19 Feb 2017

‘This House Would Say No To Drugs’, The Oxford Union, 16th February 2017.

On Thursday, 16th February 2017, the Oxford Union held a debate on the motion 'This House Would Say No To Drugs'. I was honoured to be invited to speak against the motion in the august company of Paul Hayes and Stephen DeAngelo. Speaking for the motion were Andrew Ng, Assistant Commissioner Patricia Gallan and Shaun Attwood. We successfully defeated the motion by approximately 120 votes to 90.  A video of the debate will be released shortly.  I...

08 Jan 2017

WARNING. So-Called ‘Indica’ CBD Products Are Illegal.

Any CBD products marketed in the UK as derived from 'indica' cannabis are illegal and you could be prosecuted for possession, importation or supply as with any other form of prohibited cannabis. The situation which started last October with the MHRA trying to shut down marketing of CBD products arose because of irresponsible, cowboy companies making medicinal claims about their products.  It was well understood by all professional CBD companies that this would cause problems and indeed it has. Only the intervention of CLEAR...

09 Dec 2016

The UK’s First Licensed Cannabis Dispensary.

When Mike Dobson first called me a few months ago and told me he had an idea for gaining legal access to cannabis in the UK, I was, of course, sceptical. CLEAR has frequently been approached with hare-brained and convoluted plans for avoiding the law that prohibits cannabis.  Without exception they have all been bonkers. Within a few minutes though, I could see this one was different.  In the past, most of these ideas have been around sidestepping the...

06 Dec 2016

The Facts About CBD In The UK. December 2016.

On 3rd October 2016 the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)  issued notices to a number of CBD suppliers stating that cannabidiol (CBD) was being designated as a medicine and that sale of all CBD products must stop within 28 days, ostensibly by the 1st November. A lot has happened since.  Most importantly, the Cannabis Trades Association UK (CTAUK) has been established to represent the industry and protect the interests of CBD consumers but there remains great confusion as to the legal status of CBD...

23 Nov 2016

Crispin Blunt Asks Parliamentary Question On Medicinal Cannabis, 22nd November 2016.

Q. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether (a) his Department and (b) the Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has reviewed the latest evidence, including evidence on different regulatory approaches in other jurisdictions, for the use of medical cannabis. A. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) reviews evidence submitted by a company seeking a marketing authorisation for a medicinal...

17 Nov 2016

Cruel And Irresponsible Response from UK Government To Parliamentary Report On Medicinal Cannabis.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, the response to the recent call from MPs and peers to legalise cannabis for medicinal use has come straight from the top.  Theresa May's longstanding reputation as a denier of science and evidence on drugs policy is reinforced by her peremptory dismissal of the expert report.  It seems that, at least in the short term, the UK government is sticking by a policy that is discredited, ridiculous and deeply cruel. It fell to Sarah Newton MP, minister of state...

17 Nov 2016

Guidelines On Cannabis For Medical Professionals.

In a new initiative, CLEAR's scientific and medical advisor, Professor Mike Barnes, has written to the presidents of several Royal Colleges proposing the development of guidelines around the use of cannabis as medicine. This is a tricky situation for doctors.  Surveys and individual reports from CLEAR members indicate that many doctors tacitly endorse their patients' use of cannabis but clearly cannot recommend the illegal use of cannabis, however safe and effective it may be. Professor Barnes' letter...

09 Nov 2016

CLEAR Statement Concerning Cannabis Legalisation Measures In US Election.

"This is marvellous news for liberty, health and human rights.  The USA, unlike Britain, has a functioning democracy where the will of the people prevails rather than the bigotry and self-interest of politicians.  It is wonderful to see that truth, justice and evidence is winning out over the lies and misinformation we have been fed about cannabis for almost 100 years. In 1971, the British government abdicated all responsibility on cannabis and abandoned our communities and our children to criminal gangs.  Since...

08 Nov 2016

CLEAR Cannabis Law Reform Accounts 2015.

Income Compared to the previous year, CLEAR's regular income in 2015 was up 79% to £17,074. The majority of income continues to come from memberships, with the remainder coming from donations, merchandise and Google advertising. Regular income: £17,074 Expenditure CLEAR spent a total of £12,023, a decrease of 11% on the previous year. Total expenditure: £12,023 Administration: membership administration, stationery, postage, telephone & internet, meeting expenses, etc. Administration costs have increased as an overall proportion of expenditure as there were no dedicated campaigns during the year. Travel:...

04 Nov 2016

Report Of Meeting With MHRA On Regulation of Cannabidiol (CBD).

Yesterday, 3rd November 2016, six delegates from the UK Cannabis Trade Association (UKCTA) met with Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) representatives at the agency's headquarters in Victoria. We were courteously received. The meeting was cordial, productive and enabled both sides to clarify their positions and better understand each other's perspective. In...