A man diagnosed with a brain tumour said he would rather be “illegally alive than legally dead” after calling for cannabis to be legalised for medical use.
Phil James, 32 from Oakenholt, has taken CBD Indica, found in cannabis, for two years, and hasn’t had a seizure since last March, after previously suffering one every six to eight weeks.
He was diagnosed with a grade three Anaplastic Astrocytoma (brain tumour) at the end of 2015.
Mr James says he has had six clear brain scans meaning there is only a minimal trace of his tumour, which he puts down to use of the substance which contains cannabidiol (CBD).
He will travel to Westminster tomorrow (Friday), backed by Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones, to support MP Paul Flynn’s bill calling for cannabis to be legalised for medicinal use.
Mr James, who married wife Nicola in April last year, believes labelling those using the drug as criminals is unfair.
He said: “I was told I had two years to live. I was told there was nothing that could be done.
“I took the advice about using cannabidiol from London St George’s university’s paper showing its effects on Glioma (brain cancer) and I changed to a strict, healthy diet.
“I’m a two-year survivor of brain cancer, I use CBD Indica, and I would rather be illegally alive than legally dead. I do put it down to diet and taking CBD.
“Seeing (ex-cabinet minister) Tessa Jowell recently has put brain cancer back in the news but it also highlights the standard of care has not made any significant ground since the mid 90’s.”
The issue of using cannabis for medicinal purposes is currently in the news with the fight of the parents of Alfie Dingley, six, from Warwickshire, who suffers violent seizures because of epilepsy.
They say it is the only thing that reduces the seizures, which leave him requiring hospital treatment.
However, the Home Office denied the family a licence to use it legally in the UK.
The youngster was taken to the Netherlands to receive cannabis treatment in November last year.
Mr James says well-meaning supporters will give the substance away for those who need it for medicinal purposes and he takes a small amount each night before bed using a vapouriser.
There have been concerns cannabis use in younger people could lead to schizophrenia, yet he argues the strain he uses is low in THC, the psychoactive element of the drug that gets a user ‘stoned’ and concerns opponents of the drug.
He added: “I am able to work as a freelance 3D artist for science education and I pay my taxes.
“I’ve even been able to get my driving licence back.”
He aims to travel to London tomorrow with activists from the United Health Alliance, supporting the call for a law change. He has also received support from Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones.
Mr Jones said: “There is significant research that signposts that its use is of considerable benefit to sufferers from MS and other forms of illness and that at least 30,000 people use it daily in the UK.
“I have supported Paul Flynn’s Private Members’ Bill from the outset and I sincerely hope this latest effort to have it enacted in law succeeds.”
Delyn MP David Hanson was more circumspect about legalising the drug.He said: “Every policy needs an evidence based approach. This is no less the case when it comes to the approving medicines for public use.
“I sympathise that people with chronic pain are looking for alternatives to alleviate their symptoms, but I want to ensure that our experts are sure of the consequences of the drugs we are issuing.