A very sober Paul Ryder is praising the power of cannabis now that his 11-year-old son Chico is in remission from soft tissue cancer after a cannabis oil regimen. Ryder plays bass in the British acid-house band Happy Mondays.
"I'm a recovering addict and haven’t had a drink or drug for many years, so there’s no way I would ever have encouraged my son to take cannabis," he tells the Daily Mail. "But when (his wife) Angela told me what she had discovered I couldn’t really argue and had to agree that we had to get some for him. It was the best thing we could have done. In my opinion it’s a medicine not a drug, and thank goodness we were living in California. We built up the dose slowly as his tolerance rose. It made a big difference in his overall well-being. It definitely made the treatment more tolerable. He started to smile. It certainly didn’t solve every problem, but it helped make his life more bearable through the treatment."
Angela Ryder goes into more detail: 'The Marinol worked a little at the beginning, but we were told that real cannabis worked much better. So because we were living in a state where medical cannabis is legal with a doctor’s recommendation, we asked the doctors for approval, and they agreed. As they saw how beneficial it was for Chico, they were very supportive.
'I never in a million years imagined that I'd ever be buying cannabis oil for my 11-year-old son and giving him relatively high amounts of it down his stomach tube.
"What isn’t quite so widely known is that cannabis also seems to have the ability to actually fight the cancer itself, as well as mitigating the side effects of the chemo."
Paul Ryder also helped Chico vape his medicine. "I found myself coaching him on how to inhale cannabis vapor from a vaporizing machine," the bass player recalls. "It was surreal - but it worked brilliantly and gave him instant relief. My drug problems have been well documented. I nearly lost my life. But now they are being used instead to help Chico."
Chico's uncle, Happy Mondays' lead singer Sean Ryder, goes as far as to boast: "Our Chico kicks cancer. He's a real fighter."
A year after the treatment began, Chico was in remission from his bout with rhabdomyosarcoma. "Chico has lost his hair and needs a wheelchair from the side effects of his treatment," Angela admits, "but we know he’ll be back on his feet soon."
Founded in 1980, Happy Mondays' mix of rock and dance music caught on in the U.K. and U.S. with their successful third album, 1990's Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches, which featured the hit single "Step On" (No. 57 U.S.).