“My life is transformed” -Benefits of Prescription Cannabis for Pain

Hello everyone, 

I’m Jayne Christie, and I want to share my journey with medical cannabis. A transformative experience that has shaped my advocacy and commitment to patient rights.

Born and raised on the picturesque coast of Durban, South Africa, my introduction to cannabis dates back to the early ’90s in South Africa, where it was freely available without the stigma attached to it as it is here in the UK. Little did I know that this little plant would become a crucial part of my life’s narrative.

Around 25 years ago, at the age of 16, a growth spurt caused a mild scoliosis, leading to chronic back pain that persisted through the years. Cannabis became my refuge, helping me manage the pain and providing relief for sleep issues that surfaced with the onset of scoliosis.

I moved to Jersey about a decade ago with my wonderful wife, Juanita. We fell in love with the island’s charm, intending to stay for just a few years, but life had other plans. 

My life took a significant turn in 2015, navigating chronic pain, lack of sleep, and elevated stress levels, I transitioned from being a Chef to a Health Care Assistant. The shift was challenging, but it allowed me to explore alternative avenues for managing my health.

Around six years ago, I embraced a herbal cannabis vaporiser, a decision that marked a turning point. The benefits became more apparent when, in June 2020, I obtained my first legal medical cannabis prescription, ending a 25-year smoking habit.

“It wasn’t a cure and it isn’t a cure but I am living my best life.”

Jayne Christe

Navigating the Prescription Process:

Obtaining my first prescription was no easy feat. It involved securing an import license from the Jersey Government, followed by a wait for an export license from the UK Home Office. The financial investment was substantial, with the first consultation costing around £200, and the initial prescription setting me back approximately £18 per gram.

The process of importing from the UK to Jersey took an average of 3-8 weeks. This lengthy period added an additional layer of complexity and increased lead time to an already challenging process.

Quality Assurance and Access Challenges:

While the journey was arduous, it brought clarity about the content of the flower. Having always accessed cannabis through the black market, the inconsistency in quality was a persistent issue, especially in Jersey where the supply was often limited to poor-quality hash.

However, the regulated medical cannabis, despite the challenges, brought assurance and consistency in addressing various ailments. It was a significant relief to finally know what I was getting, a luxury not afforded in the black market.

Unfair Financial Burden:

One aspect of this journey that adds an unfair financial burden is the Goods and Services Tax (GST) imposed on the medication entering Jersey. It’s disheartening that, on top of personally covering the cost of the medication, I am required to pay an additional GST. This feels particularly unjust, especially when I do not use any other prescription pills offered by Jersey’s health department.

This issue is something that urgently needs attention from the government, and I believe it should be a priority for the upcoming term. The financial strain placed on individuals seeking medical cannabis as an alternative should be addressed to ensure fair and equitable access to this vital medication.

A Personal Commitment to Cannabis Advocacy:

My journey has not only been personal but also a source of motivation for my advocacy efforts. Most recently I have been appointed trustee I Am Billy Foundation and I am one of the co-founders, The Jersey Medical Cannabis Patient Alliance (JMCPA) and actively participate in the End Cannabis Prohibition Jersey (ECPJ) are steps towards raising awareness about the need for cannabis reform on the island.

As I share my story, I hope to contribute to the push for cannabis reform, urging everyone to acknowledge the remarkable benefits of this plant. Let’s work together towards a future where patients rightfully receive the care and support they truly deserve.

Jayne Christie

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