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Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Another Attack by Bureaucrats on CBD and its Consumers

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Today’s article in the Daily Mail on CBD follows that publication’s usual pattern – there is a kernel of truth but on top of that is piled inaccuracy upon misleading comment upon nonsense.

So let’s deal with the truth and send the nonsense back to the Daily Mail where it belongs.

Within the last few days it has emerged that the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA), has been working surreptitiously with its opposite numbers in four other EU countries to add all products derived from cannabis except hempseeds to the EU Novel Food Catalogue. This step has been taken without any communication or consultation with the CBD industry or the millions of consumers benefiting from the products. It is important to understand that inclusion in this catalogue does not create law.  Suppliers of CBD are entitled to continue marketing their products if they consider they are not ‘novel’.

What does ‘novel’ mean?  The EU novel foods legislation states that any food or ingredient used in foods that was not in widespread use prior to 1997 will be subject to an authorisation process that must demonstrate either evidence of widespread use prior to 1997 and/or that it is safe.

To be clear, the Daily Mail’s claim that this means “experts probe whether it has any real health benefits” is nonsense. It has nothing to do with that at all.

Love Hemp, CBD market leaders

Anyone who has any knowledge at all about cannabis will understand how ludicrous it is to suggest that it is ‘novel’ in any form.  It is even described as the oldest cultivated plant in the Guinness Book of Records. It is widely recognised to have been cultivated for at least 12,000 years.

So this move by the FSA and its equivalents in France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands is, demonstrably, bureaucracy for bureaucracy’s sake. Cannabis is the oldest crop cultivated and used by mankind. Asking for evidence of its widespread use before 1997 is no different and as absurd as asking for the same evidence for wheat or barley.

The CBD industry and consumers faced a similar atack from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in 2016.  Then, as now, it was CLEAR that stepped in and organised the response.  The MHRA quickly backed off, accepted that it had no power to carry out a wholesale shutdown of the industry and the leading CBD companies began a process of self-regulation which has led to the development of a very successful marketplace.  Millions of consumers now gain great benefit from CBD products which help to maintain health and improve wellbeing.

Whichever side of the Brexit debate you are on, it is precisely this sort of overbearing, oppressive bureaucracy at an EU level that led many people to vote leave. There can be no sensible suggestion that CBD is harmful.  In 2017, the World Health Organisation (WHO) published an unequivocal conclusion that CBD “does not cause harm”. It is, therefore, safe and is demonstrated to be so by thousands of years of use.  So why is the EU and the FSA, its agent in the UK, engaged in this spurious and wholly unnecessary attack?  Can it be for any other reason than simply to sustain the bureaucracy and create work for the bureaucrats keeping them in their comfortable jobs?

It remains to be seen whether the FSA will try to explain its actions.  CLEAR’s trade association for CBD businesses, Cannabis Professionals (CannaPro), has been dealing with the FSA for some time and trying, unsuccessfully, to obtain straight answers. We participated in a conference which included the Head of Novel Foods in December 2018 and only yesterday we wrote to him complaining that, if anything, the situation was becoming more confused.  Now, unconfirmed statements from the FSA suggest that it is requesting Trading Standards to work with it on ‘enforcement’ and to remove CBD products from shelves. In our view the FSA and Trading Standards would be exceeding their lawful authority if they took this action as inclusion in the EU Novel Food Catalogue does not represent law.

It’s also important to understand the context in which the FSA bureaucrats are flexing their muscles and trying to talk tough.  For some time, CBD isolate has been in the EU Novel Food Catalogue and it has been genrally accepted by the industry that it is genuinely novel.  All responsible businesses have stopped selling isolate but there are a host of disreputable companies still selling isolate and neither the FSA nor Trading Standards have taken any enforcement action whatsoever.

Similarly, when the MHRA tried to get tough in 2016, it had a legitimate complaint that unlawful claims of medicinal benefit were being made.  All responsible businesses have ceased to make such claims but the marketplace is still full of confidence tricksters and the MHRA has taken no enforcement action whatsoever.  There are full page advertisements appearing in newpapers (including the Daily Mail) making the most outrageous medicinal claims but the MHRA does nothing. And this lack of enforcement severely damages responsible businesses that are working hard to remain compliant.

So, the truth is that even when justified and necessary, no enforcement is taking place.  In austerity Britain, even if you report a burglary or a car theft, the police will do nothing about enforcement.  The FSA’s action may well cause some of the major retailers to step back from the market.  It will certainly cause unnecessary confusion and damage to this burgeoning market but there is zero chance that it will stop people buying and selling CBD products.  Thousands of jobs now depend on the British CBD industry and millions of people find the products helpful and beneficial.

Key Points of Advice and Guidance

Don’t panic.  If you’re using CBD it will continue to be available. You might find it easier to buy it online in future.

Don’t panic.  If you’re a CBD business, the future remains bright, you should be used to a few obstacles in your path!

Don’t panic.  If you are visted by Trading Standards, stay calm and explain that your products contain nothing ‘novel’ and have been in widespread use for hundreds of years.

Don’t panic.  All CannaPro Certified businesses will have support in compiling evidence that your products are not ‘novel’. You are entitled to be given time to submit this.

********

A final point that needs to be made on this subject.  When CLEAR organised the successful response to the MHRA’s intervention in 2016, it led directly to the establishment of the Cannabis Trades Assocation UK (CTA).  For reasons concened mainly with the ethical conduct and antecedents of Mike Harlington, who we appointed to run the CTA, we, along with many CBD businesses have disassociated themselves. This is turn led to the formation of Cannabis Professionals.

One of the main concerns about Harlington were his false claims of a ‘special relationship’ with the MHRA and FSA. These events should put the final nail in the coffin of those lies.  He and the CTA have had more than two years to establish a successful working relationship with these authorities but this has clearly been an absolute failure.  More than ever, the UK’s legal cannabis, CBD and hemp businesses need proper and effective representation.  Clearly, the CTA is unable to provide that.

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While The NHS Is Failing People, Small CBD Companies Are Stepping Up.

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Alfie Brocklebank

Canabidol CBD Oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Sajid Javid introduced the new regulations on cannabis for medical use last year, it brought hope to hundreds of thousands of people.  Now the NHS is routinely letting patients down and refusing to provide the medicinal cannabis they need.  The law no longer stands in the way but many people are in despair at the cruel and ignorant response of the medical establishment and NHS bureaucrats.

Not least the parents of Billy Caldwell and Alfie Dingley, the high profile cases of children with severe epilepsy, whose stories provoked the media outcry that eventually forced a stubborn government to take a proper look at the evidence.

Remarkably, small CBD businesses are stepping up when the NHS is letting people down and offering to provide CBD free-of-charge to those in desperate need.  And these really are small businesses, little more than the internet equivalent of a corner shop. Even the largest of them is tiny compared to the financial turnover of the smallest NHS hospital.  The owners of these small CBD businesses are funding these donations out of their own pockets and not asking for any PR or publicity in return.

Billy Caldwell is now approaching 100 days in exile in Canada

Billy Caldwell is exiled in Canada again because there is not a doctor in the UK who has the courage or the care to prescribe the cannabis oil he needs containing a small amount of THC.  This is mainly due to the inaccurate and, it has to be said, negligent guidelines from the British Paediatric Neurology Association, which has recommended against prescribing even tiny amounts of THC to children.  Its guidance is based on a misguided interpretation of evidence on the harms of adolescents smoking large quantities of high THC cannabis as a recreational drug.

Billy is OK because a consultant neurologist in Canada who understands cannabis as medicine has prescribed an oil with THC which is working perfectly for him.  It’s just that he’s away from his home and his family.  The doctors and NHS bureaucrats at the Belfast NHS Trust don’t care about that.  Their primary concern is sticking by manifestly stupid guidelines to protect their own careers within the establishment structure.

Take note that the media, so keen to publish Billy’s story before, has lost interest.  He’s still being reported as the poster boy for UK medical cannabis reform but the cruel irony is that the reform has failed him.

Another case in point is Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.  There, one consultant neurologist is prepared to follow the evidence, rather than sticking with failed pharmaceutical medicines. He has prescribed medicinal cannabis for at least two children with epilepsy but the hospital management has stepped in and cancelled them, refusing to allow his clinical judgement to prevail over their bureaucratic procedures.

Both children are in severe distress.  Alfie Brocklebank has Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) which causes him to have many seizures every day, each one of which is life threatening. The medical director at Alder Hey said he did not meet the criteria to be prescribed medical cannabis so his parents started buying CBD at a cost which soon reached £170 per week. Alfie’s mother Ellen is a nurse, so she knew what she was doing.  Alfie’s seizures stopped.

Ellen Brocklebank

But Alder Hey still refused to prescribe Epidiolex, the GW Pharma CBD medicine, and they wouldn’t help with the cost of the over-the-counter Canabidol CBD which was working so well.  The family simply couldn’t afford to keep spending £170 per week on the oil.

See Alfie Brocklebank’s story here as reported by ITV News.

It was Billy’s mother, Charlotte Caldwell, who reached out to CLEAR.  Canabidol CBD is a CannaPro Certified business, endorsed by CLEAR  as an ethical supplier of legal, high quality CBD products. As soon as we spoke to Tom Whettem, CEO of Canabidol, there was no hesitation.  He immediately undertook to provide the oil that Alfie needs at no cost – and there was no question of wanting anything in return.

Alfie’s mother, Ellen, takes up the story:

“Alfie is starting play school next week. Before we started the CBD this would not of been possible as he was just to poorly and having lots of seizures. Alfie going to a main stream play school with his sister is a huge milestone.

We are also slowly coming off Alfie’s conventional anti-epilepsy drugs as well. I’m nearly 100% sure we wouldn’t be able to do this if Alfie wasn’t on the whole plant extract CBD. The neurologist actually told me in his opinion Canabidol CBD is most likely to be more effective than the Epidiolex.”

A number of other CBD companies have now stepped forward and offered to supply oil to people in need who have been turned down for an NHS prescription. As a result, CLEAR, through its trade association Cannabis Professionals, is launching the CannaPro CBD Compassionate Access Programme.

CannaPro CBD Compassionate Access Programme

Applications should set out details of the patient’s condition, any experience with CBD so far and an explanation of the refusal to prescribe on the NHS.  Please email applications to cbdaccess@cannapro-uk.org. All applications will be confidential and considered by a small sub committee of the CLEAR Executive Committee.  Where we are able to recommend that a patient join the programme we will inform the applicant and introduce them to a donor company.  Donor companies will be allocated in strict rotation according to the date they first offered to participate.

 

 

 

 

The Contemptible, Incompetent Members of Parliament.

with 5 comments

When I voted Leave, I fuly expected we would take a short-term hit in order to regain our self-determination. My forefathers laid down their lives for the same principle.

I still expect us to take a short term hit but I want every single one of those contemptible, incompetent scoundrels in Parliament to take a long term hit. They have utterly failed and betrayed our nation.

They are useless, self-serving confidence tricksters and deserve nothing more than to be thrown out of office, out of a job, no peerages, no pay-offs and no way back.

 

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Earlier, I sent this email to my MP, Sir Oliver Letwin.

Dear Oliver,

I think this short piece which I have just published probably reflects the view of most voters whether they wanted to leave or remain.

https://peter-reynolds.co.uk/2019/01/15/the-contemptible-incompetent-members-of-parliament/

This is the most shameful and despicable failure of British politics in many centuries and we hold you, the contemptible, incompetent scoundrels in Parliament, fully responsible.

As for your Machiavellian manoeuvring in recent days, you’re a saboteur both of your own party leader (monstrous harridan that she is) and the electorate’s decision.

I regret there’s only one place for you and that’s the Tower.  How you can live with yourself is beyond me.  The only explanation is your enormous, inconceivable arrogance.

Every single one of you should resign.  There is no other honourable or reasonable course of action. You have destroyed what was already a sham democracy and turned our nation into an international laughing stock.

Very sincerely,

Peter Reynolds

Written by Peter Reynolds

January 15, 2019 at 10:56 am

Posted in Politics

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Last Week The Anti-Cannabis Gutter Press Launched An Attack On Mike Barnes. This Week It’s My Turn.

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Jonathan Bucks

 

 

 

 

An email popped into my inbox this morning announcing the Mail on Sunday’s intention to ‘do a hatchet job’ on me in tomorrow’s edition, just as it did to my friend and colleague Mike Barnes last weekend.  The email and my response are published below.

Evidently, cub reporter Jonathan Bucks took umbrage at my response to his work last weekend. My tweets from my own account and CLEAR’s seem to have upset him.  It’s no surprise at all of course to see a Mail publication using its power to bully an individual. That’s the way the Fleet Street Mafia works.  Six years ago it branded me a ‘cannabis zealot’ because I insisted on some scientific accuracy rather than hysterical scaremongering. See: ‘Boasts of cannabis zealot who forced anti-drugs JP to quit: Campaigner who made complaint says drug is ‘safer than peanuts”

From: Jonathan Bucks <Jonathan.Bucks@mailonsunday.co.uk>
Sent: 15 December 2018 09:37
To: peterreynolds@clear-uk.org
Subject: Mail on Sunday request

Hi Peter

Jonathan Bucks from the Mail on Sunday here.

Tomorrow (16th) we will be running a story naming both you and CLEAR. Specifically, we will be reporting that CLEAR has changed its policy and is encouraging people to buy cannabis seeds so they can grow their own cannabis. This is despite CLEAR’s claims that it ‘does not advocate, condone or encourage breaking the law’ and it ‘exists to promote a change in the law by legitimate means’.

We will also be reporting that in the past you have made anti-Semitic and homophobic comments on your blog. We will be reporting that you described Jewish people as ‘evil’ and Israel as ‘the Nazi power in the world’.

We will also report that you wrote: ‘Homosexuality is a perversion from the norm and gay culture has been allowed virtually to extinguish heterosexual influence in the fashion industry.’

This is a chance for you to make any comments you wish regarding the change in policy, as well as explain the offensive remarks you have made in the past.

I would be grateful if you could please get back to me by 3pm today (15th).

Kind regards

Jonathan Bucks

Mail on Sunday reporter

From: peter@peter-reynolds.co.uk <peter@peter-reynolds.co.uk>
Sent: 15 December 2018 11:29
To: ‘Jonathan Bucks’ <Jonathan.Bucks@mailonsunday.co.uk>
Subject: RE: Mail on Sunday request

Dear Jonathan,

Yes, CLEAR has changed its policy on home cultivation.  It is no longer against the law to use cannabis for medicinal purposes and I congratulate Sajid Javid on taking the law out of the equation completely.  The problem now is an appalling ignorance of the science and the evidence amongst doctors. While lack of knowledge can be excused, bigotry, refusal to educate themselves and placing their caution and fear above the interests of patients cannot.  The dreadful NHS guidelines are preventing patients accessing the medicine they need and it seems only private doctors have the courage to make their own decisions.  In these circumstances the ethical and economical choice is to grow your own.

I am neither anti-semitic nor homophobic. On the contrary, I regard tolerance and liberty as the most important principles. Only those who seek to twist my words make these deliberate misinterpretations.

I do not regard Jewish people as evil.  In some ways they are as much victims of the evil Israeli regime as all the inhabitants of Palestine.  It is a fact that the violent oppression, apartheid and vicious policies pursued by Netanyahu’s war criminal government are closely comparable with the Nazi regime.

Yes, homosexual culture does dominate the fashion industry which is an imbalance that would be better corrected.  The context of my remarks was in discussing dangerously underweight models who look more like boys than women. It will be no surprise to see your ‘newspaper’ publish my remarks out of context. See my full article from 2009 here: https://peter-reynolds.co.uk/2009/06/13/size-0-the-politically-incorrect-truth/

Thank you for asking for my comments.  My remarks are not offensive unless you choose to interpret them that way.  I have been subject to the same and similar fake allegations and smears previously.  The High Court considered whether they could be justified and as a result issued an Injunction prohibiting their repetition in 2014, see https://peterreynolds.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/high-court-injunction-250714.pdf

A very Merry Christmas to you.

Kind regards,

Peter Reynolds

Written by Peter Reynolds

December 15, 2018 at 11:56 am

Bring Billy Home. The NHS Has Denied Him His Medicine Again. He Is Back In Canada.

with 5 comments

It’s probably the most shocking outcome of the new regulations on cannabis that the boy whose story created the change is in exile again.

Billy Caldwell, loved and adored by the whole nation, is back in Canada with his mum Charlotte because there is not a specialist doctor in the UK who will prescribe the medicine he needs.

He has written a heartbreaking letter to Santa, saying he doesn’t want any toys this year “My Xmas wish is to go home with my medicine”.


I doubt whether there has ever been a time when the British people’s opinion of doctors is sinking so fast.  Previously held in absolute reverence, more and more are realising that doctors are only human and some of their human characteristics are, frankly, disappointing.  I’ll go further, some are disgusting.

Dr Chad Taylor of Jersey General Hospital

Doctors no longer sign the Hippocratic Oath but they are expected to abide by professional standards. You’d expect ethics or morals to be at the top but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Many are uninformed, frightened, ignorant or ideologically opposed to the use of cannabis as medicine.

In some cases, such as Dr Chad Taylor, they prefer their duty to their professional body than their duty to their patients.  Dr Taylor says he has “no intention of bending to this pressure” and insists that his “only obligation as a medical practitioner is I’m duty-bound to follow my professional guidance”.

Dr Tom Smith of Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital

Another, Dr Tom Smith, falsely claimed in writing that he wasn’t “allowed” to prescribe for chronic pain, despite his patient having previously found cannabis effective when prescribed in Holland.  Strong opioids don’t work for his patient but all Dr Smith could say was that the epidemic in opioid addiction could soon be an epidemic in cannabis addiction.

The level of ignorance, wild misinformation and bigotry amongst these so-called professionals is astonishing.

Returning to Billy’s story,  CLEAR has been able to offer advice and guidance to Charlotte Caldwell which we believe provides a method by which Billy may legally return home with his medicine in time for Christmas.  That’s the Christmas gift we all want – but not just for Billy. We want British doctors to open their eyes and their ears and start learning what doctors all over the USA, Canada and the rest of Europe already know, cannabis is a very safe and effective medicine.  Instead of being afraid of it they need to start putting their patients first.

Written by Peter Reynolds

December 12, 2018 at 4:59 pm

If The UK Government Refuses To Obey Parliament There Is No Longer Any Rule Of Law. Do As You Will.

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The corruption and arrogance of Theresa May, her ministers, her government and the Conservative Party cannot be more clearly demonstrated than in their refusal to comply with the Parliamentary resolution to publish the legal advice on Brexit.

Parliament is supreme.  It is also the highest court in the land, higher even than the Supreme Court. Its will is the law.

And if the deeply corrupt Theresa May pursues this path, the rule of law no longer applies in the UK.  In which case, do as you will. I urge you however to continue to comply with common law and natural justice.  Do nothing that harms or infringes the rights of anyone else.

The most obvious example is grow your own cannabis.  If Theresa May doesn’t want to obey Parliament, there’s no reason why you should either.

Written by Peter Reynolds

December 4, 2018 at 12:13 pm

Total Defeat and Humilation of Britain By the EU, Plotted By A Treasonous PM and Gang of Remainers

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The British electorate has been betrayed by a devious conspiracy of the political establishment. What we voted for has been denied and Theresa May has subverted what was already a poor excuse for a democracy. Beyond doubt she is a traitor, as with propaganda that we have paid for, fake negotiations and an incompetent opposition she has given away everything that Britain stood for.

This is the time to overthrow the government. A century and more ago this would have been by violent revolution but in our pampered, all-too-comfortable world, our corrupt politicians know that will not happen and in the surveillance state that is modern Britain, the authoritarians that rule over us would never let it.

On the wall of my office, over my left shoulder, is that wonderful war time poster of RAF airmen and Churchill’s famous quote “Never was so much owed by so many to to so few.” Truly, Theresa May and her government have thrown that all away.  We are disgraced and shamed, our leading role in history reversed by small-minded, self-serving bureaucracts.

Our only hope now is that Parliament will overturn this shambles and that we will exit with no deal. I accept that this will be chaotic and may cause all of us great problems but the alternative, to continue with Mrs May’s scheme would be disastrous.  She must be removed from office and although it’s an impossible fantasy, she should go directly to jail.

Written by Peter Reynolds

November 25, 2018 at 10:02 am

Posted in Politics

Tagged with , ,