Friday, 18 September 2015

Correspondence with Chloe Smith MP, Norwich North, Conservative, Sept 2015 re UK cannabis debate

Dear Ms Smith,

Whatever your feelings on punishing people for growing or possessing plants in their private lives and homes, I do hope you will consider at least attending and listening at the debate on cannabis laws happening on 12th October.

As you may know well over 200,000 people have signed a petition to legalise possession, cultivation and supply of cannabis - it is a matter that affects many people in Norwich as well as the many around the country that are ciminlaised and prosecuted despite doing no harm to others.

There are several facebook pages and web sites that list the medicinal benefits ranging from relief of stress to possible cancer treatments and I cannot believe that those people are all telling porkies and defintely do not believe that they should be punished.

The proof that cannabis can provide medical relief is also available from GW Pharmaceuticals who produce a whole-plant extract in alcohol into a cannister of spray called Sativex: sadly GW charge many times the price of the contents and processing costs and hence many NHS regions are refusing to supply it, driving those in need to grow their own cannabis or risk buying possibly contaminated materials from street dealers.

Alun Buffry


Dear Mr Buffry,

Thank you for your email.

I will certainly listen carefully to the arguments put by the petition. I am aware that official advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs continues to confirm that cannabis presents a significant risk to public health, so I remain unconvinced that decriminalisation is the right answer.

The medicinal product derived from cannabis, Sativex, has been approved by the body responsible for ensuring the medicines available in the United Kingdom are of the correct standard and are acceptably safe. The regulator believes Sativex is a safe and effective medicine for patients with multiple sclerosis. I can't comment on its pricing.

With best wishes,

Chloe Smith
Member of Parliament for Norwich North

 Dear Ms Smith,

Thank you for your reply.   Please understand that cannabis law is an issue about whether or not people should be punished by law for growing or possessing cannabis for own use and do no harm or cause no risk to others.

That question is irrespective of any harm the user may do to themselves and therefore the risk of using cannabis, which is very obviously lower than from consuming alcohol or tobacco, is only an issue when it comes to how such substances are controlled by law.

Leaving the commericial production and supply beyond control and in the hands of criminal profiteers can only increase any risk to the consumers through adulteraion or contamination - as was seen under the prohibition of alcohol in the US.  Check out what is happening in Colorado and other US states that have legalised supply.

The law, as it stands, does far more harm than good, not least from creating criminal records for people that have no victims


Alun Buffry

Friday, 4 September 2015

Legalising "medical" cannabis = high prices, restricted supply, profit for the pharmaceutical giants

Legalising medical cannabis MEANS making a pharmaceutical grade product such as Bedrocan or SATIVEX AVAILABLE ON DOCTOR'S PRESCRIPTION - WHICH IN THE CASE OF SATIVEX IN THE UK, IT ALREADY IS - if you can get a doctor to prescribe it and an NHS region to supply it (as in Wales) or else you pay a massively high price.

In The Netherlands, same, you have to find a doctor willing to supply BEDROCAN and then buy from chemist shop costing more than in Coffeeshops - and many doctors there refuse to prescribe it.
Legalising medical cannabis would mean that one would have to have a "qualifying" medical condition that the doctor may think cannabis may help.
Legalsing medical cannabis would not mean that anyone could legaly grow their own, possess or buy cannabis - much like opiates at this time.