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The cannabis gran

Eddie Mair | 17:10 UK time, Wednesday, 7 March 2007

You heard her. What do you think?

Comments

  1. At 05:31 PM on 07 Mar 2007, colleen thomas wrote:

    I would vote for this sensible lady to be prime minister, any time to replace the present "stupid" uncaring person we have now.

  2. At 05:37 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Janet Hontoir wrote:

    The law is a complete ass. The situation is so ridiculous that it is hardly necessary to explain why Mrs Tabram and others like her should be allowed to use a substance which brings such dramatic relief to their condition. I am sure that, no matter what the law says, anyone in her position would do the same - whether a grandmother, judge or MP. I wish her luck in her campaign and let common sense prevail.

  3. At 05:39 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Richie Maguire wrote:

    The nice young man from the chemist shop has just dropped 5 grams of very strong medi-weed for my wife. With out it she is in pain and suffers spastic limbs. Other drugs make her sick and incotenent. The medi-weed helps her cope with a very difficult condition. I am lucky to be here in Amsterdam or I too would be a criminal because I will not let her go with out relief. Stop persecuting the sick!

  4. At 05:41 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Arckwright wrote:

    God Bless the Cannabis Granny. Let's hope this is the start of a long fight back through the mire of stupid legislation and the restoration of personal freedoms and responsibility

  5. At 05:42 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Chris wrote:

    Legalise it!

  6. At 05:42 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Adam Davis wrote:

    Patricia Tabram’s erudite defence of her use of cannabis is further evidence of the rot spoken about the effects of this drug; she hardly sounded like a spaced out hippy did she? Why on earth should the drug remain banned from medical use, when much stronger ones are routinely available for medication? Even if cannabis does have some of the side effects identified in recent research, they pale against those peddled by the drugs companies.

  7. At 05:44 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Phil Saywood wrote:

    I'd just like to associate myself with the remarks of the Gran(d) lady - especially with regard to the arrogance and indifference to the community of the man who couldn't possibly get out of No 10 and on a one-way ticket to the USA soon enough.

  8. At 05:46 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Tony Volpe wrote:

    She's headed for jail I'm afraid, but when you think about it, just why is the State pursuing an old lady who grows herbs to add a few leaves to her food? How rational is it that certain plants are forbidden and others aren't? And wasn't she 'on the ball' in pointing out the side effects of so called 'proper' medication when challenged over the effects of cannabis.

    I'd like to know how the public interest is served by pursuing her? I know she's defiant, and the law doesn't like that, but in my view the State has far too heavy a hand in people's private affairs. If she was selling spliffs outside a school, I'd take a different view, but she isn't.

  9. At 05:48 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Steven, London wrote:

    Patricia Tabram obviously has courage and her view of cannabis medication for relief of pain and depression would seem to be entirely understandable. From the interview she seems to have done her homework regarding the legal situation in other European countries and Canada etc. One can understand her sense of deep frustration given her desire to use cannabis rather than prescribed drugs which have had side effects. Surely there is a case here for prescribed cannabis at least? The judgement passed is obviously about sending a wider message, but let's hope the House of Lords committee she mentions can help avert the sledgehammer being wielded and the whole case opens a more sensible way forward.

  10. At 05:48 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Frances O wrote:

    Well, the problem is that it's illegal.

    Could it be prescribed?

    I do sympathise, if it gives her relief from pain.

    They prescribe morphine, I think, which is much more dangerous.

    Then again, I'm no expert, either on the law or on the effects of drugs.

  11. At 05:49 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Terry Green wrote:

    I completely agree with Patricia Tabram in her battle against this legislation obsessed government.

    The only exception I take is her dismissal of modern drugs as mere "chemicals". What does she think THC is?

    (THC = tetra hydro cannabinol the active constituent in canabis)

  12. At 05:50 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Frances Hall wrote:

    When the reason for not legalising cannabis is given that "it leads to the use of hard drugs" no-one makes the point that it's not the effects of using cannabis that lead you there. It's the shady world of drug dealers that people have to venture into to buy it because it's illegal. Drug dealers only want to make as much profit as possible, and crack cocaine or heroine makes a lot more for them than cannabis ever will.

  13. At 05:51 PM on 07 Mar 2007, anne wrote:

    In the 60s no cannabis smoker could get heroin because it was just arriving and a different world from cannabis smoking.But the police ignored it and focused on imprisoning those found with a joint in their pocket. this ignorance allowed it to proliferate for 20 yrs until its now as aesy to find and even cheaper than cannabis. This is the basis of the link. legalisung cannabis would put clear divide again between the two. but then its only 50 yrs and we all know our leaders cant rush this one ,can we. @ they know best dont they ?

  14. At 05:52 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Ed Addis wrote:

    I didn't get the lady's name, but she should clearly seek to have the conviction quashed on the grounds that it breaches her human rights.

    The Government has no business interfering in people's private lives, where their behaviour affects nobody but themselves.

    The interviewer pointed out that she could harm herself by taking drugs.

    So what?

    Even if she wanted to harm herself, that's still her own private business and nothing to do with the Government. This is just not an area where the law should be involved at all.

  15. At 05:52 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Steven, London wrote:

    Patricia Tabram obviously has courage and her view of cannabis medication for relief of pain and depression would seem to be entirely understandable. From the interview she seems to have done her homework regarding the legal situation in other European countries and Canada etc. One can understand her sense of deep frustration given her desire to use cannabis rather than prescribed drugs which have had side effects. Surely there is a case here for prescribed cannabis at least? The judgement passed is obviously about sending a wider message, but let's hope the House of Lords committee she mentions can help avert the sledgehammer being wielded and the whole case opens a more sensible way forward.

  16. At 05:52 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Frances Hall wrote:

    When the reason for not legalising cannabis is given that "it leads to the use of hard drugs" no-one makes the point that it's not the effects of using cannabis that lead you there. It's the shady world of drug dealers that people have to venture into to buy it because it's illegal. Drug dealers only want to make as much profit as possible, and crack cocaine or heroine makes a lot more for them than cannabis ever will.

  17. At 05:53 PM on 07 Mar 2007, gillian chedzoy wrote:

    I have MS, and have in the past experimented with cannabis, although did not find if effective. However, I think if anyone with MS or a similarly terrible illness finds it useful, then noone should have the right to stop them taking it. People sometimes they.ve got nothing to lose.feel

  18. At 05:53 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Dr Richard Hopkins wrote:

    Current drug laws with regard to Cannabis are so arbitrary in their basis (in comparison with the legal status of many other social and prescribed drugs) that they must surely contravene Article 12 of the Human Rights Act (No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation). That Cannabis has risks as well as benefits is not doubted. It is the relative balance of such risks which appears to be skewed by political hysteria and media exaggeration in an arbitrary way. How quickly would cannabis be available on prescription and encouraged through NICE guidelines if it were a patentable pharmaceutical? What would be the result of banning very high glycaemic index foods such as chocolate? High fat ready meals? Perhaps we should be arresting the obese and driving the supermarkets underground as peddlers of junk food.

  19. At 05:53 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Fred Seed wrote:

    Why did Danny Savage adopt such a hectoring and unsympathetic tone with this brave lady? He simply repeated the mantras of an inflexible judge who effectively ordered the jury to find her guilty, giving no scope at all to her well expressed arguments that constant pain had forced her into the cannabis alternative, that British and American laws are out of step with the more civilized approaches prevailing elsewhere, and that conventional medical treatment can create as many side-effects as they resolve problems.

  20. At 05:54 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Patrick Stone wrote:

    Cannabis is a sacred herb, much better medicine than anything available from the pill pushiing medical/pharmaceutical industry, aka the NHS. Of course it illegal, this establishment won’t liberalise anything that’s not in the interest of one of its business buddies, and from my experience, 35 years with no NHS medication for anything, this might make a big dent in profits at Chemical Drug plc.

  21. At 05:54 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Ed Addis wrote:

    I didn't get the lady's name, but she should clearly seek to have the conviction quashed on the grounds that it breaches her human rights.

    The Government has no business interfering in people's private lives, where their behaviour affects nobody but themselves.

    The interviewer pointed out that she could harm herself by taking drugs.

    So what?

    Even if she wanted to harm herself, that's still her own private business and nothing to do with the Government. This is just not an area where the law should be involved at all.

  22. At 05:55 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Brian Bowles wrote:

    The grandmother who has just been convicted of using cannabis has been told that any further convictions will result in her receiving a prison sentence. It must be a relief to her to know that a custodial sentence would, at least, guarantee continued supplies of the drug.

  23. At 05:55 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Sue Gibbs wrote:

    My16 year old son is suffers with cannabis induced psychosis. He is currently in an adolescent psychiatric unit, admitted under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act.
    He will probably never be free of his pyschosis - no one knows for sure.

    Cannabis is illegal for a reason and should stay so. Penalties should be more severe.

    Many peole say it's not harmful, I used to think this myself until my son became ill.

  24. At 05:55 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Adrie van der Luijt wrote:

    UK citizens can already legally ask their GP for a product called Sativex, which is a cannabis-based timer-restricted spray similar to those used by asthma patients. It is produced by a UK company (GW Pharmaceutical) but currently only available in Canada. It is not smoked and it specifically designed not to give users a high.

    Whilst Sativex is awaiting a UK licence, anyone can ask their GP to provide the product on the NHS provided it is imported from Canada. A bizar situation, but much safer than experimenting with growing your own and getting arrested for it.

  25. At 05:56 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Susan Cahmbers wrote:

    What is the significance of the fact that this woman has grandchildren?? Why does the BBC continually refer to her as "a grandmother"?

  26. At 05:57 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Ann Black wrote:

    If we all had her attitude and stood together with Patricia Tabram it would be difficult for the courts to deal with the lot of us.

  27. At 05:58 PM on 07 Mar 2007, P Wilde wrote:

    I think the police in her area must have been down on their arrest/conviction stats!

  28. At 06:01 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Brian Bowles wrote:

    The grandmother who has just been convicted of using cannabis has been told that any further convictions will result in her receiving a prison sentence. It must be a relief to her to know that a custodial sentence would, at least, guarantee continued supplies of the drug.

  29. At 06:01 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Patrick Stone wrote:

    Cannabis is a sacred herb, much better medicine than anything available from the pill pushiing medical/pharmaceutical industry, aka the NHS. Of course it illegal, this establishment won’t liberalise anything that’s not in the interest of one of its business buddies, and from my experience, 35 years with no NHS medication for anything, this might make a big dent in profits at Chemical Drug plc.

  30. At 06:01 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Adrie van der Luijt wrote:

    UK citizens can already legally ask their GP for a product called Sativex, which is a cannabis-based timer-restricted spray similar to those used by asthma patients. It is produced by a UK company (GW Pharmaceutical) but currently only available in Canada. It is not smoked and it specifically designed not to give users a high.

    Whilst Sativex is awaiting a UK licence, anyone can ask their GP to provide the product on the NHS provided it is imported from Canada. A bizar situation, but much safer than experimenting with growing your own and getting arrested for it.

  31. At 06:03 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Ronald MacKenzie wrote:

    The jury came to the only possible verdict, given the directions by the judge, but it is a little disappointing that the jury failed to provide a rider to their verdict expressing support for Patricia Tabram. The judge's sentence is also disappointing in that it appears to be very heavy handed, given the circumstances of the case. Hopefully, this case will result in a review of the law as it applies to cannabis, and its use for medical reasons by adult and intelligent people such as Patricia Tabram. The outcome of this case reflects very badly on the legal and justice system of the UK.

  32. At 06:03 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Sue Gibbs wrote:

    My16 year old son is suffers with cannabis induced psychosis. He is currently in an adolescent psychiatric unit, admitted under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act.
    He will probably never be free of his pyschosis - no one knows for sure.

    Cannabis is illegal for a reason and should stay so. Penalties should be more severe.

    Many peole say it's not harmful, I used to think this myself until my son became ill.

  33. At 06:04 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Dr Ramasandan wrote:

    The potent analgesic properties of cannabinoids have been well documented (READ: Burns TL, Ineck JR, 2006, Cannabinoid analgesia as a potential new therapeutic option in the treatment of chronic pain, Annals of Pharmacotherapy.)
    Furthermore, the association between cannabis use and the development of mental illness is far from definite. I would like to ask, "How much will the drug companies be charging the NHS when cannabis is finally legalised?"

  34. At 06:04 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Lewis wrote:

    Why are any of the drugs illegal? Addiction to, for example alcohol and cigarettes are medical conditions, not criminal situations.

    The whole family of laws is insane, treating addicts as addicts makes a lot more sense, and once we get into that mind set letting people who self-medicate without appreciable risk of self-harm or addiction becomes as natural as self-medicating with aspirin if you've got a head-ache. It lets us act as responsible adults, surely no bad thing.

  35. At 06:04 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Ann Black wrote:

    If we all had her attitude and stood together with Patricia Tabram it would be difficult for the courts to deal with the lot of us.

  36. At 06:05 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Sue Gibbs wrote:

    My16 year old son is suffers with cannabis induced psychosis. He is currently in an adolescent psychiatric unit, admitted under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act.
    He will probably never be free of his pyschosis - no one knows for sure.

    Cannabis is illegal for a reason and should stay so. Penalties should be more severe.

    Many peole say it's not harmful, I used to think this myself until my son became ill.

  37. At 06:05 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    I think the whole drugs issue needs to be completely re-thought. For instance, our troops in Afghanistan are losing the support of the farmers, as they are working on eradicating the opium crop, the farmers' sole source of income. Why not instead buy up the crops? This would have the effect of keeping the local populus on "our side". At the same time, it takes the drugs out of the hands of organised crime. You could then control the opium supply, ensuring a consistent "quality" (rather than it being cut with who knows what). This can then be sold direct to the users in controlled, safe environments. This would give access for the users to support services that can help them cope with and maybe even break their addictions. The idea of a "War on Drugs" almost by definition forces the whole drug supply underground, out of control, and open for organised criminals to exploit.

  38. At 06:05 PM on 07 Mar 2007, A.J. Lawler wrote:

    The cannabis gran should state that she may consider serving her sentence of 250 hours community service + £1,000 fine one day after Pete Docherty is appropriately fine and convicted for his drug taking. Tony Lawler, Maidstone,Kent

  39. At 06:05 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Dr Ramasandan wrote:

    The potent analgesic properties of cannabinoids have been well documented (READ: Burns TL, Ineck JR, 2006, Cannabinoid analgesia as a potential new therapeutic option in the treatment of chronic pain, Annals of Pharmacotherapy.)
    Furthermore, the association between cannabis use and the development of mental illness is far from definite. I would like to ask, "How much will the drug companies be charging the NHS when cannabis is finally legalised?"

  40. At 06:08 PM on 07 Mar 2007, philip Coulson wrote:

    There is a drug derived form canabis, developed, here in the uk by GW Pharma ( goto their website). Though NICE have yet to give it full approval Patricia Hewitt has given her permission for it to be available unlicensed. Doctors can prescribe it. The problem, I believe, is getting your local Health Trust to pay for it!

  41. At 06:09 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Sean wrote:

    The Government is full of alcohol users, quite a few of them addicts, and it is determined to increase the overall ammount of alcohol sold year on year. That is why each Brown Budget has held duties back against inflation, and also why we now have 24 hour drinking for the first time ever. Alcohol contributes to 30,000 deaths annually.
    The drinks industry has much to lose from any legalisation of cannabis. The public is being deliberately deprived the choice of a harmless, even benign alternative to drink, simply to protect the profits from the sale of the killer drug alcohol.
    Labour callously disregard the suffering occasioned by cannabis prohibition for purely corrupt reasons. They cannot ever be trusted with public health.

  42. At 06:10 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Shirley Braben wrote:

    Why are all the comments so sensible, when our courts apparently are not?

  43. At 06:11 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Sheila Hanchard wrote:

    I fully support the use of cannibis for the relief of pain. How ridiculous to persecute the woman who is taking responsibility for her own pain relief. Should she drink hard alcohol? Prescribed drugs are often very harmful - even deadly. The Pharma industry has the politicians sewed up.And the courts look like fools.

  44. At 06:11 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Arckwright wrote:

    God Bless the Cannabis Granny. Let's hope this is the start of a long fight back through the mire of stupid legislation and the restoration of personal freedoms and responsibility

  45. At 06:13 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Frances Hall wrote:

    When the reason for not legalising cannabis is given that "it leads to the use of hard drugs" no-one makes the point that it's not the effects of using cannabis that lead you there. It's the shady world of drug dealers that people have to venture into to buy it because it's illegal. Drug dealers only want to make as much profit as possible, and crack cocaine or heroine makes a lot more for them than cannabis ever will.

  46. At 06:14 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Pete wrote:

    What a gutsy lady! She's right about Blair too. It should be a public holiday when the creep finally leaves for America and his rewards for supporting Bush.
    On the cannabis issue, how much longer must we be dictated to by the fascistic anti-drug lobby, which, as it continues to lose the argument, resorts to increasingly virulent and dishonest tricks.
    The problem is some people find it impossible to accept and admit they have been wrong. The case against cannabis was always ill conceived, racist and hysterical. The lies have been well and truly rubbished, yet the media still reacts with shock horror, like Pavlov's dog, they can't change the habit, as the PM 'journo' so clearly illustrated.
    Cannabis is good for you! Not only for a wide range of illnesses, but even for perfectly healthy people. It's hugely safer than alcohol, and doesn't destroy brain cells as that drug does. It's also brilliant for insomnia and depression. There is no justification for government to interfere with our freedom to put anything we wish into our own bodies, and anyone who defends it is a fascist.
    By all means, don't use cannabis if you don't wish to, but don't think you have the right to tell others not to.

  47. At 06:16 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Dr Richard Hopkins wrote:

    Current drug laws with regard to Cannabis are so arbitrary in their basis (in comparison with the legal status of many other social and prescribed drugs) that they must surely contravene Article 12 of the Human Rights Act (No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation). That Cannabis has risks as well as benefits is not doubted. It is the relative balance of such risks which appears to be skewed by political hysteria and media exaggeration in an arbitrary way. How quickly would cannabis be available on prescription and encouraged through NICE guidelines if it were a patentable pharmaceutical? What would be the result of banning very high glycaemic index foods such as chocolate? High fat ready meals? Perhaps we should be arresting the obese and driving the supermarkets underground as peddlers of junk food.

  48. At 06:17 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Ed Addis wrote:

    I didn't get the lady's name, but she should clearly seek to have the conviction quashed on the grounds that it breaches her human rights.

    The Government has no business interfering in people's private lives, where their behaviour affects nobody but themselves.

    The interviewer pointed out that she could harm herself by taking drugs.

    So what?

    Even if she wanted to harm herself, that's still her own private business and nothing to do with the Government. This is just not an area where the law should be involved at all.

  49. At 06:17 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Fred Seed wrote:

    I was offended by the aggressive interviewing tone adopted with the 'cannabis gran'. The interviewer simply repeated the mantras of an unsympathetic judge, who had in effect ordered the jury to find her guilty, and did not respond to her well expressed arguments that she had been forced to take cannabis by the imperative of constant pain, the inflexibility of laws that find no echo in countries other than the USA, and by the shortcomings of modern medical treatments which can cause as many side-effects as they resolve problems. What is the reporter's excuse?

  50. At 06:23 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Ann Black wrote:

    If we all had her attitude and stood together with Patricia Tabram it would be difficult for the courts to deal with the lot of us.

  51. At 06:23 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Philip wrote:

    Hmmm... Regardless of the 'legal position' why is this such a high priority for the police to prosecute?

    They seem to turn a blind eye to people using mobile phones in cars; surely they prioritise what they deal with according to the harm to innocent members of the public ?

    I don't want to go down the 'why don't you prosecute some real criminals' route as one would be left with a police force that only deals with murderers and drug dealers. But if she is not even getting 'high' how can one punish her for that.

    When I was in college many Rastafarians used cannabis in their cooking for 'spirtual' reasons. If they can get away with it - why not this lady ?

    I guess the difficulty comes if she cooks for others and gets a rogue batch of very strong 'skunk'. Carrying on like that might in theory cause problems, and public health does need to be protected, but this really does look like 'Butterfly on a Wheel' stuff..

  52. At 06:24 PM on 07 Mar 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Can't comment on the previous thread so one for the glass box here:

    Alessandro Bertolotti, the swiss journalist and witness from the plane crash was excellent. What a find! .. well done whoever hunted him out.

    Programme sounding great, no complaints, though for a 'drivetime' programme I feel you are still scrimping a little on the 'back anno's' of the longer pieces.
    ie: scarlet pimpernel into Michael Buerk trail.
    Just a small observation

  53. At 06:24 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Dr Ramasandan wrote:

    The potent analgesic properties of cannabinoids have been well documented (READ: Burns TL, Ineck JR, 2006, Cannabinoid analgesia as a potential new therapeutic option in the treatment of chronic pain, Annals of Pharmacotherapy.)
    Furthermore, the association between cannabis use and the development of mental illness is far from definite. I would like to ask, "How much will the drug companies be charging the NHS when cannabis is finally legalised?"

  54. At 06:25 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    I'd put in an order right now with Canny Granny for a lovely chocolate cake, Eddie.

    But don't put it out in the rain.

    Levity aside, I salute her stand against law being inappopriately applied. It is one thing to discourage people using cannabis for recreational purposes, quite another to penalise people who use it to help them to cope with medical conditons which otherwise make their lives a misery.

    I know it's difficult to make exceptions: but somehow the legal brains need to apply themselves to finding ways to do just that when circumstances require.

    Does anybody know if we can volunteer to take on some of her 250 hours community service? And, if I had the money to spare, I'd gladly pay her £1000 fine to boot.

  55. At 06:25 PM on 07 Mar 2007, P Wilde wrote:

    I think the police in her area must have been down on their arrest/conviction stats!

  56. At 06:25 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Ronald MacKenzie wrote:

    The jury came to the only possible verdict, given the directions by the judge, but it is a little disappointing that the jury failed to provide a rider to their verdict expressing support for Patricia Tabram. The judge's sentence is also disappointing in that it appears to be very heavy handed, given the circumstances of the case. Hopefully, this case will result in a review of the law as it applies to cannabis, and its use for medical reasons by adult and intelligent people such as Patricia Tabram. The outcome of this case reflects very badly on the legal and justice system of the UK.

  57. At 06:26 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Frances O wrote:

    Ah, now other people's comments have come up.

    Richie's comment seems so sensible. I do wish his wife well, and him.

    Surely the bottom line is people being sensible? (And I know we have a tendency to be silly.)

    After all, alcohol is legal, and it causes terrible trouble for quite a lot of people. While being quite OK for most. I know it's not comparable, though, necessarily.

    It might be the same for cannabis. They do talk about 'cannabis psychosis'. Surely that's the exception, not the norm. But I haven't the faintest idea..

    I'll declare my hand. I smoked it when I was a student in Edinburgh. Now I don't. I don't think I know anyone who does. I may be wrong. I'm not interested.

    But if it helps anyone, I'm for them, just because anything that relieves such pain should be available legally. And it doesn't seem to be that harmful.

  58. At 06:28 PM on 07 Mar 2007, John de St Croix wrote:

    Good on the cannabis Gran. I hope she can get the law changed so that cannabis can be prescribed for pain relief. NICE should pull their finger out, and get moving. Why on earth cannot this drug, which improves the quality of life of people suffering from arthritis, be prescribed by the NHS? From what she says, NHS drugs have unwanted side effects and are no use to her.

  59. At 06:31 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Gossipmistress wrote:

    Good luck to her, she's costing the NHS nothing and not doing anyone else any harm. And she's tenacious and a bit belligerant - to be admired!

  60. At 06:38 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Robert White wrote:

    She's great - I love her courage and she's very articulate too.

    We need more people like her to fight for this and many more issues.

    This government is playing tip-toe-totalitarianism.

    Let's get rid of them and breathe some fresh air for a change.

    Viva the Cannabis Granny.

    I'd vote for her any day of the week.

  61. At 06:43 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    I have been told, with what truth I don’t know, that the reason cannabis is classified as a dangerous drug is very little to do with its actual effects or potential dangers and a lot to do with the paper industry in America, which had a powerful lobby at the time the decisions about what drugs should be proscribed were being made in the early twentieth century, and which wanted hemp made illegal for some reason connected with manufacturing paper.

    I have also been told, again with what truth I don’t know, that Queen Victoria and other women at the time before the invention of chloroform used ‘an infusion of hemp’ to relieve their pain during childbirth -- and I’m fairly sure that would be less likely to damage a child during labour than chloroform.

    I have been told too (with the same caveat) that more road traffic incidents are associated with the side-effects of legally prescribed drugs than are associated with the effects of alcohol.

    I sympathise with the lady whose son has developed cannabis induced psychosis; it is always a terrible thing when someone in his or her teens becomes psychotic. I know that she cannot possibly guess whether he might have developed alcohol induced psychosis if the cannibis had not got to him first, but I do know that there are far, far more alcohol-related problems in this country than there are cannibis-related ones, and far, far more destructive and fatal side-effects from legal, prescribed drugs than from cannabis. If only the ladies who were given thalidomide to calm them down during pregnancy had been given cannabis instead....

    If cannabis in her cooking eases the pain and misery of a lady over retirement age, and legal drugs make her even more ill, then I’d say she ought not to be persecuted, prosecuted and treated as a criminal for using the drug that helps her. It’s quite clear that she has enough trouble in her life without this ridiculous over-reaction by the Powers That be.

  62. At 06:49 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    I cannot see why there was a public interest to prosecute this lady. It appears to be easing her symptoms (or making her think they are eased, effectively the same thing) so I cannot blame her for her actions.

    But I disagree with her views comparing cannabis with prescription medication - cannabis contains many chemicals and compounds which may be harmful.

    Tobacco and alcohol are probably more harmful, but perfectly legal. It's a funny old world.

  63. At 06:56 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Tony Taylor wrote:

    GW Pharmaceuticals have developed a cannabis based drug called Sativex which is designed to relieve spasticity in MS and also pain caused through cancer etc., It is approved in Canada and parts of Europe. In the UK Doctors can't recommend it but if patients ask for it they can prescribe it. Recent trials have proved positive. If enough people start asking for it then maybe NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) will approve it for recommendation.

  64. At 06:58 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Martin Cudworth wrote:

    Cannabis in its natural, non hybridized form is harmless compared to nicotine, alcohol , cocaine opium derivatives , amphetamine or any other medical or recreational drug. Its continuing illegality i believe is due to powerful pressure from the tobacco, drug and brewing industries. I agree it is not wise for the people to be given free access to "skunk weed" in particular the young should be protected from all drugs. I believe it is infinitely preferable to be completely drug and alcohol free. Meanwhile in our less than perfect world cannabis reduces the need to chain smoke cigarettes and it prevents boredom, but it does make you introspective.
    It has obvious uses in medicine and it is possible to extract the pure active component T.H C.
    For me as an ex cannabis and alcohol abuser, I intend to get copious nicotine patches from my doctor and see if i can not beat this infernal, raging nicotine addiction.

  65. At 07:12 PM on 07 Mar 2007, christine harfleet wrote:

    I hope those in the courts involved in condemning this woman to her chronic pain, experience it themselves very soon. That would soon change their minds and give them a little insight and understanding.
    I am all in favour of law and order, tempered with common sense in its application. Common sense is sadly missing here and makes the courts look stupid.
    If there is a petition to be signed to reverse their ridiculous decision I would like to sign it. Is there one or can I start it?

  66. At 07:39 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    I may have to be a lone voice here -- not that I disagree about the state of the law: if she and others like her find relief from using this substance then of course they ought to be allowed to... but... I can't believe all the comments saying that she was "articulate" and "erudite" -- she had evidently uncovered quite a bit of background information but she also made some foolish remarks:

    The idea that Cannabis does not contain chemicals is erroneous (see Terry Green's comment at 11 above).

    Having a random pop at the Prime Minister -- Cannabis has actually been 'down-graded' under this government and the penalties for using it would have been much higher under previous administrations. She may feel he hasn't done enough but that was not her tack, and this made her sound like she was just lashing out in anger at the first target that came to mind. That would be utterly understandable, but doesn't make for a well argued perspective. A more constructive case for what the government should do -- such as legalise all drugs and then monitor and prescribe them, for example -- would have been much more relevant.

    I also think she was mistaken to plead 'not guilty' to using it, when she has been quite clearly stating that she does use it and intends to continue doing so. It would have been more appropriate to plead guilty but to outline the reasons for her use ahead of sentencing, and then used that part of the process as a platform for publicity and the beginnings of her campaign to change the law (which is what she seemed to be saying she wants to do).

    Plesae don't misunderstand me -- I feel huge sympathy for her and would support a campaign to change the law, although I would wish that the risks of use be investigated and publicised as much as any medical benefits. I also strongly agree with those who voice suspicions that the lack of profit for drugs companies in this may be a factor. However, I just had to take issue with those who describe her as an articulate, persuasive speaker. She was not. Had she been, she may have been able to utilise such skills to cleverly avoid the court case in the first instance. Her very "ordinariness" seemed to me to be part of the problem.


  67. At 07:42 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Bernie R wrote:

    Home Secretary Charles Clarke wanted to reverse the reclassification of cannabis, so he asked his Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to re-examine the question of its dangers.

    While they were carrying out this investigation, Clarke let it be known that he was minded to reverse the reclassification whatever the ACMD advised.

    However, the ACMD did not find evidence to back up Clarke's beliefs about the dangers of cannabis, and their findings were so clear that he was forced to accept them.

    Clarke's ignorance and arrogance are entirely typical of the people making and enforcing the stupid laws about cannabis.

    This lady knows from her own experience that cannabis presents a far lower risk to her than prescription medication. There are hundreds of thousands of people around the country who could confirm from a lifetime of experience that cannabis is considerably less dangerous than other drugs like anti-anxiety pills, alcohol or tobacco.

    It is absurd and disproportionate to threaten this harmless person with prison for growing and eating a relatively harmless plant in her own home, something that need affect nobody but herself.


  68. At 08:25 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Brian V peck wrote:

    Robert White is correct (60 - 6.38pm) Patrica Tabram is a hero and we need more like her...what about putting her on the Plinth (model) in Trafalgar Square when it becomes free again. As I have thought for several years that we are drifting in to a ruthless One Party State...very similar in essence to the USA and China...well done Patrica...

    Brian V Peck

    Published Author and Political dissident

  69. At 09:13 PM on 07 Mar 2007, G.King wrote:

    Obviously everyone is in favour of effective & safe forms of pain relief. Medicinal forms of cannabis can be obtained in the form of sprays and pills-but of course neither gives a 'high'. The lady in question says she uses it for depression, I presume she's read all the research linking it to depression, especially in adolescence.
    The tirade against the government especially Tony Blair seems a little excessive. This government has been the most liberal in recent years regarding attitudes to cannabis use in particular.
    In a U.K. study of fatal road accidents where no alcohol was detected 80% of the fatalities tested positive for cannabis at postmortem. A recent study in France looked at over 10,000 drivers involved in fatal car crashes. Even when alcohol was taken into account, cannabis users were more than twice as likely to be the cause of a fatal crash than to be one of the victims.
    By all means let's use it for pain relief - there are trials going on right now to do just that.
    Here's a thought, how about asking the overworked, underpaid, dedicated staff in our disgracefully underfunded forgotten mental hospitals for their thoughts on how harmless it is.

  70. At 09:18 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Denise Jones wrote:

    I believe Patricia Tabram has a right to grow Cannabis for her own use if it gives the relief from pain that it does. I wonder what the judge or other officials would say if it was them needing Cannabis and not being allowed to grow and use it.

  71. At 09:22 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Emma Marvin wrote:

    What I find astounding is that you can legally buy a capsule of amyl nitrite over the counter, (commonly know as ‘poppers’) But cannabis is illegal? What is wrong with this government? It needs to wake up! I am fully behind Patricia Tabram and I support her all the way.

  72. At 09:37 PM on 07 Mar 2007, jan T wrote:

    We support Patricia Tabrams in her decision to self medicate using cannabis. If the law really cared about her welfare why is she being made to do 200 hours community service?!
    Bless anyone who has the courage to resist the pharmaceuticle drugs offered to them when experiencing pain and suffering.
    There is a herb to cure or alleviate most illnesses if found early enough look in 'Bartrams' encycolopidia of herbal medicine' for alternative remedies in gereral.

  73. At 11:34 PM on 07 Mar 2007, RJD wrote:

    Ap - You're not quite a lone voice. I certainly don't think she was either articulate or erudite and she somewhat spoiled her pitch by some inane "political" wittering.

    I have no doubt that she derives great relief and benefit from cannabis, but I would have liked her to have been asked if she differentiated between "medicinal" use and "recreational" use of cannabis.

    It probably doesn't matter anyway, because in 7 days, no-one will remember her.

  74. At 11:35 PM on 07 Mar 2007, RJD wrote:

    Ap - You're not quite a lone voice. I certainly don't think she was either articulate or erudite and she somewhat spoiled her pitch by some inane "political" wittering.

    I have no doubt that she derives great relief and benefit from cannabis, but I would have liked her to have been asked if she differentiated between "medicinal" use and "recreational" use of cannabis.

    It probably doesn't matter anyway, because in 7 days, no-one will remember her.

  75. At 11:46 PM on 07 Mar 2007, whisht wrote:

    jonnie - sorry. You're using the wrong thread.

    as for this general conversation (as opposed to thread) I'm with everyone ese.

    including Aperitif.

    and no RJD, I don't smoke.... tsk tsk... but if my mum had had it for pain relief it would've been a good option alongside the other drugs that also had side affects. (And some of the "alternative" therapies.)

    But then again its difficult to home grow Panadol (unless you have an orchard of willow trees I s'pose).

    somehow those sentences all join up

  76. At 12:09 AM on 08 Mar 2007, whisht wrote:

    jonnie - sorry. You're using the wrong thread.

    as for this general conversation (as opposed to thread) I'm with everyone ese.

    including Aperitif.

    and no RJD, I don't smoke.... tsk tsk... but if my mum had had it for pain relief it would've been a good option alongside the other drugs that also had side affects. (And some of the "alternative" therapies.)

    But then again its difficult to home grow Panadol (unless you have an orchard of willow trees I s'pose).

    somehow those sentences all join up

  77. At 12:34 AM on 08 Mar 2007, James wrote:

    I believe this unjust law is the reason for our unbalanced society. Smoking Cannabis is the first illegal act the majority of citizens commit. It is part of our culture to try it, therefore it is part of our culture to be a criminal.
    On the continent in Spain, people are allowed to grow 2 plants for personal use. But in England our children are forced to buy Cannabis from dealers who can then sell them crack and heroin.
    Who are kids meant to trust when they are forced onto the streets by laws which originate from America's drug companies heavy influence on the economies it sells drugs to, (When Asprin was introduced and Cannabis was then conspired said to be evil).
    Skunk is too strong for children, English Hash is the worst in the world, i.e mixed with anything. Where are the varieties that Amsterdam can offer, that won't mentally damage our growing youth.
    The jails numbers will never be reduced until the law stops making us criminals for being part of our society.

  78. At 07:31 AM on 08 Mar 2007, Joel Drouet wrote:

    This brave lady has my support. It is ludicrous that cannabis is banned, while two proven killers and destroyers of human life--tobacco and alcohol--are legal. Cannabis has been demonstrated as effective relief for sufferers of cancer and glaucoma; if one finds it beneficial in reducing pain, should this not be the primary concern? The public should voice its support of Patricia Tabram and let the politicians know that it is time to legalize cannabis. Legalize it, and treat its abuse in public just as one would treat abuse of alcohol. No one can take away your freedom unless you allow them to do so.

  79. At 10:19 AM on 08 Mar 2007, Deepthought (John W) wrote:

    Ed Addis (various attempts),

    Since when has this government not tried poking it's nose in our business - road pricing, CCTV cameras, ID cards, all to track our every move and observe our every action. Pursuing this old lady for her cannabis growing is just par for the course.

    Others

    The jury *could* bring Not Guilty even if the judge rules that they should. No need for a rider. If enough juries refuse to give Guilty verdicts on cases like this, the law has to change.

    But juries don't care. It's boring, listening to barristers drone on, trying to score obscure points of each other. Most of the time the jury want to get away, and if presented with a case where (a) the law is broken, and everyone knows that, (b) the judge says "find her guilty", they'll do that, just for as long as it takes to have a cup of tea before returning.

  80. At 10:48 AM on 08 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    I agree with some other comments above to the effect that some of Ms Tabram's arguments were confused and misjudged, but the basic premise of her argument, i.e. that her use of cannabis to relieve her pain should be permitted, was to my mind irrefutable.

    I also sympathise with Sue Gibbs about the problems that recreational use can cause, particularly for young people.

    It is interesting that the RSA Study, reporting today, recommends scrapping the Misuse of Drugs Act and replacing it with a broader Misuse of Substances Act, replacing the existing ABC classification system with an "index of harms".

    This *may* lead to greater clarity and help people to make judgments over whether or not to use/abuse recreational drugs. It *might* also allow for some distinction to be placed between the different reasons for using drugs, which could make the use of cannabis for pain relief a permissible option.

    There is, in any event, a big distinction to be made between addictive use - which can, and frequently does, lead to antisocial activities such as prostitution, theft, etc. - and non-addictive use. I appreciate that it may be difficult to avoid the addictive bit, however!

  81. At 01:16 PM on 08 Mar 2007, Val P wrote:

    Whisht - :o)

  82. At 03:18 PM on 08 Mar 2007, donald wrote:

    she should be gordon brown's pinup lady

    1. she grows her own - thereby keeping the money within the uk economy - money that otherwise would in part at least be exported to traditional countries of weed production

    2. she manufactures her own medication & self administers it - by-passing the global glaxos etc

    Basically, she has a positive effect on trade deficit, while simultaneously taking the strain off the NHS

    But, silly me - when did logic ever matter when it comes to challenging political superstitions..?

  83. At 03:29 PM on 08 Mar 2007, Rick wrote:

    Reading the comments on this page, most of the views expressed seem very black and white, but this is a very complicated subject in which there are many shades of grey in between. We all know that all drugs, including legal drugs, such as tobacco and alcohol are harmful, to varying degrees.
    The trouble is that the law is a VERY blunt instrument when it comes to the state attempting to control the behaviour of the general population. This means that the law is not the best way controlling our nations drug habits.
    My belief is that we need to determine what is the major consequence of drug abuse, to the population as a whole. If we look at the major consequences of drug abuse it is violent and abusive behaviour (in the case of alcohol) burglary and theft (in the case of very addictive drugs, such as heroine and crack cocaine) and health issues, such as cancer (for all of the previous drugs, plus tobacco). So I think you need to tackle the problems that each of these drugs cause differently.
    My thoughts on the use of cannabis are mixed. I know some of the latest types of cannabis can be very harmful to people who are susceptible to psychotic illness, but I will admit to smoking cannabis when much younger at parties etc, but I do not believe it did me any harm and I have never been tempted to use any other drugs, except tobacco and alcohol.
    My personal believe is that the possession of heroine and crack cocaine for you own personnel use should not be illegal, but the act of selling, supplying [for free] or processing of these drugs should be a mandatory life sentence. I know this appears harsh on the face of it, but if you think that if you give or sell these drugs to a person, that as they are so addictive, that person will almost certainly die of the consequences, then surely it is at least on the par with manslaughter.
    On the other side of this, I believe if you are a registered heroine addict, then you should be offered a proper drug rehabilitation scheme and to feed you habit, you should be given heroine until you have conquered you addiction.
    I must admit I do not know the consequences of a crack cocaine habit or if a person can be rehabilitated from the addiction, but I do know it is a very destructive drug and all efforts, need to made to stop this becoming as prevalent as it has become in other parts of the world.

  84. At 06:26 PM on 08 Mar 2007, Jeannie wrote:

    I think only those living with chronic pain have the right to judge in this matter. So all of you above who do not have such pain have no idea of what you are talking about.

    I have osteorporosis of the spine (imagine having a slipped disc forever!). When it fractures (as it has rwice so far) I would take anything to get some relief and sleep. And I am allergic to most painkillers, The Dr. says there is really nothing he can give me to help. So thank you Patricia Tabrams for showing me there is hope.

    Everyone suffering in this way should grow cannibis for private medicinal purposes and see if the powers that can put us all in their overcrowded prisons. Besides which, the plant is very attractive!!!

    It should be prescribed.

  85. At 07:11 PM on 08 Mar 2007, nikki noodle wrote:

    I am with Appe on this one.

    n-n
    xx

  86. At 10:42 AM on 09 Mar 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Hey! Where's my post from last night about "Cannabis Gran" facing eviction from her Housing Association home? I offered to follow up and everything!

    There are no other mentions of this story so I'm guessing it hasn't been reported nationally.

  87. At 11:00 AM on 09 Mar 2007, Humph wrote:

    Appy (86 or possibly not) I saw your post earlier on today and so it did appear. Marc without-a-k I notice that Simon's postings have reappeared on another thread. Was this done automatically by the gremlins that had taken those postings down or did someone have to dig them out to re-post them? If Appy's post has been taken off by the computer, then there is something not right with the blog.

    H.

  88. At 11:15 AM on 09 Mar 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    There have been so many multiple postings here that I've given up reading the later ones. I just want to resist the chorus of would-be legalisers because I think that if we had known then what we know now, cigarettes would never have been legal.

    Cannabis is manifestly not harmless; its effects stay in the body for a long time after use, rendering those who take it unfit to drive much longer than drinkers. It is even reported to be worse for lung cancer than tobacco.

    There may be a case for allowing it to be prescribed for the likes of Mrs. Tabram; it is possible to get heroin on prescription, but that is no excuse for the "Legalise pot" brigade to jump on the bandwagon. Few of them are in serious pain. In fact, they just are a serious pain.

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