More MS news articles for Sep 2001

The MS Society And Cannabis

18 September 2001

The Multiple Sclerosis Society has welcomed the clinical trial on cannabis extract in the treatment of plasticity, which is being funded by the Medical Research Council.

Society chief executive, Peter Cardy, said, “For years we have pressed for proper medical research to assess the clinical effectiveness and safety of these substances. We were instrumental, with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, in bringing together all the interested parties and going on to develop the protocols on which this trial is based.

“Thousands of people with MS suffer from the often very painful symptoms of plasticity. Anecdotal evidence of the benefit or otherwise of using cannabis has varied widely. It is clearly an unacceptable state of affairs when many people suffering from a serious medical condition feel driven to break the law. The trial will provide us with the evidence we need to know whether cannabis or cannabinoids are a safe and effective treatment of plasticity in MS.

“MS is usually a lifelong condition and the same processes of establishing efficacy and safety should be applied to this drug as to any other.

“We recognize, however, that some people are already using cannabis to gain relief from MS symptoms and are putting themselves in breach of the law. We do not believe people with MS should be treated as criminals and are also very concerned about the quality of cannabis some may be obtaining.

“We hope prosecuting authorities and courts will deal compassionately with people with MS who are using cannabis."