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

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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 at the Home Office, to respond to a parliamentary question from Roger Godsiff, Labour MP for Birmingham, Hall Green.

Roger Godsiff MP

Roger Godsiff MP

“To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will respond to the recommendations of the report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform Accessing Medicinal Cannabis: Meeting Patients’ Needs, published in September 2016.”

 

Sarah Newton MP

Sarah Newton MP

“The Prime Minister responded to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform’s report ‘Accessing Medicinal Cannabis: Meeting Patients’ Needs’ on the 27 October.

Cannabis is controlled as a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and, in its raw form, currently has no recognised medicinal benefits in the UK. It is therefore listed as a Schedule 1 drug under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.

It is important that all medicines containing controlled drugs are thoroughly trialled to ensure they meet rigorous standards so that doctors and patients are sure of their efficacy and safety. To do otherwise for cannabis would amount to a circumvention of the clearly established and necessary regime for approving medicines in the UK.”

 

In other words, this is nothing more than a re-statement of the same position that the UK government has held since 1971 when legal access to medicinal cannabis was halted.  Quite clearly the government has given no consideration at all to the vast amount of scientific evidence and international experience that has accumulated over the last 45 years.  The latest report which took nine months to produce, took evidence from over 600 witnesses and included a review of over 20,000 scientific studies is simply cast aside.  To be honest, I doubt whether it has even been read by Ms May or anyone in the Home Office or Department of Health. This is the standard that now prevails in the UK – government of the people by an unaccountable, out-of-touch, unresponsive cabal of individuals elected by a deeply flawed system that gives democracy a bad name.

On the face of it, the claim that all medicines must be thoroughly trialled seems plausible – but it is not.  It is a misleading half-truth clearly intended to squash the call for access to medicinal cannabis by painting a false picture.

Doctors are allowed to prescribe any medicine, licensed or unlicensed, as they see fit, based on their own judgement. But prescribing of cannabis is specifically prohibited by Statutory Instrument despite the scientific consensus that it is far less dangerous than many, probably most commonly prescribed medicines.

So it’s not a level playing field.  It’s a policy that is based on prejudice and scaremongering about recreational use of cannabis.  Ms Newton’s answer is at best disingenuous but then she probably doesn’t even realise that herself.  For many years Home Office policy has been systematically to mislead and misinform on cannabis and evidently under Ms May’s successor, Amber Rudd MP, such dishonesty continues.

Theresa May MP

Theresa May MP

Something will eventually force the government’s hand to change its absurd position on cannabis. Sadly the very last consideration will be scientific evidence or the will of the people. Such factors hold no sway with  UK governments. Only when enough of the political elite open their eyes and examine their conscience, or some key individuals or their family members, experience the need for medicinal cannabis will change become possible.  Alternatively, political upheaval may present an opportunity. The Liberal Democrats were too cowardly, weak and concerned with building their personal careers when in coalition to advance the cause they now so bravely advocate.  Perhaps the SNP, with 56 MPs, all in favour of medicinal cannabis may be our best hope.

Sarah Newton is merely a puppet of the Home Office bureaucracy.  Theresa May’s mendacious position on all aspects of drugs policy is well established and she is as stubborn and bigoted as they come on such matters.  Only when she, in person, is subject to sufficient pressure will this cruel, ignorant and hateful policy change.

  • discerner

    To me their illogical response can only be a ‘response’ to the illogical fear of Big Pharma who are getting jitters about the advance of medicinal cannabis: and, or maybe they are in bed with them as well.

  • changenow

    im not surprised, but at the same time deeply dissapointed. being nice and showing the government the facts in black and white is getting us no where and apparently they cant seem to read, id like to see what that vile snake May would do with thousands and thousands of medicinal cannabis user outside number 10 who wont move till they demand a change in the cruel laws which are making the sick go to street dealer and risking being branded a criminal. Theresa May isnt fit to run a brothel let alone our country!!

  • Kenobi

    When I was younger, I was only concerned with legalisation for my own, personal, recreational benefit. As I got older and became more educated about the medical benefits of Cannabis and the suffering of many, many people in this country, (Suffering that could be, almost completely, irradicated by simple legislation and infrastructure) my views completely changed.

    I’m more than happy to continue to feed organised crime and drug dealers with my money, for as long as the government feel the need to enforce farcical laws against a plant. I will continue to do so until the day I die, if I must but to just ignore the fact that people are living a miserable, limited existence, just because Theresa May refuses to accept fact, is akin to manslaughter and torture.

    “Yes there is pain relief. Yes there possibly is a cure for your cancer. But unfortunately, I don’t want to allow you to have access to this medicine because we deemed it illegal in 1971. Please continue to take this cocktail of synthetic chemicals that may or may not prolong your life and agony.”

    Good work UK Government.

    Apologies for the rant but everyday I see children with cancer, peoplecwith debilitating diseases and illnesses, who could have their pain eased by a simple stamp on a piece of paper. Yet we refuse. Something desperately needs to change.

  • Wayne Grant

    The first thing one must understand when dealing with the government on this is that they are extremely ignorant and prejudiced against cannabis. They have ignored virtually every bit of scientific evidence and all their decisions based on their own ignorance & prejudice. These are not, contrary to popular belief, the brightest people you’ll ever deal with. British governments never do anything progressive unless it is forced to do do. Like we are forcing Brexit upon them, so must we force any and all new progressive legislstion.They will not do it voluntarily as they don’t actually have a clue, other than enriching themselves at our expense while treating us with derision and contempt. You would be better off taking this through both petitioning parliament(target 3 million signatures BEFORE you present it to parliament) and taking it to court to tell the govt they can’t just dismiss scientific evidence.

  • changenow

    i highly doubt in my lifetime that this backwards run country will change its dated views cannabis. think of all the people with cancer, ms etc, and dont forget the children who are affected by the the likes of Dravet’s Syndrome and other cruel cruel conditions, how long can all these people be ignored. it should be our right to use this medicine.

  • Amytree

    How illegal is cannabis when the MHRA are now classifying CBD as a medicine and the home office will grant you a license to grow fields of the stuff in exchange for a few quid. Yet grow a plant at home and you risk fines and your liberty. I am completely dismayed by these events. Having just discovered CBD oil and the wonderfull effects that it has on my anxiety, as opposed to the meds that doctors proscribe that don’t have a positive effect and you risk coma and death. I really hope that some MP’s grow some and put an end to these stupid rules once and for all.

    • changenow

      while cbd is recognised as a medicine i mentioned it to my doctor and he said its a grey area and you probably wont get it, why have a medicine if you cant get access to it, seems ridiculous.

  • Charles hammer

    why do the a -holes the scum of the earth always seem to rise to the top.

  • Sowel

    If our government serves its own self interests over the people to the point of denying scientific evidence and actual accounts of the real world then what is the point of remaining in the UK. I am really starting to consider my options now.

  • Paul Reeves

    Theres not much profit for big pharma. If medical marijuana ships opened all those shop owners would be taking pie away from the political elites closest chums, the economic elite. Its as simple as that.

  • JOHN

    don`t worry Theresas May wont last long as sson as brexit goes tits up all of the tories will be finished

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  • george Stewart

    I have recently been diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis, i have smoked weed for a long time. My GP believes i have had MS for a long time and the only reason i havent been showing symptoms is because of my marijuana use. I am on all sorts of toxic pharmaceutical drugs now that are damaging my body, and tbh they arent helping with the pain and spasticity. The only thing that works for me is marijuana. Only thing is, street weed quality varies. I cant grow my own anymore due to my wifes occupation. The government also contradicts itself with their drug policy, marijuana is schedule 1 yet sativex is schedule 4???? The drug policies are cruel and also illegal if you go deep enough into human rights legislation.

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