Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Wellcome Trust Library in London and review the archives of Elizabeth Brice and the UK chapter of the Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics (ACT). A history student from Bristol University alerted me to the existence of these archives. He was writing his undergraduate dissertation on the role of patients in changing the attitudes toward medical cannabis in the United Kingdom so it is no surprise that he focused on Elizabeth. For much of the 1990s Liz was THE face of medical cannabis in Britain. She was a powerful voice for the issue and she was also an MS patient.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is quite prevalent in Britain. At one time there was a theory that MS tended to cluster in cold climates. Whether that is true or not I don’t know but it does seem to me that most MS patients I have had the pleasure to know have been from northern climes. Elizabeth read that cannabis could help her MS and after some careful trials she determined that it was, indeed, very helpful. She set out to help others and almost single-handedly turned the tide of public opinion. She also became friends with a fellow named Geoffrey Guy who would establish GW Pharmaceuticals in England. Dr. Guy was determined to establish a cannabis-based medicine that would be available through the conventional channels of doctor-patient-pharmacist. He succeeded in developing Sativex. Liz was among the first to use the drug and found it quite helpful.
Sativex has been controversial but a recent study in Italy found it to be helpful for MS patients. Here is the link: https://multiplesclerosisnewstoday.com/2018/06/29/sativex-relieves-pain-multiple-sclerosis-italian-study/. Liz would be happy to read this report. Unfortunately she died in 2011 at the age of 54, the same age as Robert was when he died (in 2001). These heroic patients get too little credit for today’s booming green rush. I’ll be writing more about Elizabeth and the other brave souls who were the true pioneers of medical cannabis.
Bobby Moulton will not go to jail. The Rhode Island medical cannabis activist who has dedicated his life to helping pediatric cancer patients with cannabis oil has dodged a potential of 30 years in jail and will, instead, serve 7 years of unencumbered probation. Miracles, it seems, do still happen. Bobby’s case was detailed in […]
By all accounts, Bobby Moulton is a nice guy. The soft-spoken, Indiana native loves kids and a few years back he found his calling when he learned how effective cannabis oil could be in the treatment of cancer, particularly pediatric cancer. “I was a sick ‘lil one myself,” he recalls. “Ear infections, pneumonia, seizures and […]
The use of cannabis by those experiencing post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is well known, but cannabis doesn’t cure PTSD. In fact, there are many who feel that PTSD can never be cured since the underlying problem is memory of psychological trauma that can never be fully erased. PTSD, like grief, must be assimilated into […]
Medical Cannabis news reports in the past couple days have brought two sad stories, each proving that the fight for medical cannabis is far from over and that’s its victims are often our youngest warriors.
The first is from Maine, where a 13-year old with Dravet’s Syndrome died. The young girl, Cyndimae Meehan, became a medical cannabis advocate when her family was forced to moved from Connecticut to Maine in order to secure Cyndimae’s medicine. Both New England states have medical cannabis laws but Connecticut, amazingly, does not allow pediatric use. You can read more here: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/13-year-medical-marijuana-advocate-laid-rest-37708703
The second story comes from Cyprus. Too often we think of medical cannabis only in U.S. terms but the fight to secure the natural medicine is being fought around the globe. Cyprus is a small, island nation off the coast of Syria and Turkey. A 19-year old Cypriot with cancer petitioned the Health Ministry for two years for permission to use cannabis in his therapy. In a move that is all too familiar to long-time medical cannabis advocates, the government only gave in when the boy was near death. His petition was granted three days before his death. For more details read here: http://in-cyprus.com/medical-cannabis-drug-approval-too-late-for-teenager/