17 Dec Department Of Health Slaps Down Hope On Medicinal Cannabis

Norman Lamb MP. Inaccurate And Misleading Answer.

On 13th November 2012 a written answer in the House of Commons suggested a change of policy on medicinal cannabis.

I have now received a reply from which it is clear that the answer given in the House was inaccurate and misleading.

—– Original Message —–
From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 3:29 PM
Subject: Response to your Query : – Ref:DE00000740632 – Prescribing of Bedrocan medicinal cannabis

Our ref: DE00000740632

Dear Mr Reynolds,

Thank you for your email of 19 November about the parliamentary question (PQ) on Bedrocan and Bediol that was answered by Norman Lamb MP on 13 November (Hansard reference PQ122706). I have been asked to reply.

While the PQ answer is correct in general terms, cannabis and its preparations are, as you know, Class B controlled drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Cannabis is also subject to international drug control under UN Conventions. In the UK, it is illegal to cultivate, produce, possess, supply, import and export cannabis, except under Home Office licence.

Cannabis is listed in Schedule 1 of the ‘Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001’, as the UK does not recognise that it has any medicinal use.

Since the main ingredient in Bedrocan and Bediol is cannabis, these products are subject to the same restrictions as Schedule 1 drugs under the ‘Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001’. UK pharmacists are only able to possess, supply or dispense Schedule 1 drugs under a Home Office licence.

Further information on the controlled drugs that can be imported or exported for personal use, and the requirements applicable to these, is available on the Home Office website and can be accessed by clicking on the following link:

www.homeoffice.gov.uk/drugs/licensing/personal/

I hope this clarifies matters and confirms that there has been no change in the legal position with regards to products such as Bedrocan and Bediol that contain cannabis.

I hope this reply is helpful.

Yours sincerely,

Mary Heaton
Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries
Department of Health
13 December 2012

This is the only reply I have received although my original email was sent to both the Department of Health and the Home Office as well as directly to the ministers concerned, Norman Lamb and Jeremy Browne.

Dear Sirs,

I am the leader of the political party Cannabis Law Reform (CLEAR). As you may know, our main concern is that doctors should be able to prescribe cannabis to people who need it as medicine. We have approaching 20,000 registered supporters who share this concern.

I was encouraged then by the health minister Norman Lamb’s written answer to a question from Andrew Turner MP about Bedrocan medicinal cannabis products.

(Hansard: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm121113/text/121113w0004.htm#121113109002190)

Please may I ask for clarification as this appears to represent a change in policy.

On the basis that a patient is prepared to meet the cost of filling a prescription for a Bedrocan product, can you confirm that with a doctor’s prescription, a patient may legally import and possess the cannabis as prescribed?

I would be grateful for an urgent response as there are many thousands of very sick people for whom this could be a breakthrough in their health.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Reynolds