New Jersey: Islanders beg doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis

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The States recently voted in favour of allowing all medical professionals – including GPs – the option of prescribing the drug. The vote requires Health Minister Richard Renouf to bring forward final proposals for approval before the end of February.

And while both Daniel Clark and Edward Bennett have welcomed the move, they say they need swift action to help end their years of pain.

Some GPs have said they were reluctant to prescribe medicinal cannabis, despite the States vote, as there had not been enough clinical testing.

Mr Clark, who has been paralysed from the chest down following a motorbike accident almost 15 years ago, wants to take part in a trial which he believes will show the medicinal benefits of the drug.

He said: ‘It has been 15 years since the accident. The medication works for the first couple of years, maybe, but after that they don’t work.

‘Once the doctors get the maximum amount of dosage they can’t increase it after that.

‘On cannabis, I feel relaxed, the stress is gone, the pain is gone and I’m happier – I’m able to eat, I’m able to sleep. Being able to have cannabis would be life changing.’

He is now urging Jersey’s doctors to research the benefits of the drug before the February deadline for the final States vote.

‘For years I have been asking the Pain Clinic to do some research – to look at the research that is out there.

‘They need to listen to their patients, listen to what the problems are and how cannabis helps.

‘Why can’t they liaise with countries that have legalised it and reach out to the people who have done different studies?

‘I know how it helps me. They have until February to do the research and if they want to do a trial over here then I’m happy to volunteer.

‘I can’t wait any longer.’

Meanwhile, Mr Bennett, who suffers from a range of illnesses, including traumatic damage to the frontal lobes of his brain and arthritis, has said that he is fearful of prosecution if he self-medicates using cannabis in Jersey, but that his experience of the drug in countries where it is legal had left him convinced that it would relieve his pain.

He said: ‘Physically and mentally, I’m in absolute hell. My ribs are killing me, my spine is killing me, my muscles are continuously aching. I have been prescribed every medication under the sun.

‘I’m fed up to the end of my tether when I know there is something out there to help me.

‘All I want to do is get off my back and go out – live my life. A natural source is available and I can come off the tablets. Medical marijuana gives me a new opportunity to do that.’

Under the States-approved proposals, medical professionals will be able to prescribe cannabis, as well as other cannabis-based medicines.

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