Home Affairs Committee - Drugs: Breaking the CycleWritten evidence submitted by Darren-Jack Broad [DP040]

My name is Darren-Jack Broad and I am a student in North Devon. I am writing to you with regards to your review of the UK drugs laws in 2012. As a member of CLEAR and a medicinal user of cannabis I wish to offer my own personal testimony to the review.

I have suffered severe depression for over 12 years causing insomnia and anxiety issues. I am currently prescribed Sertraline 100 mg, prior to this I was prescribed mirtazapine 50 mg, and before this at least four other types of either serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or Serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) anti-depressants. In over six years of constant doctor’s appointments no solution has yet been found. SSRI anti-depressants only offer me short term relief from depression, usually 3–4 months before I start to build a tolerance to the drugs.

When taking SSRI anti-depressants I feel nullified and disconnected from the world around me and they have a tendency to make my insomnia worse. I have found that eating a small amount of cannabis in the evenings is a way to help me sleep longer and be more relaxed when I wake up. This in turn makes me less anxious and nervous throughout the day.

I feel that this countries laws on cannabis prohibition does nothing more than criminalise ordinary citizens and leaves the cannabis market in the hands of dangerous people. This lack of regulation has also led to medicinal cannabis being very under researched compared with other medicines in the world.

In summary I offer the aims and objectives of CLEAR as the primary issues needed to be addressed here:

1.To end the prohibition of cannabis.

2.To promote as a matter of urgency and compassion the prescription of medicinal cannabis by doctors.

3.To introduce a system of regulation for the production and supply of cannabis based on facts and evidence.

4.To encourage the production and use of industrial hemp.

5.To educate and inform about the uses and benefits of cannabis.

If you would like me to provide any more information please feel free to contact me at any time.

January 2012

Prepared 8th December 2012