Political

Political

German Politicians Vote to Legalise Medicinal Cannabis for “Seriously Ill”

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On Thursday, 19th Jan, Germany began its journey towards legalising medicinal cannabis.

Germany’s lower house of parliament passed the bill legalising the production, sale and use of medicinal cannabis.

Locked Up For Cannabis : Gary Youds

Gary Youds from Liverpool, was recently sentenced to nine months in prison after his venue The Chillin’ Rooms was raided and cannabis seized back in 2015. #FreeGaryYouds

The arbitrary nature of the UK’s approach to cannabis is highlighted painfully by the fact that across the pond in the US, and in several European countries their approach to the drug both medicinally and recreationally is improving and an ever increasing rate.

Yet here we continue to see people arrested for victimless crimes as they attempt to provide safe access for cannabis users.

Cannabis in Copenhagen : City Pushes for Cannabis Trials in Denmark

cannabis in copenhagen - cannabis trials in denmark

Due to a rise of drug-related gang activity in the Danish capital cannabis trials in Denmark might just be due to get a green light with a proposal for legal cannabis in Copenhagen.

Local politicians in the Danish capital are considering the possibility of legalising cannabis. The first step in this process is to launch cannabis trials in Denmark, specifically Copenhagen.

This is far from a done deal, but does seem to follow the trend of other progressive European Nations that have either relaxed, or are looking to address their current cannabis laws.

Ireland’s Massive Medical Cannabis Win

ireland medical cannabis

Medical cannabis just got another big win, and this time with a country much closer to home at the centre of the latest worldwide development.

The government in Ireland has not opposed a proposed private members bill for medical cannabis

The Tide Effect : Is UK Cannabis Legalisation Inevitable?

Cannabis Legalisation

Cannabis legalisation has been a hot topic for all the major news outlets yet again this week, after a new publication launched yesterday by Volteface and The Adam Smith Institute.

In the aptly named Tide Effect, author Boris Starling argues that cannabis legalisation and regulation is now inevitable due to a tidal shift in perception and the amount of countries re-visiting their cannabis laws. He argues that we should look to the market-based approach currently seen in some US states for ideas on how to approach UK Cannabis legalisation and regulation.

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ITV News Cannabis Poll Shows Overwhelming Majority Want Cannabis Legalised in the UK

This story is ongoing and is subject to change.

A poll conducted by ITV News today is showing an overwhelming majority of people in the UK want to see cannabis legalised.

“Cannabis should be legalised to bring the UK up to speed with a growing number of Western countries and end the “embarrassment” of domestic drugs policy, MPs have said.

Lib Dem former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and former health minister Norman Lamb have joined Labour and Tory figures to back a new report which claims legalisation of the class B drug could net the Treasury more than £1 billion a year in tax revenue.”

Read more: http://www.itv.com/news/2016-11-21/legalise-cannabis-to-end-embarrassment-of-domestic-drugs-policy-mps-argue/

When I cast my vote this morning it was around 83% wanting to see cannabis legalised. When last checked it was at 92%:

ITV News Cannabis Poll
ITV News Cannabis Poll Results

Political timing may not be great, but the mood is certainly changing and cannabis perceptions are shifting away from the negative propaganda we saw sprouted time and time again by the Nation’s tabloids.

I think I’ve seen more cannabis news from main news outlets in the last two months than I had seen in the previous 6, and more positive stories than I have encountered in all my years of activism are coming from UK news sources almost daily at the moment.

Hopefully this ITV News Cannabis Poll will be widely publicised by ITV News to their millions of viewers, further showing the failures of cannabis prohibition in the UK.

Also launching today, Volteface’s The Tide Effect. This publication takes a look at several aspects of cannabis legalisation and puts across a great case. I’ve read the report and I’m attending the launch event this evening, with plans to write about the publication in more detail this week. Watch this space!

You can view the news article and cast your vote here: http://www.itv.com/news/2016-11-21/legalise-cannabis-to-end-embarrassment-of-domestic-drugs-policy-mps-argue/

 

 

Green Europe: Cannabis Laws in Germany And Poland Under Review

Europe Cannabis Laws in Poland
Green Europe Cannabis Laws

Europe is currently experiencing a period of change as more countries, led by Germany and Poland, begin to look at their cannabis laws. 

The European Union has a policy of leaving domestic drug laws up to its members’ countries. As a result, they are free to change their cannabis laws without EU intervention. 

America is Going Green! Here’s What You Need To Know about US Cannabis Laws

US Cannabis Laws 2016

As the political dust begins to settle after an election that transcended the US to be one of the craziest parts of an already crazy year (Brexit, anyone?), we can stand back and take a look at the positives to come out of all this, which are some shiny new US Cannabis Laws in 8 states.

Alongside (although also somewhat overshadowed by) the US Presidential election, there were ballots for cannabis laws to change (either medically or recreatinally) in 9 states. 8 of the 9 bills passed, making Tuesday an extraordinary day for cannabis reform.

California Will Legalise Recreational Cannabis with Prop 64

They’ve done it! 33 million more Americans will have access to recreational cannabis as it looks certain Prop 64 will pass.

This bill lets adults over 21 legally use cannabis recreationally from 2018, and looks set to pass with a 55% majority!

The ballot measure had been supported by Snoop Dogg, Shailene Woodley and other celebrities.

This is great news for the cannabis campaign and we will keep you updated. It is still a developing news story.

Read more:

http://www.thewrap.com/prop-64-win-makes-california-populous-state-ok-recreational-marijuana-use/ 

http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/trailguide/la-na-election-day-2016-proposition-64-marijuana-1478281845-htmlstory.html

 

We Attended the UKCSC First AGM : Report

UKCSC First AGM

Last Sunday was the UKCSC first AGM held in Leicester.

This was a chance for cannabis social clubs to come together for the first event of its kind held in the UK, showing just how far we are progressing with our idea of a legitimate cannabis social clubs movement.

The talks were mainly focused on the efforts of cannabis social clubs, laws surrounding cannabis and the future of the cannabis scene here in the UK.

Vice Documentary : How Weed Laws Are Failing the UK

High Society is a new VICE documentary series about drugs in the UK. This episode takes a look at how current cannabis laws are failing the UK.

The presenter meets figures such as Lee Harris (candidate for Cannabis is safer than Alcohol and owner of London’s oldest head shop), Greg de Hoedt (president of the United Kingdom Cannabis Social Clubs) and Black The Ripper (UK Rapper and cannabis advocate).

This 20-minute episode on the UK cannabis scene doesn’t have enough time to go into much detail, but you get a sense from watching the documentary that UK perception is changing, with the documentary pointing out quite rightly that more than half of both people and MPs want to see legal access to cannabis in one form or another.

Several positive topics are covered including the April 20th celebrations in Hyde Park, Medical and recreational cannabis. In one scene the presenter meets Greg who tells him how he quit cannabis whilst at uni only to find it was an effective medicine for his Crohn’s Disease.

Ital Samson aka Black The Ripper has gained a lot of attention for his various videos featuring cannabis consumption in public places, and he features in the documentary, as does Lee Harris who ran for mayor for Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol to make a statement.

I felt this episode could have gone into more detail on all of the topics covered, but being limited to 20 minutes it did a good job to cover several key areas.

Some of the negative sections included a scene about a granny growing cannabis in Birmingham, (not itself a bad thing, but it was presented as tied to gangs and with hijacked electricity – not painting a good picture!), and another about some of the gangs who go around stealing cannabis crops. I feel that these scenes, in particular, should have been highlighted to be problems caused by prohibition, but perhaps this shows the disparity in perception of the UK cannabis campaign from the outside.

After all, the law puts us all in the same boat, does it not?

Watch the documentary How Weed Laws Are Failing the UK and read the youtube description below:

The Countries Where Weed is Legal (Video)

This is a great educational video by Youtuber Louis Tee which lists the countries/states where cannabis is legalised or decriminalised.

The list is even longer than you’d imagine, and it is expanding quickly as more and more countries decriminalise or relax laws on cannabis, highlighting just how far behind we are in the UK.

Since this video was made it was announced that Turkey has just  legalised cannabis production.

Also here in the UK, with lots of developments regarding CBD as a medicine and the SNP backing medicinal cannabis, we are optimistic that the Government will have to admit that cannabis as a whole has medicinal benefits and stop criminalising medical patients. We will keep you updated!

The Future of the UK CBD Market : What Do We Know So Far?

In one sense you could argue that the UK market has recently taken a step towards cannabis regulation, although this may not be as clear-cut as you’d expect..

Last week, a large number of CBD companies operating within the UK received this letter:

Of course, this has created a period of uncertainty for the CBD market which until now was completely unregulated with new companies, products, and delivery methods launching all the time.

Backlash towards the above letter has been strong, and this has led to a bit of confusion within the cannabis scene, as for years we have been preaching that decriminalisation isn’t enough, saying that we need a legal regulated market. In fact, it is one of the cornerstones of cannabis activism.

However, nobody wants to see big pharma take over, and some feel that this is what we are being led towards now with such strict 28-day deadlines for CBD compaines in the UK to cease trading products.

The Canary reports that a license could cost upwards of £103,000 to continue selling CBD products under new laws, although again, this is uncertain. But the CBD companies currently trading from the UK are undoubtedly worried about future costs to keep themselves in business.

Can we draw any positives from this?

While the Government has not straight-up admitted that the whole cannabis plant is medicine thus far, they have now made two important allowances which highlight the contradictory nature of cannabis prohibition in the UK:

  1. Sativex can be prescribed and GW Pharmaceutical can grow cannabis and research medicinal benefits/applications aka Cannabis is medicine, but not if you grow it.
  2. CBD (Cannabidiol) is classed as a medicine as it now has proven therapeutic qualities (in the eyes of the MRHA) while THC, another cannabinoid with proven therapeutic qualities remains illegal.

The first point is something that has (quite rightly) got on the back of many cannabis activists over the years, because GW are allowed a monopoly that is simply not fair, given special treatment with the only license to grow full-spectrum cannabis.

The second – and now hotly debated topic – is that CBD is now  seen as a medicine by the MRHA here in the UK.

For those of you who don’t know,  the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is an executive agency of the Department of Health in the United Kingdom which is responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work and are acceptably safe. (Source: wikipedia)


Statement from MRHA about CBD:

We have come to the opinion that products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are a medicine. Products for therapeutic use must have a medicines’ licence before they can be legally sold or supplied in the UK. Products will have to meet safety, quality and effectiveness standards to protect public health.

“If you use CBD and if you have any questions, speak to your GP or other healthcare professional.

“We have written to UK CBD stockists and manufacturers to inform them of our view. These products will require a marketing authorisation to be granted before they can be legally sold, supplied or anywhere advertised in the UK.

“We can provide regulatory guidance to any company who may wish to apply for a licence.

It is still too early to know what is going to happen for the CBD market here in the UK, but some people are really worried about getting their medicine from next month.

Source: UKCSC


So what does this mean for me as a consumer? Will I still have access to my medicine?

Until now CBD could be sold legally in the UK as long as companies didn’t make medicinal claims. After this notice it looks like CBD companies will have to apply for a license to market and sell their cbd products legally in the UK moving forward.

Unfortunately we are in a period of uncertainty with the whole thing, and any advice will come off the back off speculation of where the CBD market may be heading in the UK.

This is due to many factors, including the fact that many CBD companies are based offshore and therefore could potentially still legally ship their products.

However, while it is likely that the CBD market will shrink as a result of this regulation, you would hope as a consumer that quality products will still be available – after all, they are saying medicine – not prescription medicine.

Whether this will cause price hikes or lead to a monopoly remains to be seen…


One well-established CBD company, CBD Brothers, recently released this statement, urging their customers to stay calm and saying that supply should continue:

Hello everybody, we have some important news to tell you… this week the MHRA reclassified CBD as a medicine, this means it is considered to have medicinal value and as such will be given the same status as other mainstream medicines, it will also mean there is more regulation within the industry, something we know the UK Cannabis industry is in desperate need of plus the recognition of cannabis as having medicinal properties is a big step in the right direction.

What does this mean for you?
Hopefully it will give you better access to licensed products that are fully tested and conform to a standard set by the MHRA (So no more substandard products)
A safer understanding of the oils – this is is a biggie for us as we love to give advise but as you know have been told off by the MHRA for being too helpful and sharing too much information, with official classification we will again be able to offer advise and publicly compare notes and treatment plans

What does this mean for CBD Brothers?
Although helping people for years before the company was official in June 2014 and was done so with eyes wide open, from day one we have had obstacles and hurdles put in our way and we have have maneuvered past each and every one.
The truth is we anticipated this reclassification after our first interaction with the MHRA a few months back so we made preparations to continue to provide you with the MEDICINE you know and trust.

Now this is the complicated bit, All CBD companies in the UK have been ordered to cease trading by the end of October, so this means that you will no longer be able to buy CBD from within the UK unless the product is licensed by the MHRA. Again having the foresight we are well into the process of applying for the license and as soon as the MHRA have worked out the final details of the reclassification we will be ready to go.

So where will I get my oil from in the meantime?
As we said we anticipated this and although the timescale caught us off guard we have been making preparations to expand into Europe and are well on the way to setting up office and laboratory in one of the sunnier parts where we are registered to trade and have all the legal requirements, delivery may take longer (up to 3-5 days) but we will continue to offer the same high quality products as before.

On a personal note we feel blessed to be able to help so many of you, through the good and sad times we are always overwhelmed by the the support that has been shown to us in times of need and hope that this support will continue whilst we make this transition and we will do everything in our power to cause you minimal disruption.

With love, thank you

CBD Brothers


High street retailer Holland And Barrett are still stocking CBD oil at the present, as we found out yesterday when we asked in their Stratford store.

We will continue to update you on the CBD market here in the UK as we learn more about the situation.

Read more here on the UKCSC website: “Breaking News: MRHA “CBD Products To Be Removed From Sale in UK”

If you’re worried about the future of the UK CBD market you can sign this petition run by the United Kingdom Cannabis Social Clubs to stop the MRHA removing products from sale in 28 days here.

Watch our CBD videos here on Youtube:

So, How Long Until Cannabis is Legalised in the UK?

Unless you have been living under a rock this week you will have seen that medical cannabis is getting a lot of mainstream media attention at the moment here in the UK.

So, why the sudden thrust into the media spotlight?

This is due to a new report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform which over the past 7 months has analysed thousands of studies and come to the logical conclusion that Cannabis does indeed have medicinal value, and should be prescribed by GPs to the estimated one million people in the UK currently illegally using cannabis for pain relief.

We Don’t Share Tabloid News Articles About Cannabis. This is Why

The media reporting in this country is a joke, on so many levels. Millions of sheepish people following the likes of The Sun, The Daily Mail The Mirror and other tabloids claiming to report the news that actually feed you lies upon lies upon lies about drugs and scare stories about cannabis.