03 Jun Malky’s story

cannabis

A medicinal user who has been busted for cultivation who made a big mistake through listening to bad advice; this is Malky’s story.

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Hi I’m Malky, im 33 years old, from fife. I have type 1 diabetes and neuropathy diagnosed in 1992.

I have been using cannabis for pain relief for five years and most of this time I have bought it from dealers. This practice puts you at serious risk from adulterated cannabis such a glass beads added to increase the weight (“grit weed”) and also toxins left over from improper growing conditions. In addition to this the money from this cannabis usually ends up funding organised crime.

Anyone who has suffered neuropahic pain or watched the suffering of a loved one will understand how much this affects your daily life. For those who don’t know how bad it can be I would point out how desperate anyone who has suffered severe dental pain can be for relief. We’ve all heard of people taking too many painkillers or even pulling the offending tooth out! Imagine this level of pain everyday. The pain means you cannot sleep properly and this has an affect on physical and mental health which ends up costing the NHS more money to treat these symptoms.

The current NHS approved neuropathic pain relief are pills such as Gabapentin and Cymbalta these pills are toxic, they cause kidney and liver damage and a whole host of unpleasant side affects:

Side effects of Gabapentin: drowsiness, tiredness or weakness, dizziness, headache, uncontrollable shaking of a part of your body, double or blurred vision, unsteadiness, anxiety, memory problems, strange or unusual thoughts, unwanted eye movements, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea, dry mouth, constipation, increased appetite, weight gain, swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs, back or joint pain, fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, sore throat, or flu-like symptoms, ear pain, red, itchy eyes (sometimes with swelling or discharge), Some side effects may be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: rash, itching, swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, or eyes, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing or breathing, seizures

Side effects of Cymbalta: Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Cymbalta: skin rash or hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself. Call your doctor at once if you have: nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); feeling like you might pass out; agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination; very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, tremors; easy bruising, unusual bleeding; painful or difficult urination; headache, trouble concentrating, memory problems, weakness, feeling unsteady, seizure, shallow breathing or breathing that stops; or severe skin reaction — fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling. Other common Cymbalta side effects may include: dry mouth; drowsiness; tired feeling; mild nausea or loss of appetite; or constipation. This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur.

Being a diabetic I have impaired kidney function already so these pills will accelerate the damage eventually leading to dialysis, so understandably I would rather not use them.

In an attempt to ensure good quality medication I turned to growing my own cannabis. I didn’t know anything about growing so I sought advice on the internet where I was told that if my electricity usage went up my provider would inform the police so it would be a prudent security measure to bypass my meter to the grow room. I have an electrical qualification city and guilds 2377 which I passed in 2010 and foolishly I took this advice. Of course I was aware of the illegality of growing in the UK so I had a concealed grow room with access to this hidden inside a set of drawers fixed to a fake wall with a self built hydroponic system inside. The room was approx 1.2m by 3m.

However the police attended my house on an unrelated matter and found my four mature plants. I had a “Screen of Green” (SCROG) system my screen was 80cms by 1.8m this was lit by 2x 600w HPS lights. I had extraction built into the room but no odor control and that’s what got me caught, the police smelled it. They then discovered the electricity was being bypassed and this understandably ended with me being charged with abstraction of electricity as well as (not so understandably) cultivation of cannabis. They haven’t charged me with intent to supply as of yet and I don’t expect them to. I have a previously clean record bar some driving offences.

However if I could have obtained cannabis legally via prescription I would never have considered taking such dangerous actions and of course legal cannabis would mean I was paying tax not stealing electricity or contributing to black markets and risking serious harm from adulterated cannabis. The law on cannabis in the uk causes harm to the economy from electricity theft, harm to users from adulterated cannabis, harm to our communities from organized crime, harm to those who need safer alternatives to toxic pills, harm to our youth from unregulated sales when a properly managed system to give access to those who need it would create jobs and tax revenue boosting our economy and taking profits away from organized crime. Prohibition simply does not work.

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Anyone growing cannabis should be aware of the sentencing guidelines issued in February 2012. To stay at the lower end of the penalty structure is is important to be as law abiding as possible in all other respects besides the growing of the plants. As Malky has discovered abstracting electricity, apart from being an offence (theft) in its own right, is also an additional compounding factor taken into account in sentencing for cultivation. Anyone who advises people to abstract electricity for grow rooms is giving very bad advice indeed. It wouldn’t have prevented the electricity supplier seeing the increase in load caused by the lights in any case.

Note also that as far as the sentencing guidelines are concerned, using a generator is also a compounding factor.