How medical cannabis patients propelled the global discussion forward with great force.
By: Herbert M. Green
The floodgates are open! The train has left the station. The genie is out of the bottle and there’s no way of putting it back. The cannabis legalisation wave’s momentum is, after decades of inertia, unstoppable. But, who do we have to thank for this sudden and, yet, unrelenting push in the discussion on whether cannabis should be legal and accessible for all?
You’d logically assume it was the untold thousands of individual cannabis activists or the multitude of larger, nationally and internationally operating cannabis advocacy groups, like NORMAL or Cannabis Europe, who have been carrying the torch for cannabis liberation. And, you’d be right, for the most part.
Years of hard work and unyielding perseverance kept the ‘green dream’ alive, but there is another, even larger, driving force behind the changing perception towards cannabis…
Cannabis activism as a sturdy foundation
You see, where cannabis activists were, and still are, fighting for their love of the plant and their individual right to consume it without impediment or prosecution, medical cannabis patients are fighting for something else; their lives.
And it’s exactly for this reason that the call for global legalisation of cannabis has picked up as much steam as it has. Urgency.
That’s not to say that the decades of hard work done by activists and their constant battle was for naught. On the contrary, that work has laid the foundation for the discussion we are having today, on a global scale.
But, on its own, the activist community would not have been able to push the agenda forward this fast and with this much weight behind it if the patients — and their parents, in the case of children in dire need of medical alternatives — hadn’t stood up to have their voices heard.
Lost faith in Big Pharma
When we say ‘patients’, we’re referring to those who are suffering from illnesses like epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, glaucoma, chronic pain or those undergoing cancer or HIV/AIDS treatment.
Most of these patients have one big thing in common; they’re disillusioned with ‘Big Pharma’. The medicines these companies produce either don’t work (any more) or cause a myriad of other problems, like severe side-effects or dependency issues. Naturally, many went looking for alternatives and, eventually, found relief in cannabis.
One such patient, who has become a medical cannabis spokesperson and advocate, is Chelsea Leyland. This British DJ, actor, fashion icon and, now, activist, suffers from a type of epilepsy called ‘Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy’ (JME), which she has been battling since her early teens.
A few years ago, she discovered CBD (a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis) and has since weaned herself off pharmaceutical anti-seizure medication and treats her epilepsy solely with medical cannabis. Nowadays, she uses her notoriety and influence as well as her experience to break the taboo surrounding both epilepsy and medical cannabis.
As a speaker at the upcoming edition of the Cannabis Capital Convention (3C) on the 30th of October in Amsterdam, Chelsea will share her life story, her battle with epilepsy as well as her experiences and approach as a medical cannabis advocate.
If you want to hear more of her fascinating story, visit the Cannabis Capital Convention website and reserve your tickets today. The ticket also grants you access to great networking opportunities with cannabis investors, influencers and up and coming entrepreneurs.
Register now and take advantage of the Early Bird discount for the 2019 edition of the Cannabis Capital Convention, in Amsterdam on the 30th of October.