Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Sativex, The Cannabis Plant and Human Rights - the hypocrisy of the UK Government

SENT TO MY MP Chloe Smith, Conservative:

Dear Ms Smith

I wonder if you could ask the Home Office to explain this to us.

Sativex is a cannabis medicine produced by GW Pharmaceuticals and recognised by the UK Government - it is prepared by extracting cannabinoids into alcohol, with added peppermint for flavouring.

Sativex contains the same active ingredients and chemicals as does the cannabis plant itself.

Yet, in letters from the Home Office, they consistently deny that cannabis has any recognised medicinal uses in the UK - despite the fact that pure cannabis "bud" (the tops and heads of the plant) is prescribed in The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Germany - at least.

In fact, under the Schengen agreements, residents of those countries that have cannabis bud prescribed to them are entitled to bring their medication with them to the UK without fear of prosecution (they can presumably legally smoke it too), whereas residents of the UK that are prescribed cannabis in one of those countries, can not.  I am talking about herbal cannabis and Sativex can be prescribed here in the UK and therefore covered by the Schengen Agreement, I believe.

So my questions are;

why are residents of the UK treated differently at the UK borders in this respect?

is it not unlawful under Human rights law to treat people differently based upon their property (in this case residence)?

if the Government recognises that Sativex has medicinal value but insist that natural cannabis does not, which are the added ingredients in Sativex that give it those medical uses?

I would appreciate a rapid response (not a standard letter from the HO) as this matter concerns literally tens if not hundreds of thousands of people that could benefit from growing a couple of medicinal cannabis plants at home (at little cost) but risk prosecution because the Government refuses to acknowledge those benefits - and for those people it is a matter of urgency.

I would also point out that Sativex is presently so costly that the NHS refuse to supply it to all but a few patients.


  1. I entirely agree with you. It will be interesting to hear whatever answer you get from Chloe Smith, or her official advisors.

  2. Well coming from the UK it doesn't surprise me. What a load od bollocks! Germany & Holland especially are much more liberal and sensible about this.