M.S. patient has Sativex prescription withdrawn

By Chris Bovey

A medicinal cannabis patient with Multiple Sclerosis has had his Sativex prescription removed following his move to another area. 

Indigo Hawk who medicates with cannabis to treat Multiple Sclerosis.

Indigo Hawk

Indigo Hawk, who has been living in Totnes, south Devon, for the last eight years, had been receiving Sativex on prescription since 2009.

However, he recently moved from Totnes to just outside Crediton in mid-Devon and when he went to see his new doctor to ask for a renewal of his Sativex prescription, he was refused.

Indigo uses herbal cannabis to medicate for his condition and has even been told by his neurologist at Torbay Hospital, Prof Hobart, to keep using cannabis. After seeing the scans of Indigo’s brain Prof Hobert told Indigo he cannot understand how he is functioning and that he should in all likelihood be using a wheelchair.

However, thanks to Indigo’s cannabis consumption, he is able to practice thai chi and play the flute.

“I find herbal cannabis more effective than Sativex, which is a cannabis tincture” says Indigo. “However, Sativex is a quite good for stopping spasms, if I’m having a bad day, or if I’m unable to get hold of enough herbal cannabis to medicate with.

“I think it’s disgusting I’m no longer prescribed Sativex, simply because I have changed my post code.

“This decision will make my condition less manageable. I hope they show some compassion and reconsider.

“My previous M.P. Dr Sarah Wollaston, who represents Totnes, herself a G.P., was very sympathetic to medicinal cannabis. She told me she fully supported my use of cannabis to help alleviate the symptoms of M.S.

“I shall be writing to my new Member of Parliament to complain about this unfair treatment.  People with conditions like M.S. need access to cannabis as a medicine.

“Of course, I’d prefer it if I could legally obtain a range of strains of cannabis to use at different times to help with the various symptoms associated with Multiple Sclerosis.

“Sativex is just one kind of cannabis, it’s all right and it’s helped me a lot. I will miss it,” said Indigo Hawk.

Tina Mendes, NORML UK’s Medical Director condemned the postal code lottery for Sativex.

“Patients who feel they need Sativex should be prescribed it on the merits of their individual case, not because of their post code,” said Tina Mendes.

“I find it particularly cruel they should withdraw a cannabis medicine to a Multiple Sclerosis patient, who has been receiving it for three years now, simply because he’s moved address.”

Portrait of medicinal cannabis consumer, Indigo Hawk, by Devon artist, Michael Shurman.

Portrait of medicinal cannabis consumer, Indigo Hawk, by Devon artist, Michael Shurman.

Posted in News.


  1. Cameron’s wonderful third world country Britain ! Disgusting to say the least . There were people in the north of England that took part in the trials who had their meds withdrawn as soon as the trial finished because of the stupid postcode lottery , leaving an elderly lady – to score of the streets !- this was in 2011. and still nothing has changed !

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