Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘Roland Gyallay-Pap

CLEAR Evidence For the APPG Medicinal Cannabis Inquiry.

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RGP PJR HoC2

Roland Gyallay-Pap, Peter Reynolds

Yesterday, 2nd March 2016, Roland Gyallay-Pap and Peter Reynolds were called to give evidence at the All Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform Inquiry into Regulation of Cannabis for Medicinal Use.

We have already submitted a 15 page written response.  Yesterday’s oral hearing was to enable the inquiry to question us in more detail. We cannot publish our written response or go into great detail about yesterday’s hearing until the inquiry has published its own report which is some weeks away yet.

As we arrived at the hearing, Tom Lloyd, ex-chief constable of Cambridgeshire, was waiting to go in so we sat at the back of the committee room and listened to his contribution. Later, after our session, we adjourned to the Westminster Arms for some legal recreational drug use and to swop notes. Tom is a great asset to the campaign and we were able to update each other on the work we are involved in.
Roland Gyallay-Pap, Peter Reynolds

The inquiry panel consisted of three MPs and five members of the House of Lords. Roland opened our session with an account of how cannabis oil had helped in the last months of his mother’s life before she died from pancreatic cancer. The whole panel was visibly moved.  Baroness Meacher explained that this was not the only such testimony they had heard. Everyone was extremely receptive.  A lot of detailed questions were asked about CLEAR’s work and our knowledge of the science, law and best practice involved in medicinal cannabis.

The inquiry’s report will undoubtedly support some reform of the law around medicinal cannabis.  Let us hope it will provoke real action from government.

CLEAR, The British Medicinal Cannabis Campaign and UK CBD Combine To Offer Media Briefings.

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coronation street landscape

The subject of cannabis as medicine is certain to rise to the top of the UK news agenda in forthcoming weeks as a new Coronation Street storyline unfolds.

The character Izzy Armstrong (Cherylee Houston) who has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, will be seen suffering when her prescription medicine fails to alleviate her pain. Erica Holroyd (Claire King) will then suggest that she starts using cannabis as an alternative and ends up supplying Izzy with the drug.  The programme will look at all aspects of the debate on medicinal cannabis and examine the legal implications and the far reaching consequences of Izzy’s actions for her family.

Now, three of the UK’s most important organisations in the field are joining forces to provide the media with facts, evidence and personal testimonies about medicinal cannabis.

CLEAR is the largest drugs policy reform group in the UK with nearly 600,000 followers. The British Medicinal Cannabis Campaign (BMCC) is an independent group consisting of 4,500 members, all of whom are UK-based medicinal cannabis users. UK CBD is the leading distributor of legal, cannabinoid nutraceuticals including the world famous Charlotte’s Web and Mary’s brands.

Roland Gyallay-Pap, managing director of CLEAR, commented:

Not for the first time, but at a crucial time in the worldwide debate, the issue of medicinal cannabis will be addressed in a British soap. We have high hopes that this will stimulate the debate and bring the absurdity of the UK government’s position into sharp focus.”

Throughout Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, Israel and South America, interest in and the use of medicinal cannabis is growing fast. The UK is now virtually isolated amongst first world countries with the stubborn refusal of government even to consider the evidence. However there is a growing clamour from politicians, scientists and doctors that it must address what is a deeply cruel and evidence-free policy. Hundreds of thousands already use medicinal cannabis and risk a criminal record just for trying to improve their health. In addition they have to deal with a criminal underworld and risk violence, contaminated and low quality product all because government refuses to take responsibility.

There is now an overwhelming body of peer-reviewed, scientific evidence on the safety and efficacy of cannabis as medicine.  CLEAR published ‘Medicinal Cannabis: The Evidence’ in April 2015 which has received international acclaim and is now also available in a Spanish language edition.  Download here in English or Spanish.

Individual briefings will be available on request to journalists, reporters, media organisations and other interested parties. Briefings will be led by Peter Reynolds, one of the nation’s leading experts on the science, medicine and politics of cannabis, Mark Scott, a representative of BMCC and Nicolas Ellis, founder and managing director of UK CBD.

Please contact CLEAR to arrange a briefing at your premises by appointment.  Alternatively, a central London venue can be arranged on request.

Peter Reynolds Steps Down, Roland Gyallay-Pap Appointed Acting Leader of CLEAR.

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At a meeting of the CLEAR Executive Committee held over the weekend of 18th/19th July 2015, Peter Reynolds tendered his resignation as leader.  He was first elected as leader in February 2011, won a confidence vote in April 2012 and was re-elected unopposed in February 2014.

Roland Gyallay-Pap

Roland Gyallay-Pap

Roland-Gyallay-Pap has been appointed acting leader and preparations will now begin for a leadership election.

Roland Gyallay-Pap said:

“I would like to extend a big thank you to Peter for the tireless work he has put in over the past four years. It is through his professionalism and tenacity that CLEAR is where it is now.

“I will seek to capitalise on our achievements so far, extending membership, and further building on the success of our Medicinal Users Panel. Never have we been so close to achieving our goals and I look forward to working with those who share our views on how change can be brought about in the most effective manner.”

Peter Reynolds’ letter of resignation reads:

Dear Colleagues,

This is my resignation from the office of leader of CLEAR, effective immediately.

I will remain a member of the leadership team as president of the executive committee.  However, it is time for a new leader to take charge and drive our campaign forward.

I want to thank all members of CLEAR for the opportunity to serve as leader since February 2011.  I am immensely proud of what we have achieved.  We have built a follower base that exceeds all other UK drugs policy groups combined.  We have developed a set of policies and tactics that are more effectively challenging cannabis prohibition than ever before. We have made more progress with government in the last two years than the whole campaign has in the last 50. 

I will now concentrate on managing the Medicinal Users Panel.  This is at the core of our strategy for practical, achievable law reform.  It is, I believe, how I can now make the most effective contribution. CLEAR needs a new face to take the next steps in our campaign and I shall give my full support to our new leader.

Written by Peter Reynolds

July 24, 2015 at 8:26 am

CLEAR Medicinal Users Panel. Fifth Delegation To Parliament.

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Vicky Hodgson, Kate Stenberg, Roland Gyallay-Pap, Lynee Featherstone MP, Peter Reynolds, Penny Fitzlyon, Richard Tong, Jonathan Liebling

Vicky Hodgson, Kate Stenberg, Roland Gyallay-Pap, Lynne Featherstone MP, Peter Reynolds, Penny Fitzlyon, Richard Tong, Jonathan Liebling

Today a further delegation from CLEAR met with Lynne Featherstone, the new Home Office minister with responsibility for drugs policy. She is the Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green and was appointed to replace Norman Baker after he resigned in November 2014.

We invited Jonathan Liebling, Political Director of the United Patients Alliance (UPA) to accompany us and he gave eloquent testimony about his own use of medicinal cannabis.  UPA has been doing excellent work in running a series of meetings up and down the country bringing medicinal users together.  We hope there will be further co-operation between UPA and CLEAR.

Jonathan spoke about using cannabis to help with anxiety and depression, as did Kate Stenberg who has also used cannabis to deal with a chronic pain condition.  Vicky Hodgson spoke about treating her scoliosis, COPD and cluster headaches. Roland Gyallay-Pap, related how he produced cannabis oil when his mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and the great help it gave her with sleeping and eating in the final months of her life. Penny Fitzlyon talked about treating her MS with cannabis and how she has now been refused Sativex.  It was obvious this had a big impact on the minister.

She listened to each of us very attentively and we all felt that she had taken genuine interest and understood our arguments, particularly about enabling UK patients to import Bedrocan medicinal cannabis.

We also presented Ms Featherstone with a pre-publication copy of the paper ‘Medicinal Cannabis: The Evidence’, which we have produced at the request of George Freeman MP, the Life Sciences minister.  This is a literature review of the existing evidence on medicinal cannabis.  It makes a powerful argument for the transfer of cannabis from schedule I to schedule II so that it may be prescribed by a doctor. Currently the paper is being peer-reviewed and we hope that it may itself be published in a scientific/medical journal shortly.

CLEAR has also recently delivered a briefing on medicinal cannabis to Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats.  We shared this with Ms Featherstone as well.

With the General Election fast approaching, all MPs, including minsters, are about to go into campaign mode. Nick Clegg is to cover drugs policy in a speech a Chatham House later this week. There may yet be further developments, specifically on medicinal cannabis as the election campaign unfolds.  What is certain is that the new Parliament will represent a real opportunity for change and we have high hopes of real progress.