Ex-PC's cannabis plea

July 21, 2004

Patrick Wintour, The Guardian

A former drug squad officer suffering from excruciating MS yesterday pleaded with the Home Office to end years of delays and finally give the go-ahead to the therapeutic use of cannabis.

Her move came as political pressure grew on the government to explain the delays. An early-day motion tabled by Peter Bradley, the Labour MP for the Wrekin, said the government had a moral duty to give sufferers the right to choose to use the drug.

The Home Office has been examining the issue for more than four years and is still not able to say when a decision will be made.

Kate Bradley - who is not related to the MP - yesterday pleaded with the Home Office to allow doctors to prescribe cannabis to relieve the pain that often makes her double up in agony.

Speaking slowly, reflecting her fragile condition, she said: 'Smoking cannabis is the only thing that works. I get terrible spasms that go from my toe to my head. They can last for anything up to half an hour.'

'It is so powerful it can force my body to crunch into a foetal position one moment and switch to plank-like rigidity the next.'

The medicinal claims of cannabis have been known for 200 years and Labour backbenchers have been pressing for government action for at least five years.

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