Bedridden man 'cures' crippling bowel pain by ditching prescribed morphine and self-medicating with cannabis
15:25 GMT, 10 September 2012
A computer engineer has finally 'cured' a crippling bowel condition that left him in agony for five years by smoking cannabis.
James Sutherland, 26, has endured more than 30 major operations in an attempt to treat Hirschsprung’s disease and was on 20 morphine pills a day to quell his discomfort.
He was eventually left bedridden by the condition and was unable to venture outside to play with his son.
Self0medicating: James Sutherland, who was on 20 morphine pills a day, has finally 'cured' a crippling bowel condition that left him in agony for five years by smoking cannabis
But he then experimented with the pain-killing affects of cannabis – and claims the class B drug has finally allowed him to live a normal life.
Mr Sutherland now smokes between three and five joints a day, which he also claims is saving him money because the 130-a-month habit is cheaper than the 10-a-pill morphine tablets he used to rely on.
And he has made the drug such an everyday feature of his life that he will happily munch on cannabis brownies while he plays football in the park with his son Jack.
Mr Sutherland today admitted he now relies on his self-medication so much he bakes the drug in cakes so Jack doesn’t have to inhale the fumes.
He said: 'Two months ago I refused any more pain medication as I had reached my limit.
'I was in tears trying to get to sleep and so I had a few drinks to get me to sleep on top of morphine.
'I knew it was a really bad idea to have alcohol on top of morphine so the next day I decided to try some weed.
'After five years I became pain free for the first time. It took the pain away instantly. I thought it was too good to be true, but it’s not – I’ve got my life back now.'
High times: Mr Sutherland now smokes between three and five joints a day
Mr Sutherland found he had to walk around with a cane and now finds it miraculous that he can play with his son.
He said: 'The knife in my side was retracted for one night after so many years and I have been in one of the best moods today that I have ever been in.
'I was able to kick a ball around with my son for the first time, and now I am getting my life back slowly.'
Mr Sutherland, from Stanford-le-hope in Essex, was born with part of his bowel protruding from his stomach and doctors diagnosed him with debilitating Hirschsprung’s disease.
He was left for five years with the constant feeling there was a knife stabbing into his side.
Now he smokes between three and five cannabis cigarettes every day, which he says keeps the pain at bay.
Bonding: Mr Sutherland used to walk with a cane and now finds it miraculous that he can play with his son
Mr Sutherland said he makes sure he does not expose his son, who lives in Blackburn with his mother, to smoke and eats cannabis cookies and brownies when he is with him.
He added: 'I do it nowhere near him at all. I don’t advocate drugs, and he’s not to know what it is.'
Despite the fact cannabis is a Class B drug, Mr Sutherland said he will not stop taking it.
He added: 'I’m not going to stop now. I have got my life back. I can play with my son now which is more than I have ever wanted.
'The damaged area looks almost like a regular stoma, which hasn’t looked like that in four years.
'The anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis have really worked well for me, even though I was on many types of anti-inflammatory.'