04 Oct Legal Remedies – Opening Salvo

There are now around 30 brave souls engaged in a co-ordinated attempt to overturn the British government’s cruel policy on medicinal cannabis – the CLEAR Legal Remedies campaign.

There is not, nor can there be, any reason for the denial of medicinal cannabis to those who need it. When that need is confirmed by a doctor’s prescription and a reputable, EU-government approved supplier is available, continued denial must be unlawful. It is our intention to pursue the British government through the courts until it complies with self-evident standards of compassion and justice.

Those already involved have obtained the best possible documentary support they can from their own doctors, both GPs and specialists. These range from a strongly worded letter from one GP complaining that his prescribing rights are being unlawfully suppressed, to more cautious endorsements of individuals’ own experience. Most people get the support of their doctors, even if they are nervous about it. It is a doctor’s sworn obligation to care for his patients and in most cases the beneficial effects of cannabis are very clear.

The final step is to obtain a prescription from a doctor for the particular product and quantity required. Bedrocan BV, the Dutch government’s official supplier, offers four different products and already exports all over Europe. Any British doctor is fully entitled under law to write a prescription for a Bedrocan product – but we have yet to find one who is prepared to do so. This is an appalling indictment of our medical establishment and the unspoken restraint that it imposes on its professionals. However, CLEAR has now identified doctors from a number of EU countries who are prepared to issue prescriptions to British people in need.

Those participating in the Legal Remedies campaign are now sending the following letter to the Home Office drugs licencing department. It is a broadside that we are confident will eventually lead to a victory for compassion and common sense.

To the Home Office, 4th Floor, Fry Building, 2, Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF or DLCUcommsofficer@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Dear Sirs,

I wish to apply for a licence to import medicinal cannabis from Bedrocan BV, the Dutch government’s official producer. This would be processed through the Dutch government’s Office for Medicinal Cannabis (OMC) which will issue an export licence provided I am granted an import licence. The OMC is the Dutch government agency designated in accordance with the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961.

I require medicinal cannabis in order to treat my condition [insert here details of medical condition].

I have been advised by medical professionals that medicinal cannabis will help me. I also have direct experience of the benefits to be gained when I have visited [Holland/Belgium/Italy/Spain/Israel/USA or other jurisdictions where medicinal use is permitted]. Medicinal cannabis provides enormous relief to me and improves my ability to [get around/withstand pain/function normally/lead a productive life]

Bedrocan BV provides standardised dosage, medicinal cannabis grown in laboratory conditions and guaranteed free of pesticides, heavy metals and micro organisms to pharmaceutical standards. Its facilities and products are fully approved by the Dutch authorities.

In support of my application for a licence I will submit correspondence from my UK GP which confirms that medicinal cannabis will help with my condition. I will also submit a prescription from an EU doctor for the particular Bedrocan product and quantity that I need.

1. Please would you confirm that you will accept a licence application from me in good faith and that it will be considered on its own merits?

2. Will you also advise me of what fee will be payable and how long the licence will last as I will need to continue importing my medicine in necessary quantity for the forseeable future?

3. Would you also confirm whether it is it possible to obtain a full or partial remission of the licence fee as I am [on a low income/in receipt of benefits]?

Under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, the Home Secretary is duty bound to give effect to the rational use of a licencing scheme and is entitled to make any necessary exemptions to permit this request. Please let me have your response within 14 days as time is the essence of this enquiry.

Yours faithfully,

If you want to join in the Legal Remedies campaign, please feel free to use the letter template above but please send CLEAR a copy of your letter or a “cc” on your email.

We understand the uncertainty, difficulty and fear in taking this path. Often those who are most in need of the medicinal benefits of cannabis are those most unable to sustain the commitment and persistence required. We will support you to contribute as and when you can. There is no shame in illness or disability and great honour in the struggle to be well.

Please write to CLEAR on this subject at legalremedies@clear-uk.org or Legal Remedies, PO Box 674, Salfords, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 9BN

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