, she said she has turned it down because she claims it would cost at least £300 for a consultation, prescription and delivery.

The 39-year-old explained: “It’s obscenely expensive and I don’t trust the product yet.

“I would rather buy it off my dealer who I know is reliable than some official medical source and it could arrive mouldy.

“Private prescriptions are costing around £300 plus – it’s ridiculous and is why the whole thing should be legalized and regulated.

“People who have had long-term health conditions have got to requalify every year I’ve been told.

“It’s actually very distressing. I thought when this came in it would be good but I am very disappointed that they are trying to rip off vulnerable people.

“It’s the worst form of legalization that we can have.”

The woman says that she smokes the equivalent of around two joints a day to control her pain.

She uses them through a vaporizer which doesn’t burn the cannabis flower but heats it up until it turns into a mist that can be inhaled.

Buying it through the black market costs her around £100-a-month, she said.

And unlike previous medications, she has taken – including codeine as well as antipsychotics and anti-depressants – it does not turn her into a “zombie”.

She said: “I’ve been prescribed so many drugs over the years and I hate how they make me feel.

“Codeine makes me feel incredibly sick and nauseous. I’ve taken (anti-depressant) Mirtazapine and (antipsychotic) Seroquel and they turned me into a zombie.

“When I use cannabis I don’t have the pain, I don’t have nausea and I actually enjoy life. I manage to engage with people.

“When I’m on codeine I’m a zombie. I’m not physically able to do things. When I’m on cannabis I can do housework.”

Last September, she began tapering down her prescription medication before stopping it entirely a month later.

She described coming off Mirtazapine and Seroquel as “horrendous”.

“I felt like a crack addict,” she said. “I couldn’t sleep, move or make sense of anything.

“I am never going back on anything like that again. I am hoping for a law change and proper prescriptions.”

Vaping cannabis has become increasingly prevalent in recent years, according to firm Wax Pens.

A spokesman said that while it has become one of the most “common ways” to take the drug among teens in America, it is still relatively rare in the UK.

“That is changing and with vaping becoming more and more popular across the UK this will only increase,” they added.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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