Sir Patrick Stewart wants the United Kingdom to boldly go where it has never gone before - toward legalizing medical marijuana. Yesterday, the actor who played Jean-Luc Picard on 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' (1987-1994) came out as a medical marijuana patient and advocate.
“Two years ago, in Los Angeles, I was examined by a doctor and given a note which gave me legal permission to purchase, from a registered outlet, cannabis-based products, which I was advised might help the ortho-arthritis in both my hands,” Sir Patrick wrote in a statement expressing support for Oxford University's plans to launch a landmark medical marijuana study. The investigation into cannabis as a treatment for cancer, chronic pain and inflammatory diseases could lead Britain toward legalizing medical marijuana.
"This is an important step forward for Britain in a field of research that has for too long been held back by prejudice, fear and ignorance," Stewart added. "I believe this programme of research might result in benefits for people like myself as well as millions of others.”
Sir Patrick also revealed what sorts of cannabis products he has used and why he prefers them to other arthritis treatments.
“I purchased an ointment, spray and edibles. The ointment, while providing some relief from the discomfort, was too greasy to use during daytime and so I only use it at night,” he wrote. ‘I have had no negative side effects from this treatment and the alternative would have been to continue taking NSAID’s, Advil, Aleve and Naproxen, which are known to be harsh on the liver and to cause acid reflux."
Stewart's statement makes him one of the foremost British advocates for medical marijuana. But he isn't the first 'Star Trek' captain to endorse cannabis. That honor goes to Captain James Tiberius Kirk -- a.k.a. Canada's William Shatner. "Oh, I love marijuana," Shatner once said on his Ora.TV vintology show 'Brown Bag Wine Tasting'. "Marijuana is a great thing."
Maybe the two captains will get together for a cannabis edibles and wine tasting.