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UK: Sufferers back idea of taking cannabis for MS


Hunts Press

Wednesday 20 Dec 2006

MULTIPLE sclerosis sufferers in Huntingdonshire said this week they too
would take cannabis if their pain got so bad that it was the only way
they could get relief.

Two women who have the condition said the law should be changed to help
people with this progressive and crippling disease.

Kathy Nicholetti, 56, from Ramsey, who had first signs of MS aged 36,
said: "I belong to the MS Therapy Centre in Huntingdon and I don't take
cannabis, that's my choice.

"However, I do know a lot of people who have been taking it for years in
all sorts of shapes and forms, in cakes and yoghurts for pain relief. It
relaxes them and they take it because it does help and I think 'good for

Mrs Nicholetti, a grandmother, said if her pain got worse and nothing
else would help she would take cannabis and not worry about the law.

"It would be helpful if it were legalised for people to take in a pill
rather than have to go to shady, backstreet dealers.

"I wouldn't like to see it in the wrong hands but MS sufferers would
take it purely for pain relief and it would be properly regulated."

She added: "I take a couple of glasses of wine in the evening and that
helps me.

"It is a progressive disease but I have learned how to control it. My
arms are weak and the nerve endings don't function in my fingers. My
husband puts my earrings in for me and I can't wear contact lenses
because I wouldn't be able to pick them up and place them in my eyes.

"I get tired but I have a rest in the afternoon. If I do a lot of
walking one day, I know that I will have to pay for it the next. When
you are weakened you are more prone to catching other things and you
have to look after yourself."

MS sufferer, Andrena Bromley, 44, also from Ramsey and a volunteer at
the MS Therapy Centre in Huntingdon, has had MS for six years.

Commenting on the court case, she said: "We have all been talking about
it at the centre. I think it's sad because the people who were supplied
were taking it because they felt it benefited them and now they are
going to be left without what they need.

"They should consider decriminalising it for people who think it can
benefit them."

She said she would take cannabis, if it helped her, but in the past it
had not been beneficial.

Asked if she would worry about breaking the law, she said: "It seems
wrong to say no." The chairman of the MS Therapy Centre in Huntingdon,
former business advisor, Simon Mason, 51, believes the use of cannabis
chocolate cannot be condoned.

"Cannabis is an illegal drug and taking it in chocolate bars means the
dose is not controlled. If it is supplied, it should be by a doctor. The
chocolate bars are too hit and miss, like buying a drug off the
streets." But he added: "If it can be proved to be beneficial then it
should be licensed."

* MORE than 90 per cent of Hunts Post on-line readers believe cannabis
should be legalised for MS sufferers.

While the vast majority believe the drug had a place in the UK to help
ease the pain of MS sufferers, 8.23 per cent were opposed to its use.




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