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More than 60 MPs are supporting drug reform in the UK – is yours on the list?

Cross-party MPs and peers have backed a campaign to end 50 years of ‘drug failure’ in the UK

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More than 60 cross-party MPs and peers have backed the campaign

More than 60 cross-party MPs and peers have backed a campaign to end half a century of ‘drug failure’ in the UK.

The Transform Drug Policy Foundation is campaigning to overhaul the Misuse of Drugs Act, which marked its 50th anniversary on 27 May.

The controversial act was passed on May 21, 1971 and still serves as the cornerstone of British drugs legislation.

Working under the banner ‘50 years of failure’, the campaign argues that the 1971 act has ‘damaged people and communities, undermined science and entrenched social injustice’.

A private members’ bill, introduced in the House of Commons in March, is calling for an overhaul of the act, including decriminalisation for possession of small quantities of drugs, transfer of responsibility from the Home Office to the Department for Health and Social Care and better provision of safe consumption sites.

Crispin Blunt, MP has voiced his support for the bill

So far 64 MPs and peers have publicly backed the bill, including high profile medical cannabis advocates, Labour’s Tonia Antoniazzi, Crispin Blunt, Conservative MP and Ronnie Cowan, MP for the Scottish National Party (SNP).

Former leader of the Green Party Caroline Lucas and Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell have also voiced their support.

Transform has now launched its 50 Voices  campaign, bringing together perspectives from across the UK, and 50 reasons why change is needed.

It is also working with partners at Release and Drug Science to launch a series of reports and proposals later this year.

 

Dr James Nicholls, Transform’s CEO, commented: “The Misuse of Drugs Act has been a disaster. In the 50 years since it was introduced, we have seen both use and deaths rise dramatically. The UK now has some of the highest drug deaths in Europe, and the situation continues to get worse.

“At the same time, countless lives have either been lost, or ruined through needless and damaging criminalisation. The Government’s recent review of drug markets sets out this failure in detail, and confirms that it cannot be resolved simply through more policing.

“More than 50 MPs and Peers have now called for reform, and we know that a great many more agree but feel unable to speak out on this issue. This will not continue for another 50 years. We need to start a debate now to finally break the deadlock.”

Find out how you can write to your MP about supporting drug reform here

 

Here is the full list of MPs and peers calling for change: 

Tonia Antoniazzi MP, Labour 

Apsana Begum MP, Labour 

Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle, Green Party

Kirsty Blackman MP, SNP

Crispin Blunt MP, Conservative

Deidre Brock MP, Scottish National Party

Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe, Labour

Alan Brown MP, Scottish National Party

Richard Burgon MP, Labour

Dawn Butler MP, Labour

Dan Carden MP, Labour

Daisy Cooper MP, Liberal Democrat

Ronnie Cowan MP, Scottish National Party

Angela Crawley MP, Scottish National Party

Ed Davey MP, Liberal Democrat

Allan Dorans MP, Scottish National Party

Tim Farron MP, Liberal Democrat

Marian Fellows MP, Scottish National Party

Stephen Flynn MP, Scottish National Party

Mary Foy MP, Labour

Mary Glindon MP, Labour

Neale Hanvey MP, Alba Party

Drew Hendry MP, Scottish National Party

Lord Hendy, Labour

Wera Hobhouse MP, Liberal Democrat

Lord Howarth of Newport, Labour

Lord Hylton, Crossbench

Christine Jardine MP, Liberal Democrat

Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb, Green Party

Ben Lake MP, Plaid Cymru

Ian Lavery MP, Labour

Chris Law MP, Scottish National Party

Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Labour

Clive Lewis MP, Labour

Tony Lloyd MP, Labour

Caroline Lucas MP, Green Party

Kenny MacAskill MP, Alba Party

Baroness Masham of Ilton, Crossbench

Stewart McDonald MP, Scottish National Party

Stuart McDonald, SNP

John McDonnell MP, Labour

Anne McLaughlin MP, Scottish National Party

Layla Moran MP, Liberal Democrat

Grahame Morris MP, Labour

Gavin Newlands MP, Scottish National Party

Sarah Olney MP, Liberal Democrat

John Penrose MP, Conservative

Dr Dan Poulter MP, Conservative

Lord Sikka, Labour

Lord Ramsbotham, Crossbench

Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP, Labour

Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP, Labour

Liz Saville-Roberts MP, Plaid Cymru

Tommy Sheppard MP, Scottish National Party

Jeff Smith MP, Labour

Baroness Stern, Crossbench

Zarah Sultana MP, Labour

Alison Thewliss MP, Scottish National Party

Owen Thompson MP, SNP

Richard Thomson MP, Scottish National Party

Wendy Chamberlain MP, Liberal Democrat

Dr Philippa Whitford MP, Scottish National Party

Hywel Williams MP, Plaid Cymru

Lord Woolley of Woodford, Crossbench

News

Weekend digest: Six big stories from the cannabis world you might have missed

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Another week, another rollercoaster in the fast-moving world of cannabis.

At Cannabis Health, our in depth coverage of the ongoing growth of cannabis as a medical and wellness product continues

Meanwhile, over at Cannabis Wealth, we’ve been following all the big industry and policy news in a week which has seen some important developments..

Been busy and want to get caught up in a hurry?

Here are the six things you need to read to stay in the loop this week.

1. Products pulled from shelves

Two batches of medical cannabis products have been recalled by regulators as investigations are carried out, following reports they may be contaminated with mould.

Medical cannabis pharmacy, Dispensary Green and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have issued a ‘precautionary’ product recall since being made aware of ‘defects’ in patient’s medication.

Concerns were initially raised after a number of medical cannabis patients spotted what they believed to be mould spores in their prescriptions.

Full story here.

2. NFL turns to medical cannabis

The National Football League (NFL) in America is providing $1 million in funding for research into pain management and cannabinoids.

The NFL is funding research into medical cannabis.

The pain management committee of the NFL and the NFL Players Association announced it would stump up the funding on Tuesday 8 June.

According to the organisation’s news platform, the move is the next step in a shifting attitude towards players who use medicinal cannabis to manage pain from injuries.

You can read more here.

3. More medical cannabis evidence

Researchers have found that the cannabinoids CBD and CBG, when used in combination, are beneficial for treating inflammation in the lungs.

Scientists at King’s College London, working in collaboration with Sativa Wellness Group have published the first results from a study into the impact of cannabinoids on respiratory diseases.

It aimed to investigate the anti-inflammatory effects of the two non-psychotropic cannabinoids alone and in combination, in a model of pulmonary inflammation.

Full details here.

4. Germany to vote for reform?

Germany’s national election on September 26 could be a landmark moment for Europe’s cannabis industry.

As Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to leave the stage, the European Union’s most influential country looks destined for a political shakeup.

Annalena Baerbock could become Germany’s first pro-drug reform Chancellor.

It could mark a huge moment for the cannabis industry as Germany’s parliament might swing in favour of legislation.

Here’s everything you need to know about it.

5. Adapt or fail

The pro-drug reform lobby must accept it has failed and change to push its agenda ahead, leading experts have warned.

Speaking at a Global Cannabis Intelligence event about the state of advocacy in the UK, three leading policy advocates set out how they think greater access can be achieved.

The discussion comes week after the 50-year anniversary of the passage of the The Misuse of Drugs Act.

Read the full story here.

6. Isle of Man steps up

The Isle of Man government has declared it is open for business to the medical cannabis industry.

In a big to create 250 new jobs and generate £3m a year for the island, policymakers want it to become ‘a world-leading exporter’.

Applications are now open for licences to produce and distribute treatments on the island, as well as to use it as an export base.

Full details here.

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News

New tracking app launches for UK medical cannabis patients

Through the app patients will be able to monitor their own symptoms and medication usage

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The free health monitoring app is already being used elsewhere in the world.

UK medical cannabis suppliers Grow Pharma have teamed up with an Australian tech firm to launch a new app for patients.

The partnership with OnTracka will see them launch Calyx, a free health monitoring app already being used elsewhere in the world.

Users will be able to monitor their own symptoms and medication usage, speak securely with their doctor and contribute to gathering evidence about the use of medical cannabis.

The app will also be available in Ireland and the Channel Islands after successful launches in Australia, the US and South America.

Users will be able to monitor their own symptoms and medication usage

Pierre Van Weperen, CEO of Grow Pharma said: “Grow Pharma is currently fulfilling around a third of all prescriptions for the UK’s medicinal cannabis patients.

“Our prominent role gives us a significant advantage to building data insights into how patients are managing their health.

“This is integral to pave the way towards increasing access for patients in the UK through providing doctors with confidence around the safety and efficacy of these products.

“Using the app will generate important insights to provide real-time evidence to doctors and regulators.”

Grow Pharma hopes the app will help ‘rapidly accelerate an understanding of the safety, quality, and efficacy’ of medical cannabis.

Insights gained via the app will ‘advance the industry forward in the service of patients, shaping future legislation and policy based on patient experiences’ by providing real-world data to regulators.

Grow is in the process of raising £6 million worth of capital via a private funding round expect to be completed later this month.

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Industry

Isle of Man launches medical cannabis export sector

The Isle of Man is open for business to the medical cannabis industry.

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The move could 250 new jobs and generate £3 million a year for the island

The Isle of Man government has declared it is open for business to the medical cannabis industry.

In a big to create 250 new jobs and generate £3 million a year for the island, policymakers want it to become ‘a world-leading exporter’.

Applications are now open for licences to produce and distribute treatments on the island, as well as to use it as an export base.

The island’s regulator – the Gambling Supervision Commission – has set out conditions for the licensing of high-THC cannabis and hemp.

Enterprise minister Laurence Skelly said: “The growing global medicinal cannabis market provides significant opportunity for economic development in the Isle of Man, and the new regulatory framework and guidance will offer stringent and flexible licensing of a broad range of cannabis products, which ranges from outdoor grown industrial hemp to indoor grown medicinal products.

“The Isle of Man Government has every confidence that the GSC will provide a world class regulatory structure required to regulate this new and complex industry.

The Isle of Man wants to be a major player in Europe’s growing medical cannabis industry.

“I am delighted to welcome licence applications and look forward to attracting quality businesses to the Island, transforming the cannabis export sector into a key contributor to the Isle of Man’s post-Covid economic recovery.”

The self-governing British Crown Dependency, which has a population of 83,000, approved new medical cannabis laws in January.

The island’s parliament – the Tynwald – moved to attract the industry to its shores after a public consultation showed 95 percent of residents were in favour of the policy.

Mark Rutherford, director of policy at the island’s regulator, said: “The GSC already has a sophisticated framework for supervising gambling.

‘We have worked carefully to apply the best of that framework to the risks in the new sector and we have educated ourselves in the technical areas that are new to us.

“What we now have will ensure that all stakeholders will be competent, crime free and capable of building a sector that is safe, trusted and efficient.

“As regulators, we aspire to put our regulatory umbrella above as many consumers as possible so that they can benefit from regulations that are well thought out and properly supervised.

“Years of prohibition mean that the markets in which our licensees will be participating are still in their infancy and still contain many uncertainties.

“To address this situation, it is our aim to ensure that consumers who purchase Isle of Man products will be able to understand exactly what their product contains through accurate labelling and independent testing.

“The GSC recognises there are many stakeholders in this newly created field and intends to extend its ethos of cooperation with other government authorities into its approach to cannabis regulation.”

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