Victoria Derbyshire, BBC journalist and television host, sat down with Lara Smith, a former nurse, to discuss why Smith chose to use medical cannabis to help with her ailing conditions. While her story is one of pain and sorrow, it’s not uncommonly heard. These tragic tales are what is leading the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform to finally admit that cannabis does, in fact, serve a great purpose in the medical community.
Discomfort all around
Lara Smith says she began using cannabis to treat the physical discomfort brought on by her arthritis and a degenerative condition in her spine.
After having surgery to remove and replace two disks in her neck, she experienced complications that left her with limited mobility and a trembling condition in her hands. These shakes make it very difficult for Smith to completely daily tasks, like writing. She turned to cannabis to help ease her pain and steady her hands.
One of the things it does, it helps, for me, alleviate the pain. It does help alleviate the tremor. My tremor is usually more course than this. With my cannabis-based medicine, it does help alleviate an awful lot.
Breaking the law
After explaining the powerful pain reduction she receives from cannabis, Smith is asked if she believes she is breaking the law by using illegal medical cannabis.
As far as I’m concerned, I’m not, no, no. I’m prescribed a medicine, but I have to important my medicine, it’s a schedule 2 medicine. It’s dronabinol, which is an active ingredient in cannabis, and that was given a schedule in, as I understand, 1995 to actually allow for medicinal use, but what’s happened is an awful lot of people are having to access the illegal market, which I don’t feel that they should do. People should have access to prescribed medicines so it’s safe.
Smith firmly stands behind her right to use the best medical treatment available and she doesn’t plan to change her stance anytime soon. The relief she receives from cannabis could not be matched by any other safe medication.
If you want to see the medical cannabis laws in the UK changed, then head to endourpain.org and sign the petition.