Should people be allowed to grow their own weed if it’s purely for personal use?
Rocco told Lunchtime Live he began smoking cannabis regularly to deal with his issues with alcohol, and GP prescriptions were not working.
"A friend found me shaking,” he said. “He gave me a joint, and told me to have it before bed.”
“I went to bed straightaway, I felt great,” he said. “My sweating stopped, my anxiety stopped, I slept like a baby and all my symptoms were gone the next day.”
Rocco began smoking one joint of cannabis in the evenings – and eventually began growing his own when he was “ripped off” by dealers who offered him “nasty” bags with other drugs inside.
“I know what I’m doing, I’m breaking the law – but I don’t think I’m doing anything illegal,” he said.
“I’m not supporting drug gangs... I don’t sell any weed, I’m not a drug dealer myself.”
Licence to grow
He said the Government should offer “licences to grow” cannabis for personal use in situations like his own.
While cannabis is not “made for everyone”, the people who grow it deserve the dignity to do it in peace, according to Rocco.
Brendan called in to tell the show a licence to grow cannabis would help people like his father, who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease.
“Medicinal marijuana is a help,” he said. “100% a help. If [my father] doesn’t have his tablets, he’s going to suffer. He's lost 10 pounds since Christmas, but just by shaking.
“If my father had access to medicinal oil say he would have no problem in daily life – it's proven to be a huge benefit.
“When you go to a street dealer, you don't know what you're buying – if you have a licence, you can pick a light THC.”
Mental health issues
Addiction counsellor Marie Byrne told Lunchtime Live people should find alternatives to medicinal marijuana before attempting to grow their own.
“It's very common for me to hear that somebody wants to use the different drugs instead of the one they have,” she said.
“It’s common to hear the word ‘only’ - I’ll ‘only’ use at certain times – to minimise it in some ways.”
Ms Byrne said something addictive like cannabis can have harmful impacts on the brain.
“You still have changes in the brain with any drug that uses mood altering,” she said. “Your mental health issues are affected, especially with cannabis because of toxicity on the strength of THC in it.”
You can listen back here: