10 Sep Nick Hurd MP, The Home Office And Their Massive Broken Promise On Medicinal Cannabis.
On 29th June 2018 in The Times newspaper, Nick Hurd MP, minister of state at the Home Office, published the following promise:
“If medicinal and therapeutic benefits are identified, the intention would be to reschedule cannabis-related medicine as a treatment available through GPs. Whilst recent cases in the media have involved epilepsy this would be open to patients suffering from all illnesses where such treatment is identified to benefit them.”
Recently, including in response to a written parliamentary question on 7th September 2018, this promise has been dramatically broken and Mr Hurd’s message is now wholly different:
“The Home Secretary has confirmed that cannabis-derived medicinal products will be rescheduled. This means that senior clinicians will be able to prescribe the medicines to patients with an exceptional clinical need.”
So ‘GPs’ has now become ‘senior clinicians’ and ‘open to patients suffering from all illnesses where such treatment is identified to benefit them.’ has become ‘exceptional clinical need’. These are dramatic and far reaching changes which wholly change the nature of the promise made by Nick Hurd and will result in a highly restricted and limited regime, making it very difficult for anyone to access cannabis as medicine.
This is a betrayal of the estimated one million people in the UK currently using cannabis to treat medical conditions. It demonstrates how when this issue was in the headlines it provoked what was a sensible, measured and appropriate response. Now that the media storm has passed, in typical Home Office style, a totally different, hardline and repressive policy is being pushed through as quietly as possible. No attempt has been made to explain why there has been such a dramatic change and it is quite clear that the Home Office hopes this will go through without attracting media attention.
CLEAR has submitted an FOI Request seeking a full explanation which can be seen here: ‘Provide full details concerning minister’s broken promise on the use of cannabis as medicine’