Sunday, 14 October 2018

on the rescheduling of cannabinoids in the UK

Recently the press has widely reported that medicinal cannabis is to be rescheduled to allow specialised doctors to prescribe pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products and extracts to a limited number of patients that have tried all other available treatments and pills for their illnesses.

The UK Government recently announced this decision.

Although this move may lead to the availability of pharmaceutical cannabis products for some, it itself does nothing to address the lack of justice in the treatment of other victimless cannabis consumers.

Let all adults be allowed to grow cannabis for themselves, families and friends: let carers grow it for their craes; let private cannabis clubs be allowed to grow for members and allow consumption in clubs as well as in private houses. Let doctors prescribe cannabonoids and pharmaceutical products for those that need and choose them over the natural plant. Protect cannabis consumers in the same ways as the law protects those that choose to drink alcohol. Ultimately license shops with consumer protection laws applied and tax their profits.
Looking at that as my ideal, and I believe the ideal of many others, this rescheduling is a small step in the right direction, but the problem is that it really puts cannabis into the hands of the pharmaceutical companies and profiteers and I don't think does much for the campaign for recognition and protection of our individual rights or equal justice for all.

My fear is that it will put back that campaign for justice: just as people say that doctors prescribe opiates but that does not mean people can make their own, people may say: "if you need medicinal cannabis, go see your doctor"; the doctor may or may not send the patient to a specialist, and they will only prescribe it for certain ailments after all other medications have failed (last resort), a very limited number of patientes, bless them, will get it ... and everyone else is in the same position as now and maybe having to disclose their private information on their state of health or illness in court in mitigation, same as now.

BUT of course I am happy for those loads of people that will benefit although not so pleased that one of them is the prime minister's husband's bank account.

UK: Insider Trading? Theresa May’s Husband Set To Profit From New Cannabis Medicine After Government Relaxes Ban

Natasha in child welfare, Researching Reform
Researching Reform

Monday 02 Jul 2018

GW Pharmaceuticals, a company whose largest investor is UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s husband, Philip May, has received FDA approval for Epidiolex, a new cannabis derived drug to treat childhood epilepsy. The announcement comes just days after the Home Office relaxed the UK’s strictly controlled ban on the medication for two children suffering from related conditions.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid issued a licence for a batch of cannabis oil, which is illegal in the UK, to treat Billy Caldwell, who suffers from violent epileptic seizures. Shortly after the move, Alfie Dingley was also granted a license for the oil, to treat his epilepsy. Alfie had previously been denied the medication.

The Home Office licenses were issued in the middle of June, with FDA approval of GW’s new medicine being announced on the 25th June, in a GW press release aimed at London and California. The approval for Epidiolex would have been given before the 25th.

FDA approval means that the drug can be purchased within the 30 current states in the US which allow medical marijuana once the chemical compound within the medication gets its classification status. California was the first state to allow the consumption of cannabis for medicinal purposes, which it did in 1996. It also has the largest maximum limit for possession in the US.

GW’s move to include London in the press release is not an accident. Epidiolex is under review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and a decision on whether to recommend approval is likely to be made at the start of 2019. The UK government is also preparing a consultation on the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

The timeline for the cannabis medication’s production and approval raises serious questions about whether the government has been involved in insider dealing, which is illegal in the UK:

2016 – Theresa May wins the general election
May’s husband owns the majority share in the world’s largest producer of cannabis, GW Pharmaceuticals
2017 – Victoria Atkins Becomes Parliamentary Under Secretary – despite almost no government experience
Atkins’ husband owns British Sugar – The company that produces the main ingredient GW uses for its cannabis medication
2018 – Atkins Is Promoted To Home Office Minister
June 2018 – The Home Office seize cannabis medication from a child at the airport, and then return it after the press are alerted to the story
16 June 2018 – The Home Office starts to make exceptions for children who need cannabis oil to treat epilepsy
25 June 2018 – GW Pharmaceuticals announces the FDA has approved cannabis medication it has made, to treat childhood epilepsy
The cannabis medication is now being reviewed by a European body, whilst the government considers making cannabis medication legal in the UK.
Early 2019 – GW Pharmaceuticals finds out if their cannabis medication has been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA)

Researching Reform wrote about GW Pharmaceuticals last month, when it was revealed that several husbands of senior government officials, including Theresa May and Home Office Minister Victoria Atkins, had substantial interests in GW, whose chairman is a conservative party donor. Disgraced Family Court psychiatrist George Hibbert is also an investor in the pharmaceutical company.

Very many thanks to Janie Doe for sharing the press release with us.

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