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Cannabis user gains police support to grow her own marijuana to live ‘pain-free’

Carly Barton, who has suffered neuropathy and fibromyalgia since having a stroke at 24, has gained support from top cops and MPs

Five crime commissioners are backing a bid to let seriously ill people grow their own cannabis without fear of arrest.

They are calling for a change in the law to allow some patients with grave health conditions to legally cultivate the drug.

The campaign, called Carly’s Amnesty, is supported by cross-party MPs, ex-police chiefs and the Police Federation – the union for rank-and-file officers.

It is opposed by people who say the laws against cannabis must not be watered down and point to the psychotic side-effects experienced by some users.

Stroke sufferer Carly Barton, 32, launched her campaign after she became the first UK adult to get a private prescription for cannabis only to find she could not afford the £1,400 cost of legal supplies.

The Sunday Mirror revealed in May that she must either score the same amount from a dealer – only £300 but possibly toxic – or grow her own.

“To have your wellness criminalised does not make any sense,” says Carly, who suffered agonising neuropathy and fibromyalgia after having a stroke at 24.

She wants MPs to remove the “fear of a kick in the door in the night” felt by patients who use cannabis to stay well.

Despite a raid after telling her local Police and Crime Com­mis­sioner she was growing cannabis, she is now backed by senior figures such as PCCs Martyn Underhill of Dorset, Hardyal Dhindsa of Derbyshire, Durham’s Ron Hogg, North Wales’ Arfon Jones and West Midlands’ David Jamieson.

Mr Underhill said: “It is wrong that patients with a prescribed medical need are suffering because of access issues or financial constraints.”

Simon Kempton of the Police Federation said officers “did not join to criminalise people who merely wish to live pain-free”.

And MP Crispin Blunt of the Conservative Drug Reform Group said: “British drug policy is riddled with cruel absurdity.”

National Policing Lead Simon Kempton believes she should be able to live ‘pain-free’
The news comes amid claims that hundreds of people with conditions such as epilepsy and MS pay private clinics up to £800 a month for medical cannabis.

However, new draft guidelines from NHS drug watchdog NICE say the drug cannot be approved for severely epileptic children due to lack of evidence that it helps.

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