I am a 27 yr old man who has lived in 2 countries and many cities in the UK. I have used cannabis medicinally for the past 8 years, for chronic pain relief, sleeping difficulty, stress relief and I have also found it to aid in digestion. I have also used it recreationally for 2 years prior.

I would like to submit my experiences with this medicine, not only to have my voice heard along with the millions of others who find relief in medicating with cannabis, but to hopefully point out that a change needs to be made as an urgent need for the health and betterment of the population that Government work hard to protect.

In the years I have used cannabis, I admit it started recreationally at 17, although I had been introduced to far more harmful substances from a much younger age I.e tobacco and alcohol. After I started using cannabis I found I was less inclined to want to drink or use tobacco, I now do not drink and only use minimal tobacco to help stretch my medicine to last due to its current price and risks of acquiring. I'd rather not use tobacco at all and by risks i do mean the possibility of dangers of the criminal world but more the risks or police intimidation and criminal prosecution. I was never tempted to try anything harder after I was introduced to cannabis and in my life have not gone further.

I have always suffered with pain after a childhood injury with my hips. In the first couple of years of my use it was very rarely and not a significant amount, however over time I started to realise that whenever I had smoked it I started to feel less pain, more relaxation of muscles and mind. I then began researching and found that there was actually a lot of information on its benefits so I began using it medicinally and I have found it has helped far more than any other pain killers I have been prescribed, which include tramadol and codeine.

In a trial to test its effects on me personally, I ceased medicating with it to see what the difference would be. I stopped for 6 months, replacing it with legal painkillers.

I found there was increased pain, increased stress levels, less sleep and digestion issues most caused by the painkillers themselves, long with severe nausea and often vomiting.

Once I began medicating again after the 6 months and ceasing the use of painkillers, it only took 20 mins for my pain to be significantly reduced, I felt more relaxed and clear headed and after only 36-48 hrs my digestion issues dramatically reduced.

The procedures for acquiring medicinal cannabis in the UK are a JOKE. Doctors are reluctant to even discuss Cannabis as medicine let alone prescribe it for any condition.

I have tried to speak to GPs with a response of "We will not prescribe Cannabis" some practices have even put up notices telling patients to stop asking about it completely.

My condition is one that is not allowed cannabis as a prescription despite the masses of evidence that it helps with chronic pain.

Cannabis must become much more widely available to all patients who could benefit from it. It is also a medicine that can be produced by the patient which can eliminate many many other risk factors in the production stage and acquiring stage, on top of allowing said patient to manage their own life and symptoms without wasting doctors time and NHS funding. Part of the problem is medical professionals fear of prosecution or backlash which would affect their careers.

The laws must be so that GPs and doctors may feel comfortable allowing patients to be prescribed Cannabis.

So far no medical professional, I have spoken to has any knowledge at all on cannabis. Also many people fear trying it due to it's unfortunate attachment to the criminal world.

I do feel many more people are becoming aware of the many medicinal properties of Cannabis, however fear of legal ramifications prevents many from seeking something that has been proven to change many lives for the better.

I hope that along with mine and the many other testimonies that the UK can start expediting the process of medicinal cannabis as a priority for the welfare of the country.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my experience.