Medical cannabis user says drug should be legalisedBy Laura McCardle
September 27, 2012
A multiple sclerosis sufferer who saw a dramatic improvement in his symptoms after using cannabis is calling for the drug to be legalised.
Clark French, of Sutcliffe Avenue, Earley, shared his views when he appeared on Channel 4’s 4Thought last night.
The 26-year-old was diagnosed with MS in August 2010 while he was studying ancient history and archeology at The University of Reading. His symptoms were so bad he had to use a walking stick and was forced to quit his degree.
Mr French said: “It meant I couldn’t walk, I would slur my speech, I would have bladder and bowel problems. It destroyed my life, I couldn’t do anything.
“There’s a treatment which is usually given to people who have had MS for over 10 years, I was offered that when I was diagnosed which was pretty unheard of.”
Last year Mr French flew out to California, where medicinal use of the drug is legal, and underwent a cannabis based treatment which changed his life.
He said: “I got a doctor’s appointment and access to medical cannabis. I used cannabis oil and I’ve not used my walking stick since. It’s increased my quality of life drastically. For the first week I just slept a lot and after that I was with some friends and I was climbing up a cliff, something that I wouldn’t normally have been able to do.
“I was like ‘wow, this is instantly changing how I’m feeling, my pain levels and movement’. I think most people wouldn’t know I’ve got MS unless I’ve told them.”
Using the drug enabled Mr Clark to return to university to complete his degree and he is now campaigning for cannabis to be made legal so those who use it for medicinal purposes will not face criminal conviction.
Mr Clark, who founded the Berkshire Cannabis Community activist group, said: “Given my health or the law, I’m choosing my health. I have been able to come off a lot of prescription medication by using cannabis and I have a much better quality of life.
“What the doctor will give me for pain is one molecular link away from heroin but I’m not allowed to use a plant that’s safe. Berkshire Cannabis Community had our third meeting last week and it went really well. Everyone wants to get involved and change the law. At the moment we’re trying to speak to all the Berkshire MPs. I’m not saying everyone should be using cannabis. But people shouldn’t be put in prison. That just puts it underground and in the hands of criminals who make loads of money from it.”