Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

UPDATE On Legal Medicinal Cannabis In Britain

with 35 comments

My article on Jim Starr and his medicine has been bouncing around the internet for nearly two weeks now.  It was offered to every quality national newspaper and The Daily Mail but none have seen fit even to cover the story.  The Daily Telegraph, to its credit,  covered the BMJ article about how cannabis prohibition in the US is counterproductive.  Other than that all the press can be bothered with is trivia about celebrities and cannabis.  The truly important news that tens of thousands of people now have legal access to the medicine they need is of no interest to the erudite editors of Fleet Street.  I wonder what their readers would think?

The feedback I have received has been overwhelming.  I know of hundreds of people who have written to the Home Office asking for confirmation that they may follow in Jim’s footsteps.  Many have telephoned and it seems a different story or excuse has been given to each one.  What is certain is that the prohibitionists and legislators who care not one jot for others’ pain and suffering are in disarray.

I can now add further clarification and evidence in support of the rights of those who need medicinal cannabis.    Surely now those cruel politicians and civil servants who are depriving so many British citizens of the medicine they need must relent.  The truth is out!

1. Under the United Nations Single Convention On Narcotic Drugs, the UN International Narcotics Control Board determines the documentation required for the transport of such medicines across international borders  as, simply, “a valid medical prescription”.

2. Under article 23 of the Geneva Convention (which specifically applies to all parties even outside time of war), protection is provided for the transport of medicines across borders.

3.  Article 75 of the Schengen Agreement also provides protection for persons to carry their medicine throughout the EU.  The UK has been bound by this since 1st January 2005. In support of this, I refer to the proceedings in the European Parliament on 1st December 2009 on the Right To Freedom Of Movement In The EU, in which the European Commission Advocate stated unequivocally that article 75 of Schengen is “binding” on the UK.  I also refer to the  letter from the Home Office dated 14th December 2009  to Mr Noel McCullagh concerning Bedrocan medicinal herbal cannabis.

UPDATE 9th November 2010

Noel McCullagh has asked me to remove the reproduction of the letter to him from the Home Office.  He originally published the letter on this site himself but now for reasons only known to him he wants it removed.  Suffice to say that in it the Home Office confirmed he was entitled to import Bedrocan herbal medicinal cannabis under the protection of a Schengen certificate.

35 Responses

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  1. I share your frustrations Peter, I’ve really tried to get some interest going via the press on certain issues etc, and this side of things just is not wanted. Tenaciously throw in some stuff about kids needed rehab, pop stars driving into things, and it’s lapped up. Anything regarding the benefits of cannabis and how it helps thousands, and there is an interest drought.

    Thanks for all the legal parts to this piece too, I’ll have a real hard look over them.

    Jason (HomeGrown Outlaw)

    October 13, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    • George Michael, Evan Davis, Howard Marks – they make a cannabis story interesting but apparently the facts, the regular pleasure of six million citizens and medical near-miracles don’t.

      Peter Reynolds

      October 13, 2010 at 6:05 pm

      • I’m so happy at last i can go and buy my lovley weed and stop my panick attacks, depression, epilepsy, nerve and brain damage from head injury. ive been on so many different tablets that all have horrible side fx. weed fix all my problems straight away. i’m now complety off my tablets. Addenbrookes agreed with me and let me do this but they never told me about your story. I’m very angry with them now. Thank you i’m off to holland for christmas YEAH, YEAH


        November 10, 2010 at 12:46 am

  2. Good work Peter. Likewise I have had a lot of feedback to my UKCIA blog on the matter and I also know of people who have written to either their MP or the Home Office for clarification, none as yet getting a reply.

    Myself, I wrote to my MP who acknowledged my letter and informed me that he had passed it on to Brokenshire for an answer, but as of this morning nothing had arrived from the Home Office.

    It is indeed amazing how utterly uninterested the press have been about all this, it’s almost as if they are following a government agenda of some sort – surely not!

    So what would happen I wonder if a patient in legal possession of mediweed stayed in my house, he may be able to use it but as the law stands I would be committing an “offence” by allowing my property to be used for cannabis consumption? In any case cannabis is still as far as I know a schedule 1 drug under the misuse of drugs act, meaning it has no recognised medical use – this despite SATIVEX being approved.

    It’s one huge mess for sure, a sign of a government way out of its depth?


    October 13, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    • To be fair, it’s the Home Office that are up a creek without a paddle. I don’t suppose it’s even crossed David Cameron’s desk. It might be getting near Theresa May’s by now.

      I’m certain there’s no press cover up. It’s just a terrible indictment of editors’ judgment of their readers. Individual journos I’ve talked to at The Independent, The Times and the Daily Mail have been interested but it goes dead as soon as it gets to the editor.

      Th Home Office has already stated that it is specifically re-scheduling Sativex out of Schedule 1. Will it ever get a generic name I wonder – boozy weed, vodka pot?

      Peter Reynolds

      October 13, 2010 at 6:02 pm

  3. It is of no interest to the editors of major papers as it contradicts the lies and propaganda they have pumped out for years, how can a substance that allegedly makes you psychotic, schizophrenic or any of the other sensational claims made by tabloids be dispensed by doctors both in Holland and the US?, to admit that their copy and rhetoric is sensationalist and hysterical propaganda without the slightest basis in fact would undermine their credibility, if they regularly lie about cannabis what else do they lie about?, the media in this country have far too much influence on government, according to the papers
    half of us should be dead from the swine flu pandemic,
    the government spent billions on a vaccine that is completely useless all due to irresponsible reporting
    and hysterical sensationalism, the papers claimed that 17 people had died as a result of taking mephedrone leading the government into a knee jerk ban of the substance,when toxicology results showed
    that not one person had died from its use the papers did not print a retraction of their previous statements, instead they merely repeated the lies.

    Look at what happened to the boy who cried Wolf once too often, he was ignored when it mattered, young people now disbelieve everything these papers and media say about drugs, making something illegal does not make it safer it makes it more dangerous due to handing control over to criminals and street dealers
    who only care about the money to be made, if the media and government told the truth not only about cannabis and other drugs but about any subject we wouldn’t be in half the mess we find ourselves.


    October 13, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    • The clapometer is off the scale at that Hughie – and I mean that most sincerely.

      Peter Reynolds

      October 13, 2010 at 6:07 pm

  4. Opium kills my pain best. With a regular supply, I’d lose weight too. Booze works in large quantities, but stops me working and makes me otherwise ill. The latter is legal and I rarely do it. The former actually helps, but is illegal and expensive. My prescribed morphine is free, but also stops me working. Surely they don’t stop me getting a little cannabis cut with opium because they can’t stand the thought of me having a little pleasure?


    October 13, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    • It is essentially a judgmental moral argument from the nanny state.

      Peter Reynolds

      October 13, 2010 at 6:03 pm

  5. Do you know what really gets my goat? (I’m sure you want to know) It’s a point I’m adding to my blog at some point:

    Even in 1920’s prohibition America, at no point was consumption or personal use a criminal offence. It was act of purchasing that was banned, anything after that act was construed as a breach of human rights and the law didn’t infringe on personal jurisdiction of one’s own body. Doctors were allowed to prescribe medicinal alcohol too.

    Speed on 80 years to prohibition UK, we are all in danger of arrest for a substance that is proven fairly safe. The battle of cannabis prohibition is more than a sum of its parts, we have less rights than we did in 1920’s America. This shouldn’t be overlooked by anyone, even those who oppose. Start manipulating human rights, and a rocky road shall be tread for all.

    Cheeky plug (if I may, excuse me!) I have a new blog post out today:

    Jason (HomeGrown Outlaw)

    October 13, 2010 at 7:56 pm

  6. allcoppedout, yes, some people actually can’t stand the thought of you having a little pleasure. This is because they are afraid of losing what they have if they lose control on you.

    daniel carter

    October 13, 2010 at 9:16 pm

  7. i had been part of the legalise cannabis movement for only a short time, about the last 8 years or so, in that time i have seen thousands of people march through London and smoke cannabis openly in front of the police, i have seen coffeeshops open in the UK in many areas, some are still open now! some are opening soon! there have been wonderful medical camapigners who have died like Biz Ivol,and the chocolate that followed, distributing 40,000 bars free to MS sufferers through THC4MS, i have seen sick people make vast improovements and have seen sick people thrown in prison, I have watched people 2abuse” the medical necessity law until it was taken away from medical patients as an argument in court, i have seen people suffer without good clean medication, and watched people campaign endlessly to allow supply of cannabis for both medical and recraetinal use, i worked with the LCA as a politcal party and as a pressure group, and have seen very little press about any of the above, of course, when cannabis was downgraded the LCA were very busy i was on Sky news, and when voting time came we got a slot on the politics show, when Biz went to court every Scottish version of Uk papers printed her story, but as we crossed the boader home it didnt reach any that i saw! I now totally apprecaite what people are saying about cannabis and celebs, and why it may be that the real cannabis story won’t be printed, the boy that cried wolf is a great example, what would be beter woud be if we could get a meeting with all the editors and ask them to sort it ot, is it possible to do that? Because although it may just be a consiparcy that the government block the good news of cannabis, there are millions of tokers that really believe thats the case! I do not know what the future holds but I do hope that Jim Starr is now allowed to medicate in peace, hes worked hard to get where he is today and had protested hard to, annoying ann widicome some what, lol.
    Thankyou Peter for covering this, and for explaining better why the main stream press are so anti truth!

    clara odonnell

    October 14, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    • apologies for my terrible spelling! not having the best of days x

      clara odonnell

      October 14, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    • Thanks for your contribution Clara

      Peter Reynolds

      October 14, 2010 at 1:48 pm

  8. OK, I had an idea last night that could further things along a tiny bit. Peter, I would like to run it past you. If you get a spare minute to mail me, it’s a very simple plan that won’t need much explaining.

    Jason (HomeGrown Outlaw)

    October 14, 2010 at 5:32 pm

  9. hi im a m/s sufferer and would like to obtain medical marajuana from holland can we not have uk prescription or how do i obtain dutch prescription and what amount is three months supply please and also the cost of all this thankyou. alot of questions i know just dont see difference between obtaining prescription here if we are all in eu

    kevin sheppard

    October 14, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    • There is no reason why your doctor cannot prescribe you cannabis.

      Show him/her this information:

      (click on the Union Flag for English)

      Unless you go and pick up the medicine yourself you will have to obtain an import licence from the Home Office and have it sent to a local pharmacist. If you bring it in yourself you can bring back three month’s supply. How much this is depends on your doctor.

      If you go to Holland, as an EU resident you can go to any Dutch GP on an E111 form.

      Please let me know how you get on.

      Peter Reynolds

      October 14, 2010 at 9:20 pm

  10. Go Pete, and everybody else on here!

    I don’t smoke socially, I don’t need any pain relief, and I’m not part of any campaign, but I’m intelligent enough to recognise common sense when it turns up.

    The policy-makers have seriously misjudged the mood of the people on this one, and are so shit-scared of being flayed alive by worthless rags like The Daily Wail that they are paralysed with self-interest.

    Most intelligent people that I know can see no earthly reason why alcohol and nicotine are legal and cannabis isn’t…..the less intelligent ones are devotees of the aforementioned Wail.

    I know that I’d be preaching not just to the converted but to the converters, so I won’t explain my reasons as you are all only too well aware of them.

    Good luck to you all…… you’ll need it in spades.


    October 14, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    • Than you Wobbly Nobbly with bobbly ones on.

      Peter Reynolds

      October 14, 2010 at 8:43 pm

  11. This is an excellent post thank you! The main stream media like the politicians are running scared fearful of how our society will react. For every relatively un negative cannabis story there is a story based on fear.The thing is we ARE the society! We are no longer a small minority of stoners. We are every man and woman! We all must continue educating and shedding light where possible. x

    Dr. Jupiter

    October 16, 2010 at 8:12 pm

  12. Keep up the great work Peter, getting these types of stories publicity is always going to be difficult in a culture where a footballers private life is more newsworthy than a potential wonderdrug, especially when they have spent the last 20-30 years demonising it.

    Do you think US foreign policy has anything to do with our continued criminalisation? I know they have put pressure on countries such as Holland over their policies but I would imagine they would have a greater sway over our government with regards loans etc…


    October 17, 2010 at 11:01 am

  13. Thanks for posting a link to this on my recent article, it’s made very interesting reading. I’m (somewhat sadly) relieved to see that I’m not the only person struggling with UK Law on this one.

    I hadn’t heard of Bedrocan before, but that’s definitely a route I will consider going down!

    I recently wrote to my MP about the matter, although I couldn’t use my real name (they’ve got us so tied up in knots that I could lose my job and my driving license before they even consider jail!)

    I’ll be keeping a close eye on your blog. Thanks!


    October 17, 2010 at 1:31 pm

  14. […] entertain the concept of medicinal cannabis. Some of you may have noticed a comment placed by a Peter Reynolds. I hope that at least a few readers took the time to read this enlightening […]

  15. Hi I use medicinal cannabis for a issue with nervous system and am happy about this news of being able to get from holland. I am just writing this as I know it’s been hard to get to the media. I have just met a BBC reporter whilst doing my work and told him of this new status on med cannabis. He knew nothing about it but did say he would research the subject. I hope this helps our position on making public and when he sees it’s correct will make some kind of report. Perhaps he won’t but I am hopefull as we need to tell as many people as possible. Anyway I thought it may be something to know out there. Pat

    Pat shaughnessy

    October 19, 2010 at 10:52 am

  16. […] Peter Reynolds […]

  17. Thanks so much for posting this information, and my sincerest thanks to Mr Starr for his contribution. I’ve been suffering from chronic insomnia for years and found cannabis my only source of relief, I visted holland several times and have found eating cannabis gives the greatest relief. Unfortunately due to the ridiculous hypocritical laws in the UK, I’ve only had limited access to it at ‘home’. I’ve had to use horrible sleeping tablets that usually leave me worse off than with limited sleep alone. This gives me some hope that I can have lawful access to one of the few things to ease my symptoms.


    October 21, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    • Thank you for your contribution Bob

      Peter Reynolds

      October 21, 2010 at 11:31 pm

  18. I’ve asked FRANK & RELEASE for their opinion on the news. Here is FRANK’s response


    Thank you for your email. I am sorry that you suffer from such chronic insomnia and understand your frustration trying to find treatment. In the UK cannabis is illegal to possess or import in any form.
    For more information you might find it useful to contact Release. Release are experts on drugs and drugs law and provide free and confidential advice to the public and professionals.

    Here is my response copying in Release

    So Article 75 of the Schengen Agreement does NOT apply in the uk ? which states “persons may carry the narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances that are necessary for their medical treatment provided that, at any check, they produce a certificate issued or authenticated by a competent authority”

    I think this needs urgent clarification?

    And here is Release’s comments back
    Thank you for your email. We completely agree that clarification is needed in this area and are currently carrying out research into the various aspects of law that are relevant to this issue. We hope to be in a position to advise fully by the end of next week.

    I’ll post any further responses.

    I’ve also e-mailed the BBC and asked why they’ve not reported this news, no response yet…

    Thanks again for raising this news item.


    October 22, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    • Great stuff Bob. That’s exactly what we need. If everyone who reads this writes to the BBC asking why this story hasn’t been covered it will work.

      Go online and do it now (please!):

      Peter Reynolds

      October 22, 2010 at 3:35 pm

  19. Hi all.

    I have just put a complaint into the BBC under the “not enough coverage section”.

    Lets bombard media with this!

    Yes on 19 also


    October 24, 2010 at 11:36 am

  20. […] 2. Update On Legal Medicinal Cannabis In Britain […]

  21. I guess you know that Sativex is now legally prescribable in the UK. It has a Product License for the spasms of MS, but can be prescribed by a doctor for any condition if they accept the responsibility.
    I have summarrised the research on it on my website.

    take care
    dr malcolm vandenburg frcp

    Malcolm Vandenburg

    November 9, 2010 at 1:05 pm

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    November 10, 2010 at 1:10 am

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