back to article Boris backs weed for pain relief

Senior Tory and candidate for London Mayor Boris Johnson has backed the legalisation of cannabis for chronic pain relief. Asked for his view on medicinal cannabis, Johnson said: "I've thought about this a little bit but I haven't looked at all the evidence or talked to the police about it in the way I would in order to give …


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  1. Tom

    Doesnt work

    I can still hear him....

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Is a good pain killer as well.

  3. Sceptical Bastard

    Boris pro-dope? Spare us!

    Quote: ""I've thought about this a little bit but I haven't looked at all the evidence..."

    That just about sums up the Boris approach to everything! And the idea of the plonker out of his head on skunk doesn't bear thinking about - he's unintelligible enough when he's straight!

    Don't get me wrong - I consider Livingstone to be a rebartitive charlatan but the idea of Boris Johnson running London beggars belief. An opportunist dilletante like him couldn't run a bunfight in a bakery.

  4. Mike Crawshaw

    I hit my thumb with a hammer...

    Can I get a fat J now please?

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Rob
    Paris Hilton


    so is alcohol, just wondering if you had a point?

    Paris, as she does.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boris for mayor!

    First party to say they will make this law gets my vote in the general election

  8. phil


    as someone who can't take any painkillers for fear death by swelling up like some current flavour of the months WAG's chest i use weed quite abit and it does have rather excellent painkilling properties. does wonders for migraine.

    I hate to say it but think Boris is right here and whats even more hard to say is that i think we should actually follow the merkins (the states that allow it anyway) in this one.

    Actually that didn't feel quite so wrong saying that... surprising...

  9. Paul Banacks


    "Brown seems likely to ignore the advice..."

    Indeed, that sums up the entire Labour party and their Labour mayor. Time has come for change!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Maybe the law should be flexible there as well?

    I've not looked at the evidence or talked to the police or anything though.

    Nitrous too, although that's legal(ish) anyway.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    @ JonB

    Yes, it is, which is why it's available to Doctors to prescribe under a number of different names.

    Cannabis, however, needs to be smoked/brewed/otherwise consumed in its organic form for full affect so despite some progress in cannabinoid medication it's still not possible to get it on the NHS.

    Ask any oncologist what the best relief from chemotherapy is - or any ophthalmologist what they'd recommend for glaucoma - or any chronic pain sufferer whether they'd like a joint.

    We're individual organisms born into the tyranny of an organised nation, and thus barred from growing and then consuming one of God's / Nature's products in a private setting. Where's the harm to others?

    I'd rather grow a plant in my spare room than give money to Turkish heroin and people traffickers, but guess which is less likely to result in imprisonment?

    Tux because he looks the most stoned from the selection available.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    It does, you just need to increase your dosage. |->

  13. Jerome


    Yup, morphine, a heroin analogue, is used extensively for pain relief and yet cannabis, which can provide considerable relief to MS sufferers amongst others, still isn't available in the UK as a medical product and users are criminalized.

    Where's the cure for being ignorant and small minded?

  14. Ash

    @Boris for mayor!

    So, what were you up to on the 20th of this month?


  15. pctechxp

    I agree

    but it needs to be controlled by means of only being available on prescription (cannibis that is, not heroin)

    On a lighter note, although he's made some ill-judged comments (and approved those made by others but haven't we all at times) I think its good to see an MP without the veneer of PR and I'd definitely prefer Boris as PM to the product of spin we have now and have had for the past 11 years

    Boris for PM!

  16. Peter Gold badge

    @ Sceptical Bastard

    Having experienced Ken for his two tenures and the, um, "alternative" view of the Universe he holds suggests that ANYONE will do better. And Boris isn't as dumb as he appears - the act is convincing until you read his writings..

    I'd vote for Boris.

  17. Liam

    nice one boris

    i have to admit i like the guy - not sure i would want him being my major but since i live outside of london and north of watford my opinion doesnt count in this country anyway :(

    they should do like in the USA - you can grow a small amount of plants for your medical needs.

    the VAST MAJORITY of real pain relief is opiate based - so you are doing much more harm talking that that by smoking pot.

    btw - i wish the word skunk would stop being thown around - i bet less than 1% of smokers have actually had 'skunk' - its a strain of cannabis (indica sativa cross) that hasnt been around for years now. most commercial weed these days is caly orange, white widow, grapefruit and big bud.

  18. D

    Boris may be a complete spanner

    but he's streets ahead of the majority of MPs who get their info from the Daily Wail and it's reefer madness campaign with bullshit claims about cannabis being stronger than it ever used to be.

  19. Anonymous Coward


    Yes Heroin is a good pain killer, ever heard of Morphine? NHS use it now and then? THC (the good stuff in cannabis) is already used as a painkiller in Tablet form and is prescribed for many ailments in this country already. It is known to reduce the nausea suffered during cancer treatment amongst many other things. It is not as effective in tablet form as smoking it though.

    So as Rob said, what's your point?

    To all the haters: you have three options-

    1) think that cannabis should be illegal AND also think that alcohol (a far more addictive, destructive and dangerous drug) should be illegal

    2) think that both should be legal

    3) be an uninformed gordon brown inspired hypocrite

  20. kissingthecarpet

    Only way to tolerate Windows

    I have to develop in Windows at work - believe me, its the only thing that stops me losing the plot.....

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Yes, and heroin is used in palliative care.

  22. Bob Gender
    Thumb Down


    Why is it that people assume that change is always a good thing?

    A fresh turd is still not preferable to a wilted rose.

  23. Chris Collins

    @ Septic Bastard

    You didn't specify a choice. If you are going to vote for a non-starter please leave the room now. Yes, well done the Left List receives two hundred and _one_ votes. It's Ken or Boris. Nobody wants the police in charge and nobody really gives a shit about the environment, despite what they say.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boris 4 Mayor

    I'll vote for whoever legalises the puff through some kind of controlled market. It's ridiculous to be made to feel a criminal for having a relaxing smoke.

  25. iZmOliGy


    I smoke lots of weed and I can honestly say.. ermmm .....

    where was I....

    did I just say that or was I about to say it? ermmmm. Yeah, mines a snickers and some more rizla blue please..


  26. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Just legalise it all

    I can't see the police announcing any time soon that they've arrested the last drug dealer in the country. As long as there's demand there will be dealers. The government should just legalise it all and tax it to pay for the NHS costs. If people are stupid enough to take drugs at least they've paid some money towards their treatment, clearly making drugs illegal doesn't stop anyone. Plus it puts dealers out of business overnight, which should help to reduce crime and give the police more time to solve other more serious crimes..

  27. Steve


    You do realise that the vast majority of prescription drugs can be abused as well - that's why you need a doctor to prescribe them. Allowing a medical professional to prescribe cannabis does not mean people will start using heroin instead of strepsils.

    Although it was originally marketed as a children's cough medicine and a morphine substitute. It was done by Bayer who also prodced aspirin.

    You see, chemistry doesn't give a stuff if you make something illegal, it will still react in exactly the same way so making arbitrary laws about which chemicals can and cannot be used for medicine is ludicrous. If doctors were only allowed to use chemicals which had no potential to get someone high, they would be deprived of their most potent tools.

  28. Les Matthew


    Heroin is available on prescription, it's called diamorpine.

  29. nutellajunkie
    Dead Vulture

    addictive opiates, or safer THC?

    yes, its one of two things that cure migraine pain.. the other is unconsciousness.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Yes, I do realise, thanks for that astounding insight.

    I accept that it was a bit of flame bait, and partly because I read the article in the context of what Boris said, not what Boris said in the context of Boris.

    That is, Boris suggests that if cannabis has a medical use for pain relief he would support that. Fair enough.

    The article then goes on to discussing the classification of cannabis, which Boris hadn't commented on (although that's the target of the question of course).

    For medical use the classification doesn't really need to change, there are many drugs that are used medically but have a strict classification. Nitro-glycerin is used in heart conditions for instance, yet is fairly tightly restricted amongst the public.

    My point, if I had one other than to wind people up, was that if you are to have restrictions at all then de-restricting drugs on the basis that they relieve pain isn't necessarily a good criterium to pick, because you end up de-restricting a lot.

    As far as those who just want to get high without being prosecuted (yes, everyone who put @JonB in their title), I have no issue with that, I 'd have the whole caboodle legalised and deal with the fall out as a health issue. Just to get rid of the associated crime. If it means sticking you lot in padded cells because there's no money to do anything effective then fair enough, that was your look out.

  31. Elmer Phud

    Boris & weed ? it's a cop-out

    Yes or no, Boris.

    Sod all this 'well, if it eases pain and can increase appetite' bollocks. It gets you stoned. How about banning a substance that costs the U.K. economy billions per year, ties up the police force and health service and is highly addictive?

    No? Ah, no more Eton drinking songs with you and your chums.

    I think a bit less 'harmess twat' and more 'coulrophobia' is in order.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    @Sceptical Bastard

    > "I've thought about this a little bit but I haven't looked at all the evidence..."

    > That just about sums up the Boris approach to everything! And the idea of the

    > plonker out of his head on skunk doesn't bear thinking about - he's unintelligible

    > enough when he's straight!

    So clearly you haven't listened to a word from Boris either before the election campaign nor after. Boris has talked about a whole bunch of pretty reasonable concepts for London, and prior to that represented his constituency with equal quality. Yes, he's straight talking and that results in what the political elite call gaffs on occasion. But surely someone who is straight talking is a lot better than the spin-obsessed chimps we've had in government for that past 11 years?

    I defy you to find a politician who has read all the evidence for every possible issue. Especially issues which aren't even that relevant to their current election (surely London Mayor isn't going to be decided on an issue like legalising cannabis?) At least Boris has given a straight and honest answer, basically that he doesn't know all the issues, but thinks it is worthy of investigation, and quotes the right people to talk to get all the information. That for me is the sign of a real leader, rather than an all spin and no substance tub of lard like Brown.

    > Don't get me wrong - I consider Livingstone to be a rebartitive charlatan but the

    > idea of Boris Johnson running London beggars belief. An opportunist dilletante

    > like him couldn't run a bunfight in a bakery.

    Livingstone came up with a few good ideas, but has then got obsessed with power, and has made some ridiculous decisions. The congestion zone might have helped to reduce city centre congestion, but the introduction of bendy buses has made it worse again with the way they block multiple lanes all the time. There are plenty of other examples of Red Ken's ridiculous policies. I'm looking forward to Boris winning (hopefully).

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @one of the AC's

    "Cannabis, however, needs to be smoked/brewed/otherwise consumed in its organic form for full affect so despite some progress in cannabinoid medication it's still not possible to get it on the NHS."

    One word for you ----- SATIVEX

    And it's not available because the UK government, despite the stuff being made under Tory Bliar's reign, because the idiots in power are too scared to legalise something like Sativex in any way despite the little fact of how the trials of the drug THEY asked A.G. Bayer and G.W. Pharmaceuticals to produce were 100% positive for the benefits of the drug as it means they would have to partially legalise the scary cannabis to allow something to be issued under prescription.

    But they are happy handing out methadone to smack addicts (and that addiction is the fault of the user) whilst condemning millions to pain and nasty side effects from the other things that can be prescribed for pain relief, whilst having no problems with the gazillions it costs to treat the side effects/overdoses/etc.

    Trust me, marijuana is the best painkiller I have ever come across and is the only one that can kill my neurological pain without anything like the various side effects off NSAID's (guess why I have an ulcer now), Tramadol (nasty stuff, plays havoc with your seratonin levels and can kill you as quickly as opiates) or Fentanyl (a pure opiate which has various side effects, of which constipation is the nicest one). Oh, and I never seen anyone die of a "herb" OD, unless they end up eating chocolate and pop tarts until they explode.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    tory boy

    Further proof that Bozzer will say anything to get elected.

    "Err, yes, gosh, blimey, legalise it, shocks, yikey, well, err, I, um, guess, that would be err, cripes, err, ok."

  35. James Burton

    Just legalise it!

    I would rather leave the country than remain here if they tried to ban all vices, such as (for example) alcohol and nicotine, as I have liberal tendencies. Prohibition has failed across the world in almost every single case, and it has successfully pushed massive amounts of money into criminal circles rather than taxes and legitimate businesses. The cost of policing, cells for "criminals" caught hurting no-one, and advertising the anti-drugs message (such as the ludicrous "Talk to Frank" adverts and website) has cost us a fortune where we could be taxing and profitting from this instead. Yet when Amsterdam decriminalised cannabis they have had a reduction in usage (apart from a brief initial spike) in their local population. When we downgraded to class C we actually saw a drop in usage but have seen a rise in arrests ... and this is in the name of consistency? The government needs to look for a victim before calling something a crime (and the vast majority of users of drugs pay their way and function successfully within society). Health and education could be provided from the taxes, whilst we'd see a drop in usage and raise additional tax revenues (according to most honest evidence).

    However this government has never been one to listen to evidence, but rather one that pushes propaganda and spin to try to justify their initial beliefs against all contrary evidence. I just wish we could appoint a scientific body to analyze the possibilities openly and honestly that would actually be listened to, unlike the government's own scientific advisers who have consistently been ignored. I used to consider a Labour vote to avoid the Tories, but Labour is now more right-wing and loathsome than the Tories have been for many years, and so Boris will be getting my vote because I'd rather an idiot who takes advice than an intelligent person who ignores advice and evidence, and instead applies their intelligence to spin and self-serving interests only. "I don't know" is a better answer than "I do know" when that person is actually lying or is just plain wrong.

  36. vanessa woods


    I live in the states. For years we have been trying to get the goverment to see the need for the natural pain killer. There were over 2000 deaths of overdoses of asprin last year. IBprophin gives thousands ulcers every year. And what about the thousands more that get hooked on the other heavy duty pain killers. No one in recorded history has ever overdosed on weed. And, weed smokers dont go raid their grandmothers jewerly boxes to sell to get the drug. Its time the goverments of the world relize there are much worse things than pot.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    Pot is the only way I can write PHP

    I once wrote a thousand line function, in fact. Then one of my coke-head buddies looked at it, laughed at me for about ten minutes, and reduced it to six.

  38. Tony Gosling

    Boris says sensible thing

    Good for Boris. Of course cannabis should be available on prescription as others have said it is medically useful for glaucoma, nausea for chemotherapy, arthritis and general pain relief.That is without getting on to the anti-psychotic and anti-cancer properties found in some research studies. In the 19th century it was the most prescribed drug in England. In other words cannabis is less harmful than most prescription drugs and has lots of uses. What sort of immoral bastards deny helpful medicine to sick people ? Answer the governments of the last 30 years.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'l be controversial again..

    This downgrading to class C is actually counter productive to everyone involved except the dealers.

    - Those who think no-one should be allowed to do drugs of any kind, because obviously it's a reduced restriction.

    - Those who want to smoke cannabis legally, because it's still illegal, and you still have to buy it from a sociopath.

    - The Police, who have a much more complicated crime to enforce.

    - The people who's lives are made living hell by the psycho druggies robbing them all the time, because nothing has changed there.

    The dealers benefit because they have more available customers and less risk of prosecution.

    If you want it legalised then the stricter the controls the stronger the voice of complaint. The stronger the complaints, the more obviously harmless people are jailed the more likely it is to be legalised.

  40. Slaine

    on prescription perhaps

    ... given that reading about what the other stunts and tricks our respected government is up to does nothing but make my head chronically sore.

  41. A J Stiles

    @ JonB

    Pharmaceutical grade diamorphine (the pure form of heroin) is actually a very effective painkiller. Unfortunately, like any opiate, it has addictive potential, because it mimics the body's own pain regulatory chemicals -- from which property its enjoyability is derived.

    If you had access to an unlimited supply of uncontaminated heroin then you could use it regularly with no ill effects (apart from sitting very still for hours at a stretch with a tinfoil tube dangling from your mouth, or occasionally getting the urge to do DIY during the small hours.)

    The social effects of "heroin addiction" owe far more to extreme poverty (exacerbated by the high price, itself more a consequence of illegality than anything else) than to any intrinsic property of the drug. Even the decision to inject rather than inhaling the drug is economically-motivated. Chasing the dragon makes overdose impossible: you become unconscious before you can get a damaging amount into your system. It is, however, a comparatively inefficient mode of delivery, especially when the substance is so expensive in the first place.

    Anyway, back to cannabis ..... they might just as well "legalise" it ..... it would be legal in name only, since there are so few places where you can smoke anyway nowadays!

  42. securitybra

    Here in the land of sense...

    Here in the land of sense... Cannabis Flos (Bedrocan - 18% THC) is available for residents on prescription for those with chronic pain e.g. long term RSI.

    Once prescibed then you can travel around most of the EU and the UK legally, with up to about 50 grams for up to thirty days at a time.

    I love living in the Netherlands for it good sense, and the look on UK customs when you walk through and declare your Cannabis. Strangely you can only have pure weed though, no Sativex here yet, so I have to survive using just a Volcano vapouriser and Cannabis tea.

    Why fight a system - leave and become legal again!

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    It's the UN wot done it!

    When a country signs up to join the UN they have to sign the Convention on banned substances which includes Cannabis flowers and leaves. Until the UN changes this list, national governments are obliged to criminalise Cannabis.

    Dope is still illegal in Holland but the police ignore enforcement. Taxing it would be out of the question. Controlled Medical use is allowed though ;-)

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Baaa... i hate Arse Licking Politico time

    You do realise, with all the crap the tories and lib-dems are spouting off in this election.

    They actually make ken look like a real good option. [he is resonably consistant and he has a good track record]

    unlike the flakey wannabees buzzin about outside his offices, spouting off whatever comes into the minds of thier PR bunnies who are obviously off thier faces propping up some bar in a pub or strip-joint somewhere in central london - on full expenses.

    (wonder if the Reg team have tripped over any of them recently in some dark seedy alley) ;p

    mines the one with the badge.. [Bring back real Hard Labour] ((escpecialy for corrupt politians))


  45. pctechxp


    Yep I remembered that as soon as soon as I hit the submit button,

    <Boris impression> oh oh oh oh oh dear </Boris impression>

    See what I said about Boris' main merit, his cock ups are as apparent as the rest of us.

    I'd never make an MP.

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