The Untold Truths of Medical Cannabis – The Stigma Surrounding Medical Cannabis Use

My Reluctant Journey to Medical Cannabis

I didn’t turn to cannabis out of desire, but out of desperation. After over a decade of chronic nerve pain and countless prescriptions that only dulled my senses without relieving pain, cannabis was suggested as a last resort. Although initially illegal and frowned upon, it became my only relief after conventional medications failed and surgeries only compounded my health issues.

Many people still hold negative stereotypes about cannabis users, often labelling them as criminals or irresponsible. This stigma extends even to those who use cannabis for legitimate medical reasons. The perception persists despite growing evidence supporting cannabis as a beneficial treatment for various conditions. This stigma can be particularly harsh for medical users like myself, who rely on cannabis not out of preference but necessity.

The Realities of Cannabis as Medicine

Once I could legally access medical cannabis, the benefits were undeniable. It didn’t completely eliminate my pain, but it made it manageable without the debilitating side effects of opioids and other medications. However, the transition to cannabis wasn’t simple. As a mother, I had to consider the implications of using cannabis and balance my health needs with societal judgment.

The Cost Barrier to Continued Treatment

Despite its effectiveness, the high cost of prescription cannabis became a formidable barrier. Spending nearly £300 a month was unsustainable, forcing me to choose between enduring unbearable pain or using cannabis illegally. This decision, driven by necessity, highlights the injustice faced by those who rely on cannabis for quality of life but are penalized by prohibitive costs.

The Persistent Challenges of Legal Cannabis Use

Even with a prescription, medical cannabis users face numerous obstacles, including inconsistent stock and poor quality of available strains. These challenges force many to continue paying high prices for inadequate products, just to maintain legal protection.

Living with the Fear of Legal Repercussions

The fear of legal consequences is a constant worry, especially when the use of cannabis, even medically, is heavily stigmatized. Many, like myself, use cannabis discreetly at home, yet the threat of legal action for even minor possession outside one’s home is a source of ongoing stress and anxiety.

Conclusion: A Call for Change

It’s clear that while medical cannabis can significantly improve quality of life, the surrounding legal and social framework often fails its users. The stigma, coupled with legal and financial hurdles, needs to be addressed to truly support those who benefit from this treatment. Only then can the full potential of medical cannabis be realised, allowing users like me to lead more pain-free and fulfilling lives without the burden of judgment or fear.

Anonymous (Due to working for Emergency Services)

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