03 Feb Cannabis Scheduling: CLEAR To Give Evidence To APPG Inquiry

APPG meeting

CLEAR was this week invited to submit evidence to a Short Inquiry into the case for changing the categorisation of cannabis for medicinal purposes from Schedule 1 to a more appropriate schedule. The inquiry will be carried out by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Drug Policy Reform, co-chaired by Baroness Meacher and Caroline Lucas MP.

In June 2015 the APPG published a short report arguing for a rescheduling of cannabis to make it more widely available for medical use. Following the publication of that report there are a number of key questions remaining that it would like to address by means of a Short Inquiry.

CLEAR has long been campaigning for the re-scheduling of cannabis. We will be submitting written evidence to the inquiry and may also be invited to give oral evidence in sessions at the Houses of Parliament during the course of February and March.

Roland Gyallay-Pap

According to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001:

Schedule 1 substances are thought to have no therapeutic value and therefore cannot be lawfully possessed or prescribed. These include LSD, MDMA (ecstasy) and cannabis. Schedule 1 drugs may be used for the purposes of research but a Home Office licence is required.

Drugs in Schedules 2 or 3 can be prescribed and therefore legally possessed and supplied by pharmacists and doctors. Examples of schedule 2 drugs are methadone and diamorphine (heroin), but also include dronabinol, which is the International Nonproprietary Name (INN) for delta 9 THC, the principal psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

Schedule 4 drugs can be possessed as long as they are clearly for personal use. Drugs in this schedule can also be imported or exported for personal use where a person himself carries out that importation or exportation. The most common examples of schedule 4 drugs are steroids and benzodiazepines such as Valium (diazepam).

Schedule 5 drugs are sold over the counter and can be legally possessed without a prescription.