Welsh cancer patient: “The Government is forcing me to break the law or die”

  • Welsh dad, Phil James, was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2015
  • He initially vaped CBD Indica to treat the tumour, seeing initial success
  • After tumour returned in Feb  2019, Phil began using cannabis oil containing THC
  • The father of one is now “forced to break the law or die” due to the Government’s prohibition of cannabis

A Welsh cancer patient has spoken out after being forced to “break the law or die.”

Phil James, 33, from Flintshire, is using illegal cannabis oil to complement the chemotherapy he is undergoing to treat a brain tumour.

The father of one is using cannabis oil, containing the psychoactive cannabinoid THC, as he believes it can help extend his life. 

“The oil is expensive and if you are buying from the criminal market you don’t know what is in it. So I thought I am going to grow it. If I grow it I will know exactly what’s in it.”
Phil James, Medical Cannabis Warrior

Mr James began vaping “CBD Indica” after he was first diagnosed with a grade three Anaplastic Astrocytoma (brain tumour) at the end of 2015.

The CBD treatment was initially successful. Phil previously experienced seizures every 6-8 weeks, but found after vaping CBD they stopped entirely from March 2017 until around two weeks ago.

Six clear brain scans revealed the CBD treatment had also been successful at treating his cancer, showing only a minimal trace of the tumour.

Unfortunately, the tumour returned in February of this year, prompting the Welsh father to add an illegal cannabis oil, containing THC, to complement the chemotherapy treatment, as he feels this will give him the best chance of survival.

Speaking to North Wales Live, Phil explained his decision to add the illegal component of cannabis to his treatment program:

“Before this recurrence of the cancer I was vaping. When it came back I switched to the oil because I needed a higher dose.

“Chemotherapy kills daughter cells and cannabis attacks cancer stem cells.”

“The tragedy is that only a small amount of people have been prescribed because they were on private healthcare.

“It’s not being done on the NHS. If you are rich you can get the prescription but you can’t get the cannabis.”

Mr James argued that he should be able to legally grow his own medicine at home, due to the cost and individual biology of strains, adding:

“The oil is expensive and if you are buying from the criminal market you don’t know what is in it. So I thought I am going to grow it. If I grow it I will know exactly what’s in it.

“Hopefully taking a higher dose of the oil will insure me against seizures – which I think have come back partly because of the chemotherapy.

“The Government is forcing me to break the law or die.”

Despite the British Government legalising cannabis for medicinal use in November 2018, there have been widespread complaints from patients across the UK who have been unable to access it, either due to their GP’s inability to prescribe or the expensive price of private prescriptions.

Arfon Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales, has been a long-time supporter of Phil’s cause, meeting the Welsh father several times while campaigning for wider access to medical cannabis.

Speaking to North Wales Live, Mr Jones said:

“My heart goes out to Phil James and the countless other people like him who are being criminalised needlessly.

“The legal position in relation to medicinal cannabis has been well and truly fudged as a matter of political expediency, to avoid a PR disaster caused by the heartrending cases of several children like the chronically ill Billy Caldwell, who needs cannabis oil to ward off life-threatening fits.

“It is unjust and cruel that people living with conditions like cancer and multiple sclerosis who use cannabis are putting themselves at risk of being prosecuted.

“There is a simple answer to this. Cannabis should be regulated and people should either be able to buy it over the counter through pharmacies and shops or be able to grow a limited amount for their own use.

“It goes without saying that cannabis oil to aid people like Phil James should be freely available so they can be helped in their time of need.”

Prohibition has failed to curb the use of cannabis in the UK, as it was the most commonly used drug in the 2017-18, with 7.2% of adults (16-59) having claimed to have used it in the last year, representing around 2.4 million people.

Punitive cannabis laws in the UK are also failing desperate patients like Phil, forcing them into a life of ‘crime.’ 

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