Leicester Cannabis Club has announced that it has requested a cannabis license from the Home Secretary Sajid Javid.
Founded in 2018 by Carl Deacon and Lee-Anne Lawrie, the club says it’s the second of its kind to request a license.
Companies who wish to produce, supply, possess or import and export controlled drugs require a license to do so.
The couple wish to procure a license so they can supply members with medicinal cannabis they say they need to control their condition.
‘People should be able to gain access to medicinal cannabis when it’s required’
The class B drug can be used when prescribed by a doctor to treat some illnesses such as rare and severe forms of epilepsy.
As a recreational drug cannabis is illegal in the UK and has been since 1928.
But founders of Leicester Cannabis Club believe that everyone should have the right to self-medicate with medicinal cannabis.
Speaking to LeicestershireLive, Ms Lawrie said: “People should be able to gain access to medicinal cannabis when it’s required.
“There needs to be regulation, when you look at other countries across the world we are falling behind.”
(Image: Leicester Cannabis Club)
“I have friends that are alcoholics, and their lives and their family’s lives have been ruined because of alcohol,” added Carl.
“I don’t know anyone’s life that has purely been ruined by cannabis.”
Both Carl and Lee-Anne have used extracts of cannabis to aid with their health problems.
“I have used CBD oil for my anxiety and it changed my life drastically,” said Lee-Anne.
“It just seemed to calm my head, I wasn’t even aware that I had anxiety.
“When I went to doctors they tried to prescribe me anti-depressants, but I didn’t feel depressed.
“I started to look for alternative medication, and I found CBD oil and it worked.”
The pair’s experiences led to the creation of the club and they hope to be granted a license to help those in need access the drug.
But they are clear that cannabis should be used to treat medical issues and that more regulation will make the use of the drug safer.
“People are desperate to have the right access to medicinal cannabis,” said Lee-Anne.
“People are forced to turn to the black market and that’s dangerous and can be extremely harmful, especially for someone who could be going through chemotherapy – you just don’t know what chemicals it has been treated with.”
“Regulation could stop that.”
“Something needs to change in the NHS”
One of those desperate for medicinal cannabis to be regulated and more readily available is seven year-old Maya Fairlie, who suffers from severe epilepsy.
LeicestershireLive spoke to her mum, Sam, in December last year as she battled to get her daughter the medication she believed would change her life.
This week Ms Fairlie has secured a private prescription of medicinal cannabis for her daughter, but it comes at a cost of £6,000 for just three months worth of dosage.
Sam Fairlie wants her seven year-old Maya who suffers from intractable epilepsy.
“There is a sense of relief,” she said.
“But with it comes dread because it’s not going to be sustainable in the long term.
“In Holland for example the same medication is three times less expensive, and it’s exactly the same product.”
“Something needs to change in the NHS because the other treatments she’s gone through come with horrific side effects.”
Because the medication is not going to be sustainable due to cost Sam said they are “living with uncertainty”.
What the law says
In November 2018 the government announced that cannabis could be prescribed for medicinal purposes when it is agreed that it could benefit the patient.
The prescription can only be made by a specialist doctor and not a GP.
And Ms Fairlie says that getting a prescription has proved almost impossible.
According to the NHS website cannabis is only likely to be prescribed to:
- Children and adults with rare and severe forms of epilepsy
- Adults with vomiting or nausea caused by chemotherapy
It can be administered in numerous different ways including a spray that is consumed through the mouth.
THC is not present within this variant of the drug, therefore it is not possible to get high as a result.
Both Ms Fairlie and the cannabis club say the law needs to change to allow medicinal cannabis to be readily available for those in need.