A veteran in the British Army has found himself in trouble after consuming cannabis to alleviate nightmares from his combat days.
Joseph Brinkworth, 23, said he uses cannabis to help cope with his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Brinkworth has been plagued with nightmares from his tour in Afghanistan, where he witnessed the deaths and injuries of a number of his comrades.
Brinkworth grew the plants himself, but they were stolen from his home in Hanworth Gardens. Further complicating manners, a neighbor witnessed the break in and alerted the authorities to the cannabis on the premises. Because cannabis is illegal in the U.K. he was hit with a £250 fine, £85 prosecution costs and a £30 government surcharge.
His attorney, Bill Soughton said “His platoon was involved in reconnaissance. They went behind enemy lines and spent five months behind those enemy lines. During that time, two were killed. A number were severely maimed and dismembered by explosive devices.”
District Judge Leo Pyle ordered the destruction of the cannabis, and all paraphernalia and equipment used to grow it, and told Brinkworth: “Whatever you may have read on the web, it remains illegal to get involved in this activity. Because of the nature of the matter, I would expect the police will be round again.”
Brinkworth admitted that he had seven plants on his property, and was given three months to pay the fine.
Brinkworth returned to the United Kingdom in 2012 and left the army a year and a half later. He was then diagnosed with PTSD, and given medicine to treat it. Sadly, the medication was not effective, and then he read that in America, a number of veterans were having success treating their PTSD with cannabis. Due to the high cost of cannabis on the black market, Brinkworth decided to try and grow the cannabis himself, which led to his eventual apprehension.
Cannabis for veterans has been a huge issue in the United Sates for years, and a recent poll showed that the vast majority of Americans are in favor of allowing veterans to treat their PTSD with cannabis. Hopefully some good can come out of this case, and it will open the dialogue about cannabis and its medicinal effects.