Our new contributor for the Women´s Alliance, Charli, looks at just some of the pitfalls and some of the benefits of being a woman and a cannabis consumer in the UK today. A woman`s perspective on weed.
By Charli Knights
For a woman, it is distressing to think of yourself as vulnerable. It is a much more comforting thought to convince yourself that you are a strong woman, and capable of looking after yourself. When traveling, going for a walk, or heading home after seeing friends it’s almost a given that you need to be aware of your surroundings, and to keep yourself as safe as possible. We also believe that if something were to happen we would not only be capable of looking after ourselves, but that we have a policing system that works to protect and serve us.
In nearly every aspect of my life, I believe that to be true. However, there is one thing that offers me no protection whatsoever, from some of the worst possible things imaginable. That thing is my need to use Cannabis.
Currently the conflict between my need to use medical Cannabis for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) as well as for severe menstrual pain, and the current legal standing of cannabis in the UK, has forced me to become a criminal and to associate with the most unpleasant people I have ever had the misfortune of encountering. This not only puts me in danger, but it also means that I have no back up from our Policing system, nor can I speak out about it publicly.
Whether you are a woman using cannabis for medical or recreational purposes there is no excuse for any sort of harassment or intimidation from any street dealer. I have been using cannabis for 8 years and have had some bad experiences as well as been made to feel very vulnerable. Two days ago, I received these three text messages from a local street dealer.
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“ If u suk my dick I giv u free 3g bag of power plant….!!!” 19:45
“ Cmon I giv u 50s of DANK if u suck my cock!” 00:23
“Half oz if u ride my BIG HARD COCK” 00:45
….. I am prepared to put money on the fact that there is the possibility it is either a joke or somebody is possibly using his phone. Nevertheless that does not change the fact that this now means I can never put myself into a criminal situation with him, because of what I could potentially be risking.
What can I DO about that? There would possibly be a chance of having him prosecuted, but realistically how far would that go and what risk does that put me into because of the fact that I am breaking the law, albeit unwillingly?
The need for Cannabis Social Clubs in the UK is more evident now than ever before. The safety it can offer to women is apparent, and not only does it take us away from having to deal with these black market profit makers but it also guarantees any woman peace of mind. All people associated with Cannabis Clubs can be essentially vouched for, which greatly reduces the risk of any harm coming to anybody.
Whilst recently researching the statistics of suspects of crimes being identified, it was brought to my attention that the current standing of identifying a rapist is at 30%… This means that if you are raped there is a 70% chance they will not catch your attacker. This does not fill me with confidence, when currently in order to acquire cannabis for either my medical needs or recreational use I have no choice but to meet street dealers in dark alley ways, under dim street lights, or somebody pulling up in an unknown car. Furthermore, with no legal standing with the Police in this situation it really puts me in great danger.
Using cannabis to aid the symptoms of IBS and menstrual pain is a much safer, long term option than using prescription drugs, and it also has a much faster and prolonged effect – However I feel as if the way the law is working at the moment is forcing me to choose between my personal safety and my long term health – which is a situation no person should find themselves in.
It has been documented many times that Queen Victoria was prescribed cannabis extract to relieve menstrual pain, and this has been documented by countless women for many years. If this is a known fact, then I have to ask why is our legal system prepared to put women at risk, either by forcing them into using prescription drugs which can damage their stomach lining over prolonged use, or by forcing them to interact with low life criminals, any of whom could harass, sexually assault and/or steal from her at any given moment?
Women should not have to apologise for needing to use cannabis to aid this type of pain. It should not be stigmatised and if anything it should be celebrated. An average woman menstruates for 40 years, and has an average of 450 periods over her lifetime. That is a lot of painful cramping, bloating, nausea and discomfort! We have at our disposal a natural remedy which can be used in many different ways to aid this pain and discomfort in almost a heartbeat, and I for one am so thankful for it.
After having a medical emergency in which I was told to stop using Ibuprofen immediately to aid my pain, I was awoken to the dangers of using prescription or even over the counter drugs. Ibuprofen and Paracetamol both damage your stomach lining with prolonged use. They also greatly contribute to stomach ulcers, kidney failure and liver damage. So I have to ask; if the medical professionals KNOW that these drugs do this, and they KNOW that a woman has to use them for prolonged use, and they KNOW that there is a natural, much less harmful solution, why are we being denied access to it…?