Patrick Stewart, the actor famous for his roles in Star Trek and X-Men, has revealed that he has been using marijuana for years to treat severe arthritis. Now, at the age of 76, he has expressed his support for studies that talk about the therapeutic effects of cannabis.
“Two years ago, in Los Angeles, I was examined by a doctor and given a note which gave me legal permission to purchase, from a registered outlet, cannabis-based products, which I was advised might help the ortho-arthritis in both my hands”, he stated to the Telegraph.
“I purchased an ointment, spray and edibles. The ointment, while providing some relief from the discomfort, was too greasy to use during daytime and so I only use it at night,” he said. “It helps with sleep as the pain was reduced. The spray, however, is much more usable and I spray my fingers and particularly my thumb joints several times a day.” The British actor also made it clear that he has suffered no side effects from this treatment, unlike traditional medicines, which according to him, often have a negative effect on the liver and stomach.
Patrick Stewart’s statements on medical cannabis coincide with the findings by the University of Oxford on the subject and the first official evaluation of the medical value of the plant by WHO (the World Health Organization). “This is an important step forward for Britain in a field of research that has for too long been held back by prejudice, fear and ignorance. I believe this programme of research might result in benefits for people like myself as well as millions of others”, he claimed.
His words are especially important in country that restricts the medicinal use of cannabis – as well as recreational use. Cannabis is illegal in the United Kingdom and, according to the BBC, it’s not recognised as having any therapeutic value by the governments of England and Wales.
Perhaps voices like Patrick Stewart’s will help to regularise the broader medicinal use of cannabis in the countries that resist it, such as the UK.