UK’s Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says Britain must quickly review its policies on medical marijuana use in light of the case of a 12-year-old boy whose mother says he needs cannabis oil to prevent dangerous seizures.
British officials intervened over the weekend to allow Bill Caldwell to use cannabis oil even though it is banned in Britain. His mother said his life was in danger and clinicians said it was a medical emergency.
Hunt told the BBC on Monday that he expects a review of medicinal use of cannabis to be completed with months. He said: “I don’t think anyone who followed that story could sensibly say that we are getting the law on this kind of thing right.”
So in light of Hunt’s acknowledgment that the UK needs to review its laws over medical marijuana use, here are the top five glaring British double standards on medical marijuana.
1- UK was the biggest exporter of ‘legal’ marijuana in 2016
Strangely enough, in a country where cannabis oil was confiscated from Caldwell, only 12, who was suffering severe epilepsy, a U.N. report had described the UK as the world’s largest producer of legal cannabis for both medicinal and scientific use, accounting for 44.9 percent of the world total in 2016.
2- Husband of anti-marijuana MP has a cannabis job
Hypocrisy gets even more shocking in the UK when observers find out that the husband of the hardline anti-marijuana MP Victoria Atkins is Paul Kenward, who is the managing director of British Sugar, which grows cannabis under contract to the British GW Pharmaceuticals at a 45-acre greenhouse in Norfolk, UK.
Clear, a lobbyist cannabis law reform, said on its website that “there are many examples of willful ignorance, blind prejudice and bare-faced dishonesty on drugs policy from many former and current MPs.”
“THERE IS NO ONE THOUGH WHO PLUMBS THE DEPTHS OF DECEPTION AND HYPOCRISY AS THE NEW DRUGS MINISTER VICTORIA ATKINS.”
3- British cannabis medicine Epidiolex not for UK citizens
While young British boys like Caldwell suffer in their home country, British GW Pharmaceuticals, who just got its epilepsy drug called Epidiolex initially approved in the U.S., can’t have access to it.
If fully approved, Epidiolex will achieve officialdom and will herald a whole new era for medical cannabis drugs as it will be the first marijuana-derived drug approved on a federal level in the United States.
4- UK’s cannabis-based medicine Sativex is not for all Brits
Kenward’s supplies to GW Pharmaceuticals have limited trickle down and doesn’t cover all of the UK.
In a report by Sky News, a significant part of the UK’s legal cannabis production goes towards a cannabis-based medicine called Sativex, produced by GW Pharmaceuticals.
But Sativex can only be offered to patients suffering the effects of multiple sclerosis, and it is offered by the National Health Services (NHS) in Wales, and not the rest of the UK.
5- The public is ahead of politicians in their cannabis use
British citizens suffering ailments including cancer have sworn by using cannabis oil to treat their tumors. Some even said they were given a limited time to live but they beat their cancer.
Also, in 2016, the polling company ORB asked people, on a confidential basis, whether they had tried certain drugs. Three out of 10 people (31 per cent) said they had tried non-skunk cannabis but only half as many (15 per cent) had used skunk, The Independent reported.
Norman Lamb, the former Health Minister who set up the Lib Dems’ expert panel, said ORB’s findings about licensed cannabis sales showed that the public were way ahead of most politicians who, he claimed, doggedly support prohibition despite its disastrous consequences.