Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

SECOND UPDATE On Legal Medicinal Cannabis In Britain

with 68 comments

This is the third instalment in this story.

1. Legal Medicinal Cannabis In Britain

2. Update On Legal Medicinal Cannabis In Britain

Eventually The Guardian took some notice.   See here.

Despite the pleas of those in pain and suffering, the Home Office was talking to Mary O’Hara of The Guardian but not to them.   Dozens if not hundreds of medicinal cannabis users had written to the Home Office asking for confirmation that they could go to Holland for a prescription.  Not a word was heard.

Jim Starr, the subject of this story, wrote to his MP, and then he wrote again.  He heard nothing.  He wrote to the Home Office, chasing up his application for a personal import licence.  He heard nothing.  He wrote again.


Richard Drax, the first timer, newly elected Tory MP for Dorset South just happens to be my MP too, so I wrote to him on Jim’s behalf.

Jim has heard nothing.  Richard Drax asked me not to mention his name in any article about Jim. Jim wrote again.  I wrote again.  We have heard nothing.

Jim’s medicine has run out.  We told the Home Office and Richard Drax that it was an urgent medical emergency.  We have heard nothing.

I spent the last week on the telephone and exchanging emails with the Home Office.  This is the result:

A Home Office spokesperson said:

The UK’s position is clear – cannabis is dangerous and has no medicinal benefits in herbal form. It remains illegal for UK residents to possess cannabis in any form.

Britons benefit from reciprocal laws which allow EU nationals, in limited circumstances, to travel with controlled medicines. We are working with European authorities to ensure the system is robust and not open to abuse.

The Home Office says you can import cannabis to the UK and use it without restriction provided you “are resident in a country where that drug is legally prescribed”.  So it’s OK for the Dutch and the Belgians and the Spanish and the Italians and the Czechs and the Poles (and many others) to smoke weed in Britain but not if you’re British.

We Won't Give Up

This is clearly unequal, discriminatory, unjust and unsustainable in law but the Home Office is not about to give in.  The only way to resolve this is that either someone must appeal a conviction all the way to the Supreme Court or there must be an application for judicial review.

Stay tuned for the next exciting instalment.

In the meantime, Jim and thousands like him will manage as best as they can.

He’s still heard nothing from either the Home Office or Richard Drax.

68 Responses

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  1. Once again in UK law we have the possibility of justice for the rich but all others must gaze on the scene in impotence. Also once again we have the UK government prepared to commit an act of torture under international law by refusing available medication rather than admit humans make mistakes.

    First cannabis has no medicinal value, then GW Pharmaceuticals manage to get a whole cannabis tincture licensed and all of a sudden the new line is ‘herbal’ cannabis has no medicinal value. All the while the Home Office and UK government know full well they will have to concede the point as the EU has already told them they must. Just as they did with prisoner voting. So Mr. Cameron and friends have, in full knowledge that they have already lost, chosen to continue torturing UK citizens to save themselves a little embarrassment.

    It seems Red, Blue, or Orange, the scapegoat of choice are the sick and disabled, or should we just say those the politicians don’t expect to fight back. I’d have had no difficulty in getting a prescription with my medical history and I wouldn’t have taken the prescribed cannabis to a police station, I’d take it to Marsham Street but as a disabled person living on benefits I’m overdrawn just paying for life and I’ve two hopes of making that trip, you know what they are.

    I would say one thing to the torturer general and his coalition cronies though. Keep demonising the sick and disabled, keep taking away our only means of support and calling us scroungers, keep choosing to torture us to save you embarrassment. You’ll discover you were mistaken in our ability to fight back.

    Rev. Paul

    November 6, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    • The Home Office are of course wrong to say cannabis in its raw form has no medical value; but Sativex is not cannabis – it is an extract in alcohol and as such has a standardized dose and has been approved – eventually – in the UK, by NICE.

      Sativex is not cannabis and the argument that because Sativex has an approved use as a medicine would mean that so does cannabis, is faulty.

      There are many approved medicines that contain substances found in natural things that themselves have no medicinal use.

      Cannabis MUST be Re-Scheduled even within the Misuse of Drugs Act!/pages/Re-Schedule-Cannabis-in-UK-Law/161337803877343?v=wall

      Alun Buffry

      November 7, 2010 at 10:19 am

      • Sorry Alun. I can’t agree with you on this. Sativex IS cannabis just with a little alcohol and peppermint oil added. It’s very important that we get this message across. Most MPs think it’s some pharmaceutical product which is just based on cannabis. Only by showing how it’s actually exactly the same thing can we expose the utter absurdity of the law.

        Even the HO acknowledged on Friday that Sativex is still Schedule 1. They say any pharmacist dispensing it needs a special licence.

        Peter Reynolds

        November 7, 2010 at 10:54 am

      • SATIVEX is as much cannabis as “oil” is cannabis, it’s the exact same thing – albeit made from two strains of the plant and thinned out a bit with alcohol.

        It is not correct to call SATIVEX a “cannabis derived” drug as the Home Office are trying to do, it is simply cannabis with all the inactive vegetable matter taken away. Pharmacologically SATVEX is identical to cannabis because it is cannabis.


        November 7, 2010 at 11:09 am

      • so is a willow tree aspirin?

        Alun Buffry

        November 7, 2010 at 1:09 pm

      • In 1829, scientists in Europe identified what was believed to be the active ingredient in white willow bark—a compound called salicin. Public demand grew rapidly.

        Extracting salicin from herbs was considered to be expensive and time-consuming, so a synthetic salicylic acid version was developed in Germany in 1852 and quickly became the treatment of choice (salicin is converted in the body to salicylic acid).

        The problem was that it was harder on the stomach. At therapeutic doses, people using the synthetic salicyclic acid developed stomach ulcers and bleeding.

        The German company Bayer eventually created a synthetic, less harsh derivative of salicylic acid, called acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), and mass-produced it under the name aspirin. Despite this, aspirin is still known for irritating the stomach lining.


        August 2, 2011 at 8:13 am

      • Cannabis is a plant that can be grown at home, in the garden, in fields or in the wild. It consists of many many chemical compounds, can be smoked, eaten or vaporised. Other parts of the plant (which is illegal to possess or cultivate) can be used to produce other things, from fuel to furniture, plastic to food. Cannabis varies in strength regarding THC and CBD

        Sativex is an approved medicine prepared by a Pharmaceutical company extracting THC and CBD and adding (dissolving) in alcohol (THC being insoluble in water). It cannot be grown, smoked or made into plastic, fuel or food etc.

        Sativex is not cannabis. just like aspirin is not a willow tree and valerian is not valium.

        Personally I am campaigning to end the prosecution of victimless users and growers of cannabis.

        Sativex is an issue between Pharmacies, doctors and patients, and of course I would like to see greater availability.

        Cannabis oil is an extract prepared from cannabis and is illegal to produce, possess.
        Hemp seed oil is a preparation made from the seeds and contains very minute, if any, quantities of THC.

        Parts of the cannabis plant can be used in the preparation of a “drug” – medicine.

        Try smoking Sativex and then tell me it is cannabis!

        Alun Buffry

        November 7, 2010 at 1:20 pm

      • Alun, the leaves and bark of the willow tree contain a substance called salicin, a naturally occurring compound similar to acetylsalicylic acid, the chemical name for aspirin. This is so different from the relationship between Sativex and cannabis as to be no comparison at all. To be precise, Sativex is a tincture of cannabis, an alcoholic extract. As I’ve explained many times and as can be confirmed from many other sources (including GW Pharma), Sativex is produced by marinating and gently heating herbal cannabis in ethanol. It’s then filtered and peppermint oil is added before bottling.

        THC and CBD are not extracted at all. Sativex also contains approximately 60 other cannabinoids which occur naturally in the plant. I would imagine that Sativex can very easily be smoked just like any other oil by smearing it onto a cigarette paper or dripping it on to hash or weed, or indeed an inert substance such as charcoal.

        Asprin (acetylsalicylic acid) is synthesised from ingredients including salicylic acid, acetic anhydride, phosphoric acid and ethanol. None of these are originated from a willow tree.

        Peter Reynolds

        November 7, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    • This BBC video shows how Hash / Cannabis Oil sorry Sativex is made…

      The Home office is clearly missing the point suggesting cannabis provides no medicinal benefits in its herbal form, its absurd. For the home office to suggest that through some magical force GW are removing the apparently dangerous bits is insulting. GW are simply making hash oil and rebadging it – making an obscene profit.


      November 9, 2010 at 1:00 am

      • Absolutely right Bob

        Peter Reynolds

        November 9, 2010 at 1:34 am

    • WOW i couldnt agree more ive gone from working to slowly having to take time off go back time go back etc over a few years now im not even entitled to disability but have a badge and have had three medicals in one year just to get so called ESA its total disrecpect and disregardd for hard working people who through no fault of there own end up unable to get to work i missed out on several job opotuntys while the health system screwed me i would go to work do a 16 hour shift even though i was at times in tears and could hardly walk come home have a smoke and ease the pressure from the meds supplied by my doctor and the chronic pain i suffer daily in both my legs and my back DAM ITS NO JOKE living like this how can they be made to see ?
      ps i realy enjoyed reading your comments


      December 21, 2011 at 11:39 am

  2. How much more wrong can they be getting it right now?

    So much for “Common sense on Cannabis”

    ( An essay/article referenced by David Cameron in his maiden speech in the house of commons as prime minister. )

    …Really..what was that all about? a mad moment of clarity by some stoned tory?


    November 7, 2010 at 12:19 am

    • That is a fabulous link. I haven’t seen that before. Thank you!

      Peter Reynolds

      November 7, 2010 at 12:25 am

      • Peter Lilley is one brave Tory MP – I debated alongside him once at the Oxford Union in favour of legalisation of cannabis – also alongside the now Chair of the Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs (who replaced David Nutt) – Prof Les Iverson: last year he changed his mind to get the job!

        Opposing the Motion was none other than Peter Daily Mail Hitchins and Bob Rae from the BMA.

        The Motion won on the night but lost with the follow-up vote by Oxford Union members not at the debate!

        Alun Buffry

        November 7, 2010 at 10:15 am

    • Just browsed the link, brilliant, will be looking at that in depth soon. But am i wrong in thinking that was written ten years ago?! Surely it wasn`t? If so the progress has been non existent.

      Stop making me a criminal, i and many others affect no one else in a negative way other than the fact when i buy my smoke, i fund crime?! What the !!!!


      February 28, 2011 at 5:06 pm

  3. “The Home Office says you can import cannabis to the UK and use it without restriction provided you “are resident in a country where that drug is legally prescribed”. So it’s OK for the Dutch and the Belgians and the Spanish and the Italians and the Czechs and the Poles (and many others) to smoke weed in Britain but not if you’re British.”
    This is one of the most bureaucratic technicalities I have ever come across.
    Does this apply to one who has dual citizenship in Britain and Holland etc..?


    November 7, 2010 at 9:33 am

    • What matters is residency.

      Peter Reynolds

      November 7, 2010 at 9:53 am

      • Residency is Property and discrimination on the grounds of Property is illegal

        Alun Buffry

        November 7, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    • Yes, according to some anonymous Home Office spokesman

      Alun Buffry

      November 7, 2010 at 1:21 pm

      • Well I can tell you his name in private if you want. There’s no point in revealing some civil servant’s identity is there?

        For the avoidance of doubt, this is the text of a letter from the Home Office dated 5th November 2010:

        Mr Peter Reynolds
        5 November 2010

        Dear Mr Reynolds,

        Thank you for your email of 3 October about the importation and possession of herbal cannabis in the UK prescribed abroad, especially Hollands. I am sorry for the delay in replying.

        This issue has arisen in the context of the UK’s obligations under Article 75 of the Schengen Agreement which took effect in 2005. This provision allows for the free movement of travellers within the Schengen member states with their prescribed narcotic and psychotropic substances that are necessary for their medical treatment provided they have a certificate – “a Schengen certificate” – issued or authenticated by a competent authority of their state of residence.

        Pursuant to Article 75, the UK recognises that a patient who is resident in another member state can travel to the UK with their narcotic and psychotropic medication, provided that they are resident in a country where that drug is legally prescribed; it has been prescribed by their doctor; it is for necessary medical treatment for a maximum of 30 days and is for personal use only; and they have the appropriate certification from their relevant health authority. Of course, this is a reciprocal arrangement enabling UK residents to travel with their personal medication. The Department of Health is the UK’s competent authority.

        In respect of herbal cannabis I understand that health authorities in The Netherlands and Belgium allow herbal cannabis products to be prescribed by doctors and dispensed to patients for a number of indications. In the limited circumstances described above, a Dutch or Belgian resident will be allowed to travel to the UK with herbal cannabis products prescribed in these countries.

        However, a UK resident cannot rely on the Schengen Agreement to bring prescribed herbal cannabis into the UK from The Netherlands or Belgium. This activity would be in breach of UK law, amounting to the unlawful importation and possession of a controlled drug, and the UK resident would be liable to arrest and prosecution under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The Government is committed to maintaining UK drugs laws and is seeking assurance from European authorities that checks in this system, including the checks that member states makes before issuing a Schengen certificate to an applicant, are as robust as possible.

        In the UK, cannabis is controlled as a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and is listed in Schedule 1 to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 as the UK does not recognise that it has a medicinal use. The Government recognises that there are people with chronic pain and debilitating illnesses who are looking to alleviate their symptoms and who may not find adequate relief from existing medication. For them, the UK does recognise the medicinal value of a cannabis-based medicine ‘Sativex’, which based on an assessment of its safety and efficacy by the UK regulatory authorities, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, has recently been granted a Marketing Authorisation.

        However, the Government has no intention of altering our position on cannabis in its raw form. Cannabis is a drug that has a number of acute and chronic health effects and prolonged use can induce dependence. Most cannabis is smoked and smoking, in any form, is dangerous. Even the occasional use of the drug can pose significant dangers for people with mental health problems, such as schizophrenia, and particular efforts need to be made to encourage abstinence in such individuals.

        Yours sincerely,

        This is an email from the Home Office also dated 5th November 2010

        Hi Peter,

        Further to our conversation, here’s our official R.O.R to your query.

        I’ll try and come back to you this afternoon with a response to your Sativex query.



        A Home Office spokesperson said:

        The UK’s position is clear – cannabis is dangerous and has no medicinal benefits in herbal form. It remains illegal for UK residents to possess cannabis in any form.

        Britons benefit from reciprocal laws which allow EU nationals, in limited circumstances, to travel with controlled medicines. We are working with European authorities to ensure the system is robust and not open to abuse.

        Peter Reynolds

        November 7, 2010 at 1:53 pm

      • Er, since when were we signatories to the full Schengen Agreement rather than having exceptions to it (along with Ireland)? When it comes to border control (and I believe, drugs and personal goods as part of that), we have/had an exception, hence customs controls etc, no passport-free travel etc. If not, what legal basis was the ‘random’ search of my bag (post-x-ray and security check so completely goods/drugs-related) at Pisa airport by an unidentified ENGLISH ‘official’? Why is lying by customs/related authorities legal? It’s not a random check if you pick on the token hippie guy, let the computer pick out the richest businessman at random and see how long the process is allowed to go on. I hate hypocrites, but I hate ones who are serving NO-ONE, not even themselves, really, the most. At the end of the day, why do we focus on such minor technicalities, is chipping away at the stubborn law going to work better than showing how ridiculous the whole premise is – putting the hypocrisy and stupidity in people’s faces?

        El Chupacabra

        July 16, 2011 at 12:29 pm

  4. So the Home Office is discriminating on grounds of Nationality and Residence – both of which are “Property”, which is illegal under Human Rights.

    An appeal under Human Rights Bill by somebody that has been refused permission to bring their prescription medicine back to the UK may be one avenue

    Alun Buffry

    November 7, 2010 at 10:11 am

  5. Is anyone aware of the E.U. cross boarder healthcare treaty. I wonder if this is covered. It basically states that any E.U. citizen can travel to another E.U country and receive treatment. Furthermore, if a treatment is available in another member country and deemed necessary then then the NHS will pick up the bill?? Maybe worth a look at?


    November 7, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    • The Home Office are claiming that the treaty only applies to people that live in the country where it is prescribed.

      this needs to be challenged

      Alun Buffry

      November 7, 2010 at 1:10 pm

  6. The home office are full of shit. The whole purpose of the E.U. is of equal rights regardless of the member state you live in. I think that if the Home office say no that they are in breach of European law. So, your right we need a champion. Someone mentioned Peter Lilly??


    November 7, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    • i think the uk is not 100% in the EU
      so the HO can escape nany laws from EU
      i just got one question were coud be espend the money from taxing cannabis
      in the end is less harm then alcol i dont drink if i had bean drinking all this yers i don’t think i woud have what i have now (famaly)
      i also agree that smoking what the police catch is harmful because how does it is for money so they put everithing plus something more



      alicio silva

      November 7, 2010 at 2:57 pm

  7. Schedule 1 drugs are drugs with no medical availability in the UK, so the Home Office may be incorrect again to say that an Pharmacy needs a special licence: LSD is also Schedule 1.

    Cannabis and Sativex must both be re-scheduled – it would not suffice if they re-schedule only Sativex.

    Alun Buffry

    November 7, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    • What has LSD got to do with it Alun?

      Sativex is a Schedule 1 drug because it is cannabis. NICE has nothing to do with it either. Sativex has been approved by the MHRA as a treatment for spasticity in MS. A doctor can prescribe Sativex for anything they wish to but they would remain personally liable for the consequences for use in a manner not appoved by the MHRA.

      What is potentially much more interesting is that I believe a UK doctor is perfectly entitled to prescribe Bedrocan (herbal cannabis). The patient could then go to Holland, obtain the medicine and return to Britain with it legally.

      Let me give you another quote from the Home Office from a letter dated 11th August 2010:

      On 16 June 2010, the MHRA granted market authorisation to GW Pharma for its cannabis-based oral spray, Sativex, as a fully licensed medicine for relieving spasticity in MS patients.

      Accordingly, the ACMD has been asked for up to date advice on the appropriate scheduling of the drug under the Misuse Of Drugs Regulations 2001 and when the government has received and considered that advice, it will seek parliament’s agreement to make the necessary changes to the law with all due speed, to enable the lawful prescription of the drug under the misuse of drugs legislation for the MS indication approved by the MHRA.

      That change has not yet been made. The Home Office has confirmed to me that each and any pharmacist dispensing Sativex requires an individual license to do so. I don’t know but I bet this doesn’t happen in practice.

      Peter Reynolds

      November 7, 2010 at 2:36 pm

  8. In that case in New Zealand we have been making Sativex for decades. Bush honey oil, red and green oils are very prominemt in may parts of our land. We make allot of oil out there.

    This UK home office sounds like a criminal organisation to me. Fuck Sativex, toke your own


    November 7, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    • What makes SAYIVEX in any way special is that it’s made from two specific strains of cannabis to give a 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD, then delivered via a spray mechanism which gives a precise dose.

      However, users are allowed to chose how and when they take their medication and according to Dr Notcutt who I heard speak at a seminar a few years ago, many SATIVEX users prefer to save it all up for the evening and take several spray hits all at once…


      November 7, 2010 at 9:05 pm

  9. Your clearly better read than I Alun!
    Going back to the E.U. Cross boarder treaty; the whole ideal is to offer member citizens ‘Patient Choice’ i.e. if a better treatment is available in another member state then it is your right to seek that treatment.I know for a fact that a number of patients have already benefited as a result. Most of these cases are unrelated to a degree as they pertain to replacement hips for example however, there must similar cases relating to medication.
    This must come to a head soon.


    November 7, 2010 at 1:38 pm

  10. It’s not based on nationality at all as far as I can tell; it seems that if you’re a resident of, say a town in Holland, you can import and use medi-cannabis legally here. It doesn’t matter if you are a Chinese Citizen with a Chinese passport, as long as you live there.

    Quite how they define residency I’m not sure though, it might be where you pay taxes I suppose, although you can live somewhere for an extended period and not pay taxes.

    How they intend to enforce it is quite another question, they clearly haven’t thought it through.

    And as a home owner, would I be allowed to let someone use their legal mediweed in my house? As things stand (section 8 of the MoD Act) I don’t think I can – and that includes SATIVEX as far as I can tell.

    The time they should have been sorting this mess out was the time they were messing around with the classification issue.


    November 7, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    • “mess” is the right word Derek.

      You’re quite right. It’s nothing to with nationality. You’re also right that the precise definition of residency is well, um, ah and um again!

      Peter Reynolds

      November 7, 2010 at 2:51 pm

  11. Caleb, the Poles???????

    i live in Poland and the law here is crazy crazy crazy lol, id like to know what u know about this please mate. im tempted to try it


    November 7, 2010 at 2:23 pm

  12. […] the post at – its well worth a […]

  13. This is a outrage,

    My mother suffers from multiple sclerosis and it’s been scientifically proven that cannabis actually UNDOES the damage made from alchohol in the liver and helps remove the tar from the lungs,

    It’s also been proven that cannabis is less dangerous than that of LEGAL substances such as Tobbacco and Alchohol.

    Another proven factor is that Cannabis IS a medicinal remady for those suffering with the same disabillity that my mothers suffered from for nearly 18 years!!

    The goverment need’s to stick to it’s promises and it’s polices.

    We were promised change and yet we’ve seen nothing but our country be dragged even further into decay,
    Someone needs to take action soon or else there wont be a united Kingdom or a Great Brittan for much longer.

    Katrina Ivy Kathleen Fowler

    November 7, 2010 at 6:23 pm

  14. Well, maybe the next campaign should be for us medical users to change residency and renounce British citizenship? This is all a bit a much isn’t it.

    If there is anyone interested in the mirrored position of this debate in North America, Dr. Lester Grinspoon’s book, Marihuana, the Forbidden Medicine is a must read, it documents the Professor’s fight with the DEA on this subject.

    Unlike the UK, the U.S had some weighty lawyers and doctors willing to fight this issue tooth and nail, and they won suffice to say.

    Jason (HomeGrown Outlaw)

    November 7, 2010 at 7:01 pm

  15. this makes it look a lot more like medicine..


    November 7, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    • Thank you for this. The letter from the Dutch minister of health to the United Nations INCB is fascinating. I shall consider writing an article based on what it reveals.

      Peter Reynolds

      November 7, 2010 at 8:42 pm

  16. standing at a bus stop in rush hour for just two minutes will do more damage to you than smoking a “hit ” 1 dose of cannabis, in fact new evidence emerging suggests cannabis smoke can help the healing process of damaged lung tissue and longitude study shows it reduces the chance of lung ,neck , head and now breast cancer ,google – DR Tashkin ; a self claimed ex-prohibitionist and master of highlighting his unbiased random selection of control group.

    the problem criminals that get rich to fund more crime and will sell heroin to kids as well as cannabis are all reverberating side effects of the first implementation of prohibition and so on , in other words prohibition uses its own side effects as reason to implement more prohibition at a 1% success rate and costs my calculator breaks at , with no regulation ,prohibition is the cause of the problem and the claimed cure for the previous application of itself !, criminals that control the multi billion pound black market will support and fund prohibition if they can , its good for bushiness , a true brothers grim style political paradox , aka tax laundering , take prohibition and a licensed regulated model , put them against each other and you will see regulation does more for less in a fraction of the time and will stem the flow of all future hard drug addiction ,but there’s no big money in supporting the regulation model , there’s no big religions nor big bissiness , oil ,phama ,ect ,ect ,nor criminals ! nor government!,,,,, barrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

    big RON

    November 8, 2010 at 6:31 am

  17. Brilliant post Peter, i’ve plugged you in my latest post if you havn’t read it already!


    November 8, 2010 at 4:36 pm

  18. Just expressing my support Peter. We can legalise drugs in a manner that would crack down much harder on exploiters and nuisance idiots than at present. I believe a much bigger issue is involved than the drug issue – “they” are not responding to social issues across the board from jobs, through crime and on to education. I now feel like a total spiv when I turn up to teach.


    November 9, 2010 at 8:30 am

  19. odd and amusing at the same time :


    November 9, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    of 14 June 1985
    between the Governments of the States of the Benelux Economic Union, the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic on the gradual abolition of checks at their common borders

    The citizens of the countries that are covered to carry cannabis into the UK are listed above in the Schengen Agreement, which, as we know, the UK is not a signatory to.

    So yes, absolutely correct, Peter, when you say that citizens of these countries can legally bring their personal supply of cannabis into the UK and yes, this needs to be challenged as it discriminates against British citizens on their own soil, by allowing citizens covered under a “foreign” treaty outside of UK jurisdiction to have rights that Brits don’t have in their own country.


    Jayelle Farmer

    November 14, 2010 at 2:16 am

    • according to the letter I received via my MP, from the Home Office, much the same as the letter they sent peter, the UK signed into the Schengen Agreement in 2005

      Alun Buffry

      November 26, 2010 at 2:43 pm

  21. hey guys i live in N.Ireland my partner needs medical cannabis if she had a script from a Dutch doctor could we grow our own?

    Terry Doherty

    November 15, 2010 at 4:42 am

    • Definitely not. A prescription for herbal cannabis has nothing to do with growing or cultivation.

      Peter Reynolds

      November 15, 2010 at 12:47 pm

  22. guys and girls, i have researched indepth about this schengen agreement and have looked into all laws with the UK and EU. this is how it stands at present – u are only allowed to travel with the required medication ( cannabis ) if u are a born citizen in a country where it is legally prescribed, so cut long story short, other EU countries can bring it with them to UK, but uk citizens cannot take it or bring it back, there is supreme court action going on right now tackling equality laws…

    Judge Dredd

    November 26, 2010 at 12:37 am

    • No, JD, the claim is you can bring your medicine into this country if you LIVE in places where it’s legal, it’s nothing to do with your nationality.

      The complication is place of residence isn’t a very well defined term.


      November 26, 2010 at 8:33 am

      • sorry Derek, u are quite right, that is what i meant, i can see i failed to write it correctly. ( i need to work on my scripts better lol ).

        Judge Dredd

        November 26, 2010 at 1:24 pm

  23. I beleive that if one is caught with cannabis and is infront of a court of law, it will be dealt with one`s personal history of health. example – for me, this is how i would defend myself.. -> since the age of 13 ( and i`m now 32 ) i have a condition where there is no cure or affective/adequate treatment, i have tried the A to Z of antibiotics and all forms of pain releif for only my condition to worsten continuosly year in year out, i have to continuously have surgical operation after operation to only temperary releive the pain in that area ( i have between 2 and 6 opps amonth ) u do the math! all these opps cause major scarring which has lead to lymphatic obstuction thus reducing my morbidity and movement ( of which i am mainly chair bound ), i also see 4 consultants… 1st dermatology who tells me their is no cure and nothing anyone can do, 2nd muskulo-skeletal who can do very little for me due to the nature of my condition, 3rd nuero-automotive surgeon who again can do very little, 4th chronic pain specialist who`s treatment is in-effective, not to mention a cardio-vascular consultant and general GP. so after nearly 20 years of trying all failed conventional prescribed medicines, i have no choice to look at the un-conventional side of things, which has lead me to the use of medicinal cannabis. i have used this form of treatment and have found benneficial reasons for it. i am now in a battle with the NHS, home office and exceptional treatments panel amongst various other organisations. so . i think i will just consume it with in reason untill further changes apply… we all have our own reasons for the use of this natuarally grown plant, and i am going to make some noise about this- but in a professional matter….

    Judge Dredd

    November 26, 2010 at 1:05 am

  24. I sent this to my MP today after receiving reply from her with a copy of a reply from the Home Office:

    Dear Chloe Smith,

    Thank you for your letter re medicinal cannabis importation from The Netherlands to UK which I received in the post today, dated 25th November, and the enclosed copy of the reply from James Brokenshire

    It would seem then that residents of Belgium and The Netherlands that have been prescribed herbal cannabis by doctors and obtained supplies, can lawfully bring up to 30 days supply with them into the UK, as protected by the Article 75 Schengen Agreement to which UK is now a signatory.
    I am uncertain whether the phrase “provided they are resident in a country where the drug is legally prescribed” is part of the Agreement or not – I will try to find out – and since it would disqualify people resident in other countries within the Schengen Area where cannabis is not legally supplied but travel to The Netherlands to obtain a prescription from protection under the Schengen Agreement which is above the UK law.

    This appears to me to be in breach of the Universal declaration of Human Rights, the European Charter of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedom and Human Rights law – since it discriminates on the grounds of Property: residence.

    I believe that the UK Government would be acting unlawfully if they were to prosecute UK residents for something that they allow Dutch or Belgian residents to do and that an urgent Judicial Review on the Home Office statement is required

    many thanks

    Alun Buffry

    Alun Buffry

    November 26, 2010 at 2:39 pm

  25. SECOND UPDATE On Legal Medicinal Cannabis In Britain « Peter Reynolds…

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

    World Spinner

    December 3, 2010 at 6:14 am

  26. I have suffered from spasticity in my legs now for over ten years through having Multiple Sclerosis. I am prescribed Sativex, but have found it doesn’t work, although I have found that Cannabis does work and gives me relief from the pain. I have been prescribed every drug available for spasms in M.S. and nothing seems to work so if it wasn’t for Cannabis I would be a wreck. Before trying it I was suffering from sleep deprivation and the complications that go along with that. The lack of sleep makes the spasms worse so you just end up going round in a circle. I think the law is very unfair and is prejudiced against people who need it for medicinal reasons. How can they say Sativex is okay but Cannabis isn’t.
    When I first read about this I thought if you got a prescription then you could bring it legally into the country. I obviously got it wrong. I hope the law changes soon, which is pretty doubtful.


    January 10, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    • Thanks for your comment Dawn. Please make sure you register with the BMCR – Have you spoken to your doctors about cannabis?

      Peter Reynolds

      January 10, 2011 at 10:35 pm

  27. Dear Sir My Doctor has just wrote to me saying that he cant carry on prescribing me Sativex because the nhs Devon prescribing team oficialy called the peninsula health technology commiisioning group recently made a decision on whether the use of sativex should be supported in Devon and Cornwall. Sativex not to be prescribed in primary care . I am upset and angry that they could do this to me . Please can you help me with herbal cannabis tinture ?
    Cheers from

    david vakharia

    February 12, 2011 at 3:26 pm

  28. […] their medicine with them within the EU.  The crucial factor is your country of residence.  See here for detailed information. Although there is no precise definition of residency, if you are resident […]

  29. […] carry their medicine with them within the EU. The crucial factor is your country of residence. See here for detailed information. Although there is no precise definition of residency, if you are resident […]

  30. Im confused now – when jim managed to bring back cannabis with him was that legal and they have now changed the law?

    Or was it illigal because he isnt a resident of where he got it from? and he was insainly lucky no-one was about?



    May 14, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    • It was never legal but the Home Office got it wrong to begin with and clearly HM Customs were unsure. You can only get the protection of a Schengen certificate from the country in which you are resident.

      Peter Reynolds

      May 14, 2011 at 9:56 pm

  31. Guess he was insainly lucky no-one was at the airport then! all he needed was smuggling charges on top.

    Oh yeah did you get my email i sent you yesterday? something about lib dems secret plans for cannabis cafes..



    May 15, 2011 at 3:44 pm

  32. Disgusting the way us Medicinal users are treated in the UK. Have a horrible feeling the Murdochs have their fingers in many canna-pies when it comes to MPs being able to talk freely about drugs as well.
    Still, they can take my bifta from my cold, dead hands.


    July 29, 2011 at 3:58 pm

  33. This should be of interest to anyone planning a Judicial Review of UK laws on the use of prescribed cannabis to a UK resident :–
    ” In construing our statute, we are entitled to look to the Treaty (of Rome) as an aid to its construction: and even more, not only as an aid but as an overriding force. If on close investigation it should appear that our legislation is deficient – or is inconsistent with community law – by some oversight of our draftsmen – then it is our bounden duty to give priority to community law. Such is the result of Section 2(1) and (4) of the European Communities Act 1972″ .
    (taken from p.299. ” What Next in Law ” by Lord Denning MR )

    In other words – UK law is inconsistent with EEC law (S.75 of the Schengen Agreement).
    It follows that EEC law takes precedence over the UK laws relating to this by virtue of Section 2(1) and (4) of the European Communities Act 1972 as expressed by the former Master of the Rolls – Lord Denning.

    • It should be noted that there are no exceptions for UK citizens in the Schengen Agreement – it applies to ALL EEC citizens equally, irrespective of where they either reside, or happen to be, in the EEC

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