30 December 2006


Prosecution, Pain and Pharmaceutical Profit

There is something obscene about the prosecution of Mark and Lezley Gibson, and their associate Marcus Davies. They are being prosecuted for supply of cannabis, supplied on a not-for-profit basis, in a therapeutic form, to people suffering from symptoms of MS.

Medical trials have demonstrated that a significant number of MS sufferers derive benefit from the use of cannabis. However, there is still no easy way for people to access a legitimate preparation containing cannabis. A small number of people have been able to receive Sativex, although this is not yet licensed in the UK. The rest must endure pain, use prescribed compounds which may be physically addictive or bring unpleasant side-effects, or break the law.

While there is a clear need for a legitimate product, this seems to be slow in coming. There is a growing sense that Pharmaceutical companies see a need to get a product on to the market - but one that they can control and profit from. Rather than allow any tolerance of self-produced cannabis for medical use, anyone seeking to use cannabis will be obliged to purchase it from drug monopolies.

So the defendants from THC4MS are on the wrong end of a tale of history and capitalism which, tragically, is likely to see them sent to prison. Cannabis was accepted as having a medical use for three millenia, and it is within the last century that it has fallen from favour. To be replaced, ironically, by new, 'safer' antibiotics, sedatives and analgesics - barbiturates, benzodiazepines, chlorpromazine et al. Shortly, new forms of the drug will be patented, marketed and controlled. But those who facillitated the process - medical users who were forced to break the law in the face of state and medical intransigence - will be rewarded by imprisonment, rather than the acknowledgement they deserve.

To find out more, or if you want to make your own views known on the THC4MS case you can use the following links:
http://www.thc4ms.org/ home page

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