‘We need a proper conversation’ – UK broadcaster Bill Turnbull supports medical cannabis as he battles cancer
A British broadcaster battling prostate cancer has thrown his support behind medical cannabis in the UK.
Bill Turnbull, a presenter for music radio station Classic FM, has urged legislators in the UK to have a “proper conversation” about the drug.
In the Channel 4 documentary ‘Bill Turnbull: Staying Alive’, which features the former BBC Breakfast presenter’s experiences in the wake of his 2017 cancer diagnosis, he uses cannabis oil.
He said: “It’s legal, to a greater or lesser extent, for medicinal purposes in more than 20 countries.
“Intelligent, advanced countries. And I think we should be one of them.”
Breaking the law
Turnbull admits he is breaking the law by using the cannabis oil, supplied to him by an activist, but says he is willing to “break the rules” because of his condition.
He told a press conference: “I do think we need to have a proper conversation in this country about the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
“We have something that has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes, which has only been illegal for 100 years, if I remember correctly.”
Patients can be prescribed medicinal cannabis by specialist doctors in the UK as of November 2018.
It is the first time UK medical experts have had the option to legally issue prescriptions for cannabis-based medicines if they think it could help their patient.
“I do think we need to have a proper conversation in this country about the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes”Bill Turnbull
Before the ruling, almost all cannabis-based medicinal products were judged to have no therapeutic value.
However, there have only been a handful of prescriptions because of uncertainty over safety and effectiveness.
The law change came soon after the highly publicised case of severely epileptic teenager Billy Caldwell.
The boy fell ill when the UK Home Office confiscated cannabis oil he had been prescribed abroad.
His mother said his condition improved thanks to cannabis oil treatments.