Pam St Cle­ment’s Amer­i­can road trip

Pam St Cle­ment on why she tried mar­i­juana in amer­ica for a new doc­u­men­tary

TV Times - - Contents - Gone to Pot Mon, wed, Fri / ITV / 9.00PM Sean Mar­land

Pam St Cle­ment is known to mil­lions of us as chain-smok­ing Easten­ders leg­end Pat Butcher. But the ac­tress was puff­ing on some­thing much stronger than cig­a­rettes dur­ing her re­cent trip to Amer­ica for ITV’S new doc­u­men­tary se­ries Gone to Pot.

The three-parter sees Pam, along with Birds of a Feather star Linda Rob­son, en­ter­tainer Christo­pher Big­gins, darts supremo Bobby Ge­orge and for­mer foot­baller John Fashanu, board a psy­che­delic bus to visit some of the Amer­i­can states where mar­i­juana for recre­ational and medic­i­nal pur­poses is le­gal.

When TV Times catches up with them, Pam re­calls the very first day of her cannabis odyssey, when she and Linda found them­selves at a party in San Fran­cisco…

‘We met a guy called “Harry the Hippy”,’ says Pam, 75. ‘He in­vited us to a party and when we walked in it was fright­fully Six­ties, with bongo drums and flower power every­where. We felt out of place and then sud­denly this joint was passed round. We thought, “Oh, go on, it would be rude not to!” It was so re­lax­ing and we ended up chat­ting and gig­gling for hours!

‘I smoked cannabis at a party when I was younger,’ she con­tin­ues. ‘But that was years ago. I don’t even smoke cig­a­rettes, which is funny be­cause, as Pat, I was al­ways light­ing one, hold­ing one or putting one out!’

over the course of the se­ries, the celebri­ties em­bark on very per­sonal jour­neys, which left them ques­tion­ing whether Bri­tain should also le­galise mar­i­juana.

‘There were def­i­nitely dif­fer­ences of opin­ion,’ says Pam. ‘One day we’d say, “We’ve got to le­galise this, med­i­cally and recre­ation­ally.” Then the next day we might change our minds de­pend­ing on who we met.’

Pam will never for­get the day she raided an il­le­gal cannabis farm.

‘That was so ex­cit­ing,’ she says. ‘When does an old biddy like me get the chance to fol­low a SWAT team into a raid? They were all in their gear with their weapons loaded.’

A more re­flec­tive mo­ment was when the group met Dr Bonni Gold­stein, who uses med­i­cal cannabis to treat se­ri­ously ill peo­ple, in­clud­ing 13-year-old Jana.

‘Jana had been hav­ing epilep­tic fits and seizures since she was little,’ ex­plains John, 55. ‘But since Dr Bonni treated her with cannabis oil, they’ve all but stopped. It’s im­proved her life un­be­liev­ably.’

Yet medic­i­nal mar­i­juana isn’t a new sub­ject for Linda, who knows all too well about the drug’s pow­ers.

‘My step­dad had bad arthri­tis and a joint was the only thing that helped him with the pain,’ says Linda, 59. ‘I first found out about cannabis oil a few years ago when I made friends with a little boy on Twit­ter who had a rare form of can­cer and was given a one-in­eight-bil­lion chance of sur­vival.

‘He started tak­ing cannabis oil and the can­cer dis­ap­peared. If a fam­ily mem­ber was se­ri­ously ill, I’d get them cannabis oil straight away be­cause I’ve seen what it can do.’

This joint was passed round. We thought, ‘Oh, go on, it would be rude not to!’ Pam St Cle­ment

Joint ac­count: Christo­pher, John, Pam and Linda dis­cover the medic­i­nal ben­e­fits of mar­i­juana

Big smoker: Pam as Pat in Eas­ten­ders

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