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Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Theresa May And The Conservative Government Are Both Treasonable And Corrupt.

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We have a government which is pursuing policy not in the interests of the nation but solely in the interests of the Conservative Party.  This is corruption.  It is no better than taking bribes. It is grubby, dishonest, self-serving and directly contradicts the purpose of our democracy and the basis upon which MPs hold office.

We have a government that by a vote in Parliament was ordered to determine our future membership of the EU by a referendum.  The result was that we should leave.  Now, through corrupt self-interest the leader of the Conservative Party, at enormous cost to the nation, has used her position as PM to subvert the result of the referendum. This is treasonable.

Democracy has been entirely extinguished in the UK.  Your vote means nothing. We are ruled by diktat from a corrupt, self-serving elite.  There is no longer any law, only the pursuit of self-interest and the forcible repression of dissent.

It is time for a revolution. The nation should take up arms and rise in justifiable revolt against the criminals in government.

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Written by Peter Reynolds

July 7, 2018 at 8:05 am

An ‘Expert Panel’ On Medicinal Cannabis Without A Single Expert On It?

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Dr Michael McBride, Chair of the Cannabis-based Medicines Expert Panel

To be fair, the members of the expert panel are hardly a surprise.  It’s the medical establishment writ large.  The chairman, Dr John McBride, was, according to Charlotte Caldwell, “instrumental” in stopping Billy’s medicine being prescribed, despite the original prescription coming from a consultant neurologist specialising in paediatric epilepsy.

A government which has denied any medicinal value in cannabis for nearly 50 years needs ‘cover’ for its long overdue U-turn.  Surely though, there needs to be at least one member of the panel who has some expertise in the subject? It’s doubtful that any of the members have ever seen a vaporiser or could tell the difference between weed, hash and a concentrate. They’d probably just call them all ‘skunk’.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer

The intention is probably to turn ‘medicinal cannabis’ into a pill or a bottle of medicine, a nice square peg that these bureaucrats can slot into their square hole. Such servants of the status quo are incapable of considering that modern medicine might have anything to learn from traditional, plant-based medicine that has been used successfully for millennia, instead of barely a century of the simplistic, reductionist theory that they represent.  Of course it shouldn’t be a matter of either/or, we should use the best of both theories because both have much to offer to the health of the nation.

It’s instructive that Professor Dame Sally Davies managed to find “overwhelming” evidence of the medicinal value of cannabis in about 24 hours flat. The evidence has been wilfuly ignored by every government and the self-serving individuals who have held the role of Home Secretary since 1971.

It’s astonishing though that in her review, delivered at lightning speed, she’s come up with this pejorative term “grown cannabis” yet seems enthusiastic about synthetic cannabinoids on which there is precious little clinical research and strong evidence of severe, even life-threatening side effects, totally different from the natural product.

Dame Sally writes: “Cannabis has many active chemicals and only cannabis or derivatives produced for medical use can be assumed to have the correct concentrations and ratios. Using other forms, such as grown or street cannabis, as medicine for therapeutic benefit is potentially dangerous.”

Where else does cannabis come from if it isn’t ‘grown’?  It has to be synthesised in a lab. Why on earth would Dame Sally want to go down that route when no other jurisdiction enabling legal access to medicinal cannabis has done so? Bedrocan products are grown specifically for medical use and standardisation of “correct concentrations and ratios” is exactly what the company is focused on.

This is a clash between two different approaches to medicine which, as I say should be regarded as complementary, not contradictory but we cannot possibly move forward if the only ‘experts’ have no expertise!

To be fair, this is all unfolding at breakneck speed.  Imagine Theresa May hovering in the wings, the hard line prohibitionist eager for any opportunity to kick this back into touch. As it stands, the expert panel will fail, it’s bound to.  We have to give Dame Sally a chance to adjust to the new reality.  With the assistance of Professor Mike Barnes, CLEAR will be keeping a close watch on progress and we will keep Dame Sally apprised.  We have already written to her twice this week setting out our concerns and we will do so on a regular basis.

 

 

 

 

Written by Peter Reynolds

July 5, 2018 at 7:06 pm

Deranged Politicians Interfering In The Oldest Profession Will Only Cause More Harm.

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Sarah Champion MP

Even though she’s a Labour MP, I generally admire Sarah Champion but having caught her speech in the debate on prostitution yesterday, I’m bemused. Her ideas are absurd, opposed to human nature and will cause, not prevent harm. It’s not called the ‘oldest profession’ for nothing.

This is exactly the same as the drugs issue, arrogant, out-of-touch politicians trying to impose their personal opinions on society and create new laws that will massively increase harm.  Prostitution needs legal regulation, just like drugs. It will protect sex workers and make the trade, which will never go away, safer and healthier for everyone.

Why do politicians think that laws are the answer to everything?  It’s hubris of the highest order.

Written by Peter Reynolds

July 5, 2018 at 12:54 pm

New Cannabis Laws And Regulations Within Two Years. The Cannabis Products Directive.

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The Cannabis Products Directive (CPD) is a framework for regulation and licensing of all cannabis and cannabinoid products.  It is an initiative of the Cannabis Trades Association (CTA) developed in conjunction with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

This week the CPD has been translated and submitted to all 28 member states of the EU by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA).

It is anticipated that with the sponsorship of two government agencies, the FSA and MHRA, the CPD will become UK law within the next two years and will relieve the Home Office of the burden of the cannabis regulation and licensing process, placing it in expert hands.

The CPD will establish an independent regulatory body covering all parts of the cannabis supply chain from seeds and genetics through to end products.  Its first chief executive, Ms Fiona Pengilly, a highly experienced administrator, has already been appointed.

The structure of the CPD is based on the Tobacco Products Directive, successful EU legislation which came into force on 19 May 2014 and became applicable in the EU Member States on 20 May 2016. The plan to implement the CPD into legislation is based on the similar path taken with gas regulation by CORGI which become the Gas Safe Register, part of the Health and Safety Executive.

The CPD consists of five parts:

Part 1. Food supplements and edibles

Part 2. Vapes and inhaled products

Part 3. Topicals, balms and cosmetics

Part 4. Cannabis for medical use

Part 5. Grow at home

CTA members who sell CBD and hemp products are already working in accordance with parts 1 – 3. Parts 4 and 5 will be introduced in accordance with legislation.

Growers, producers, manufacturers and sellers will all have to be registered as will each individual product. Approved laboratories will conduct testing and all registrants will be subject to regular inspection.

Each product will have a Cannabis Product Information File (CPIF) and an assigned ‘Responsible Person’ who will ensure that the product remains compliant and updates the CPIF.

Consumers will know that products have been produced and tested in accordance with regulations and will be assured of quality and safety.

Written by Peter Reynolds

July 4, 2018 at 11:58 pm

Posted in Business

Dame Sally’s Caution On “Grown Cannabis” Does Not Bode Well For Access To Herbal Cannabis As Medicine.

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Professor Dame Sally Davies

Great news all round!  Professor Dame Sally Davies has, within a matter of days concluded that cannabis does have medicinal value and needs to be removed from schedule 1. No surprise really as the evidence is, as Dame Sally says, “overwhelming”. The simple fact is that our government has been deliberately ignoring it for years.

However, reading Dame Sally’s report yesterday I was immediately struck by her use of the term “grown cannabis” in a disparaging sense. I’m tempted to ask ‘where else does it come from?’ unless its synthetic and that is my second point of concern. I’m surprised by her apparent enthusiasm for synthetic cannabinoids on which there is precious little clinical research and strong evidence of severe, even life-threatening side effects, totally different from the natural product.

Professor Mike Barnes, CLEAR’s medical advisor, and I discussed the report this morning and while we both welcome it, we’re very concerned that access to raw herbal cannabis, specifically the Bedrocan product range, may continue to be refused.

In everything that I have learned over more than 30 years and great deal of practical experience working with patients, vaporised herbal cannabis is the gold standard for safety and efficacy.  Bedrocan products are available in almost every other country in Europe. They can be prescribed and dispensed in the UK tomorrow and if this route is denied to patients there will be uproar.  This is what patients want and need.

I defer to Mike Barnes in his expertise on the evidence but he agrees with me that vaporised herbal cannabis must be fundamental to the new arrangements.  Oils are obviously more suitable for children and some conditions in adults but children will not be the majority of patients needing access and the pharmacology and titration of cannabis when taken orally is very different and nowhere near as effective.

It would suit the medical establishment and the continuing, moralistic, prohibitionst lobby if cannabis for medicine was all about products which are “derived from” or “based on”, not the dried flowers from the plant which is what we must have if this reform is to succeed. If so, this will mean that many, perhaps most, people will prefer to continue in the illegal market and that, in my view, would be a failure of this process that we are now engaged in.

Written by Peter Reynolds

July 4, 2018 at 11:58 am

Nick Hurd MP, The Times. ‘Out-of-date rules must not come before compassion for those who need medicinal cannabis’

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Nick Hurd MP

This article by Nick Hurd MP, the Home Office Minister, is re-published from the Times of Friday, 29th June 2018.

It is the most significant recent government statement on cannabis.

 

 

 

 

Out-of-date rules must not come before compassion for those who need medicinal cannabis

There are times when life presents a situation for which the status quo is no longer viable; when the case for compassion stands in direct challenge to the rules of the day. This is perhaps no better illustrated than in the case of two young boys and their need for a medicine current legislation does not allow within the UK.

The laws restricting access to cannabis-related medicine in this country have stood for decades. The highly emotive cases of Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell have brought home the urgent need to reconsider those rules.

It is impossible not to feel huge empathy for parents expressing their desperation at the difficulty of accessing a treatment they consider essential to the health and wellbeing of their children. I am very aware that behind those high-profile cases stand other families and individuals experiencing the same frustration at the current restrictions.

The home secretary and I are in the process of reviewing the case for rescheduling cannabis-related medicine. This review will be evidence led and should be completed in the autumn.

If medicinal and therapeutic benefits are identified, the intention would be to reschedule cannabis-related medicine as a treatment available through GPs. Whilst recent cases in the media have involved epilepsy this would be open to patients suffering from all illnesses where such treatment is identified to benefit them.

While we await this review, we are confined to working within the existing rules which require a licence. I am delighted that we were able to issue one on behalf of Alfie Dingley — the first ever licence for the long-term treatment of an individual using cannabis-related medicine in the UK.

However, this process took too long and I want to thank Alfie’s family and the clinical team for their patience in working with us to reach this landmark.

We have also issued an emergency licence to treat Billy Caldwell at the request of his clinical team at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. I have assured Ms Caldwell that Billy will continue to have access to the medicine should his medical team request it and have made clear that we will do what we can to facilitate a long-term licence application for Billy.

We have worked intensively to put in place a much better route for clinicians to secure licences on behalf of their patients until a decision is taken on rescheduling. An expert panel of clinicians will advise Ministers on individual applications. I want to reassure those involved that we are determined to strip this process of any unnecessary bureaucracy. As such, any application can expect to receive a final decision within two to four weeks.

We also want to remove anxiety on fees and are committed to urgently reviewing the fees paid for licences that are awarded as a result of the advice of the expert panel.

The bottom line is that we do not want people to suffer needlessly because of rules and processes that no longer feel fit for purpose.”

Written by Peter Reynolds

July 1, 2018 at 9:17 am

A Quick, Easy Guide to The New UK Arrangements For Access To Cannabis As Medicine.

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There’s already an awful lot of misunderstanding over the arrangements just introduced for medicinal cannabis and there’s no need for it because, to be fair, the government has been very clear.

There is an interim procedure which will be very, very difficult for most to achieve. You must have very strong support from your doctor and they, together with your local NHS Trust, must be prepared to put in a lot of work, form-filling and pay some substantial licensing fees. It’s all explained here.  If you don’t understand it, don’t worry. Your doctor will and it’s only if he/she is prepared to pursue this path for you that you have any chance at all.

There also seems to be an idea that there’s a list of conditions for which cannabis will be available.  There’s no truth in this at all.  It’s up to your doctor and if they pursue this interim procedure, they will have to make the case why cannabis will work for you.

For most people, you are going have to wait until the autumn when cannabis will be re-scheduled and available on prescription from your GP. It will then be up to you to persuade your doctor.  The biggest problem is likely to be that most doctors simply have no understanding of cannabis at all.  Now would be a good time to start gathering together all the scientific evidence you can find about using cannabis to treat your condition(s).

Something is going to have to be done about introducing some training for doctors. Since December 2017, the Royal College of GPs has had a set of guidelines ready to issue to doctors but it’s been sitting on them. These were authored by CLEAR, clinical information by Professor Mike Barnes with methods of use and harm reduction information by Peter Reynolds. We are urging the Royal College to make these available to doctors immediately.

Initially the products available are likely to be the Bedrocan range but we expect some of the Canadian companies will quickly make products available.  We also expect NICE to re-visit Sativex and reassess its cost-effectiveness. It must be time for some hard negotiation over the price. This is an opportunity for GW Pharma and Bayer to make a significant reduction which would be in their own long term interest.

Written by Peter Reynolds

June 30, 2018 at 3:39 pm