05 Aug 2015

Massive, Long Term Study Shows No Health Harms From Cannabis. Where Are The Headlines?

Long term cannabis use by teenage boys is not linked to later physical or mental health issues according to a very large, long term study published by the American Psychological Association. Where are the front page headlines, the hysterical editorials, the hand wringing, bleating and scaremongering from the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail? They seem to be very quiet on this one. To be fair the Mail has covered it but the leaders in anti-cannabis propaganda at...

31 Jul 2015

The Cannabis Petition. A Wake Up Call For MPs Who Have Ignored Both Electorate And Evidence.

Nearly 200,000 people have signed a petition to legalise cannabis. It's not just a simple click of a mouse button, it requires email verification. It is an enormous event. It is only the tip of the iceberg of the millions in the UK that want to see our archaic and harmful laws on cannabis changed. Petition: Make the production, sale and use of cannabis legal. A lot of MPs are going to be very...

03 Jul 2015

The Minister For Government Policy On The Strange Case Of Medicinal Cannabis.

Oliver Letwin MP is, according to The Independent, "probably the most powerful person in the government after the Prime Minister and Chancellor". He is the Cabinet Office minister with responsibility for the implementation of government policy. He holds the ancient title of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. He is a member of 13 of the 14 Cabinet committees and chair of three of them, more than anyone other than Cameron. He is now...

23 Jun 2015

House of Lords Medicinal Cannabis Debate 23rd June 2015

Firstly, credit and thanks where it is due: Baroness Hamwee, Lord Howarth, Baroness Meacher, Lord Paddick and Lord Ribeiro, champions of evidence, intelligent drugs policy and humane values. However, some were less helpful. Lord Blencathra, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, dismissed the immense value of cannabis experienced by tens of thousands of other MS patients throughout the world. His suggestion that pharmaceutical drugs notorious for their horrible side effects are a better choice flies in the face of...

18 Jun 2015

What Happened In The House Of Lords About Cannabis?

Yesterday, Wednesday 17th June, Baroness Molly Meacher asked a question about cannabis in the House of Lords. There is a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding about what happened, so I shall do my best to explain. A video of the eight minute debate is available here. A full transcript is here. Baroness Meacher This was not a full debate. There never was any prospect of any law being changed. It was simply a question, which would...

16 Jun 2015

The Fight For Medicinal Cannabis Reaches The House of Lords.

Sometime after 3.00pm, tomorrow, Wednesday, 17th June 2015, Baroness Molly Meacher will ask a question in the House of Lords on the re-scheduling of cannabis to permit it to be prescribed by doctors for medicinal use. Watch it here on Parliament TV. Baroness Meacher Behind this is a report 'Regulating Cannabis for Medical Use in the UK', authored by Professor Val Curran of UCL and Frank Warburton of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Drug...

24 May 2015

General Election Aftermath – Have The Lights Gone Out All Over The Country?

Oh dear, the Tories won the general election with a working majority, lights are going out all over the country, we are doomed. London following the general election of 2015 (from pinhost) Or something like that. Throughout the last Parliament progress was being made, at least with regard to CLEAR's very focused campaign to allow herbal cannabis in the form of Bedrocan to be made available to ill people via a doctor's prescription. CLEAR made representations to...

16 May 2015

Drugs Policy Goes To Police Minister

The Home Office has confirmed that responsibility for the UK drugs strategy goes to Mike Penning, MP for Hemel Hempstead, the Minister for Policing, Crime and Criminal Justice. This must be indicative of the attitude that we can expect from the new Conservative government. It would seem that this is a hardening of drugs policy as being a criminal justice issue rather than something to do with health. Ironically, Penning is MP for a constituency that...

14 May 2015

The UK Drugs Stategy Is In Limbo

Who is to be the new drugs minister? No word yet from David Cameron. I have been calling the Home Office every day since the election and the answer is always the same – 'no appointment has been made, it is expected within the coming days'. Responsibility for the drugs strategy rests with the Minister of State for Crime Prevention. At least it did throughout the last Parliament. That gave us the horror of arch-prohibitionist James...

08 May 2015

I Have Had The Most Terrible Post-Election Nightmare.

Julian Huppert, Norman Baker, Lynne Featherstone Following the General Election of 7th May our principal allies on the Liberal Democrat benches have all lost their seats. Quickly now, the government will be formed. No surprise that Theresa May has already been reappointed Home Secretary but who will the junior Home Office ministers be? Brokenshire may leave for another department. He's probably due for a promotion. It would be very good to see the...