By Mark Knowles
Well, it looks like Britain is in a cannabis spin—again. After what looked like a successful trip to Holland and back for U.K. medpot users under the Schengen agreement:
article 75 1. As regards the movement of travelers to the territories of the Contracting Parties or their movement within these territories, persons may carry the narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances that are necessary for their medical treatment provided that, at any check, they produce a certificate issued or authenticated by a competent authority of their State of residence.
You must be a resident of the country prescribing the medicine—herbal cannabis. So the Schengen agreement works throughout the E.U., except in Britain! So you can not go to Holland from Britain, see a doctor and bring back medicine, unless the Home Office gives out importation licenses—which they wont.This must breach some kind of equality or human rights law, after all the U.K. is a member state of the E.U.
As well as within E.U. states, I believe people from outside the E.U. can come to Britain with their cannabis prescribed medication and not fear prosecution from the authorities.
So there is no cannabis compliance in the U.K., except for pharmaceutical cannabis Sativex, which passed MHAR and is now classed as having medical efficacy.Therefore, cannabis should be rescheduled from a schedule 1—a drug which has no medical benefit—which opens the door to medical necessity, which courts have denied is a defence, since 2005.
U.K. PM David Cameron didn’t do himself any favours during his recent Al Jazeera interview when he was asked about legalization of cannabis, and cannabis as a medicine.
“That is a matter for the science and medical authorities to determine and they are free to make independent determinations about that.” He said.
Complete nonsense and spin. Look at what happened to Prof. Nutt—sacked from the ACMD (Advisory Council Misuse of Drugs) for telling the truth about the lack of evidence supporting the efficacy of the government’s drug policy. Government policies over peoples health and freedoms is disgusting in this day and age.
With all the science and research coming out regarding the medical efficacy of cannabis, the powers that be can’t keep up their myths, lies, and misinformation to the public. The public should get what the public wants, so more people need to be educated with the truth, and see through the governments propaganda.
The Legalise Cannabis Alliance has changed back from pressure group to political party—time for change.
Just found some enlightening news about a defence to simple possession in Britain (thanks JD). In the U.K., there is a defence for the possession of cannabis under section 5(4) of the MDA 1971. If you are stopped by a police officer and you are in possession of cannabis because you had taken the cannabis from someone to “prevent them committing an offence,” then you will legally be in possession.
Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, s.5
5. Restriction of possession of controlled drugs
4) In any proceedings for an offence under subsection (2) above in which it is proved that the accused had a controlled drug in his possession, it shall be a defence for him to prove
(a) that, knowing or suspecting it to be a controlled drug, he took possession of it for the purpose of preventing another from committing or continuing to commit an offence in connection with that drug and that as soon as possible after taking possession of it he took all such steps as were reasonably open to him to destroy the drug or to deliver it into the custody of a person lawfully entitled to take custody of it; or
(b) that, knowing or suspecting it to be a controlled drug, he took possession of it for the purpose of delivering it into the custody of a person lawfully entitled to take custody of it and that as soon as possible after taking possession of it he took all such steps as were reasonably open to him to deliver it into the custody of such a person.
This sort of information should be printed on calling cards for cannabis users in Britain.
Other recent good news is that the retired professor who said cannabis was one of the “safer” recreational drugs has taken over as chairman of the government’s drugs advisory panel. Professor Les Iversen,a pharmacology specialist, has replaced David Nutt who was sacked from the home secretary for criticizing the reclassification of cannabis from a class C to class B drug.
In an article from 2003, he wrote that cannabis had been “incorrectly” classified as a dangerous drug for nearly 50 years and said it was one of the “safer” recreational drugs.
“I think cannabis for the time being is past history,” said Professor Iversen, who also said much more active attention was currently being paid to so-called legal highs such as mephedrone—which should never have been prohibited, as there was no trace in the two people who allegedly died from it’s use. I wouldn’t take it, but if i were to, I’d rather be able to go to a reputable head shop than a street dealer. Again prohibition is pushing the black market with crap, as kids will now be forced to use dealers, not head shops. Where’s the logic in that?
Prof. Nutt is setting up an independent drugs panel to rival the ACMD.
Since the sacking of Prof. Nutt, Prof. Iversen, formerly of Oxford, has chaired the council’s meetings. Apparently, the appointment of Prof. Iversen appeared to be an attempt by the Home Office to restore calm to the advisory council after a “turbulent few months.” Home Secretary Johnson agreed to write to panel members to explain any decisions that went against their advice. You would think they would accept advice, not decide against it! Also, he said he would not pre-judge decisions on drug classification ahead of the committee issuing advice, although the ACMD has pretty much slowed down, due to the row.
Prof. Nutt will hold the first meeting of his new Independent Council on Drug Harms in the very near future, with five current government advisers in attendance.
Let’s see if this year’s fresh push on legalization in Britain can make a difference. One aim, one goal—end prohibition’s legal-lies….
By Mark Knowles