23 Feb CLEAR Executive Meeting 24th – 25th January 2015

Cromer, Norfolk

Cromer, Norfolk

Attendees:

Peter Reynolds (PR)

Derek Williams (DW)

Roland Gyallay-Pap (RGP)

Richard Tong (RT)

Doug Fraser (DF) – observer

Website

Design and functionality issues of the new CLEAR website were discussed and agreed.

Financial & Performance Overview 2014

The committee reviewed the financial and performance overview, noting that targets for income had largely been met. Expenditure came in slightly higher than anticipated and memberships had increased substantially over the previous year.

RGP to prepare annual accounts and a summary for the website, and annual filing for Electoral Commission (if still applicable).

Campaign 2015

1) Constitutional change to end political party status

It was agreed that CLEAR would end its political party status. Considerations for this include the fact that fringe parties in by-elections now have significantly less coverage than has previously been the case. CLEAR has also missed out on media engagements due to media exposure requirements by broadcasters.

Suggestions for a new form include “pressure group”, “campaign group” and “lobby group”. It was noted that this proposal would require a change of CLEAR’s constitution via online member’s resolution.

2) Endorsement by CLEAR for Liberal Democrats at General Election

It was agreed that CLEAR would not endorse the Lib Dems, but offer them adspace (articles etc) for items relating to their drugs polcicy on our website. The same would be offered to the Greens.

PR to meet with Tim Colbourne, Special Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister to discuss this proposal.

3) Recreational cannabis campaign

DW volunteered to write an article to stimulate the debate around the recreational campaign. CLEAR will continue to campaign for recreational legalisation.

Medicinal Users Campaign/Medicinal Users Panel

1) Review of Aims & Objectives of MUP

The main purpose of MUP is to create a steady stream of medicinal users to see government ministers and other government representatives, all of which add to growing pressure on government to implement change.

2) How to create action from MUP members

The six-stage process is as follows was agreed:

Flowchart

1) General discussion on medicinal campaign

PR raised the issue that cannabis in herbal form can never be classified as a ‘medicine’ due to the lack of homogeneity of the product. This could only potentially be achieved through tinctures and extracts.

It was agreed to explore the possibility of having herbal cannabis classified as a ‘traditional herbal medicine’ and that this should be achieved through Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

PR to discuss the theoretical possibility with the MHRA.

2) European Charter of Patient Rights

RT presented the committee with the European Charter of Patients Rights. Issues raised by this relate to the postcode lottery and that people shouldn’t be forced to suffer when a medication in Europe is withheld from UK patients.

It was suggested that a letter be drafted to MPs, Health Ministers and chair of Health Select Committee highlighting how lack of access to medcan breaches the charter.

3) Working with other organisations

It was agreed that, where possible, collaboration with other organisations should be encouraged.

4) MUP Logo

A logo for the CLEAR MUP was agreed.

5) CLEAR Medical Cannabis Leaflet

The new leaflet will be commissioned once necessary consent forms had been received.

Other campaigns/issues

1) New drug driving enforcement legislation: Whilst recognising that blood concentration limits were not an appropriate way to measure suitability for driving, CLEAR can not be seen to be on the wrong side of the argument. It was agreed that CLEAR take the following defensive position on drug driving: “CLEAR opposes anyone driving impaired.”

2) Merchandising: DW presented the committee with a proposal by a T-shirt company and will pursue this further.

Appointments

1) RT was unanimously appointed to the CLEAR Execuive Committee.

2) RGP was unanimously awarded a fellowship of the Party.

Any Other Business

1) It was agreed to keep the AdVan posters in storage with Admedia for the time being

2) Design of new set of stickers: PR to develop a series based on the three arguments: 1) social/political 2) medicinal 3) economic

3) Member’s newsletter February: content to be prepared by PR and DW

Dates of future meetings

The next online meeting shall be held at 18:30 on Sunday, February 22nd

The committee expressed its thanks to its very welcoming hosts.

END OF MEETING