Veteran politician Frank Field has hailed cannabis oil as a “wonder drug” – and told how he has spent thousands of pounds on a private prescription.
Speaking exclusively to the Sunday Mirror, the 77-year-old Labour stalwart became the first UK politician to reveal he was using medicinal cannabis.
He said he turned to CBD – currently at the centre of a fierce debate in Parliament – to ease “crippling” pain from a slipped disc.
Mr Field, who was an MP for 40 years, paid £2,200 for a three-month supply of Bedrolite, which you take by putting droplets on your tongue.
And he has urged PM Boris Johnson : “Make this wonder drug available on the NHS.”
Mr Field said: “I never thought that when I was campaigning for young children to get access to the drug to change their lives that I’d end up needing it myself so badly.”
Mr Field turned to the drug after traditional painkillers left him bedbound with sickness last December.
His prescription of Bedrolite contains less than 0.1 per cent of THC, the chemical in cannabis that produces a high. It contains nine per cent of CBD, the chemical with medical benefits.
Medicinal cannabis was legalised in 2018. But since then only a handful of NHS prescriptions have been made – leaving patients to go private at huge cost or buy black market supplies.
Campaigners claim as many as 1.4 million Brits do so to treat epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and chronic pain. The law change came following campaigns by the families of epileptic children Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell.
Billy’s mum Charlotte said their lives were “on a cliff edge” over access to cannabis. But Mr Field has urged Government officials to make cannabis products easier to get on the NHS.
He said: “I was introduced to a doctor who can prescribe medicinal cannabis. I took the prescription to Boots, who handed it back to me like I had handed them some dog dirt. It was held at the very corners and they said, ‘You’ll have to go to a private chemist’.
“I’m lucky because I have savings but I know of mothers who are selling their homes to get their children this.
“It’s wrong when people who are trying to get cannabis for medical purposes find themselves breaking the law.”
Official figures confirm that in the first eight months of it being legalised, just 12 prescriptions were issued for cannabis medicines. Mr Field added: “I hope to have a meeting with Boris Johnson. I want GPs to feel they are supported in making prescriptions.”
Ms Caldwell, who is still forced to privately fund the £2,000-a-month medication for her son, said she hoped Mr Field’s intervention “would help make NHS access easier”.
Cannabis campaigner Baroness Molly Meacher said: “Voices like Mr Field’s are important. His words are powerful.”
Baroness Meacher added there were “many conditions” medicinal cannabis can be used for.
Supporters claim that these include Alzheimer’s, cancer, Crohn’s disease and anorexia.