Cannabis demonstration on October 9th, 2013, Houses of Parliament in London
Announcement from board of NORML UK
September 3, 2013 by Happydaze
By Jo Moss
NORML UK, the national cannabis law reform organisation, will be holding a static demonstration close to the Houses of Parliament on the 9th October 2013, commencing around midday.
The purpose will be to protest the discriminatory laws whereby a medical cannabis patient from Europe is legally entitled to consume their herbal cannabis medicine in the UK, but a UK citizen is not.
The attendees, from both the UK and the Netherlands, will comprise of patients from The Netherlands legally smoking their cannabis in a public space. There will also be UK medical cannabis patients who consume cannabis illegally. NORML will be making the necessary distinction with large banners, which tell the story of each group of patients. Under the Schengen agreement, herbal Bedrocan BV cannabis can be legally consumed in the UK by a Dutch national with a prescription but not by a British patient with a similar condition.
Under current UK law, British patients may only be prescribed Sativex, a whole plant extract of cannabis in the form of a tincture spray, which is too costly for many patients and local authorities.
Joanne Moss, Deputy Director of NORML UK, said: “Cannabis is known to have a therapeutic effect on many medical conditions, including multiple sclerosis, a fact which even Prince Charles has recognised. Every day we see news stories of people who have serious medical conditions being prosecuted for growing their own medicine because they cannot access it via their doctors. Decisions regarding medical treatment should be made between a patient and their doctor, not by a government which recognises Sativex, a whole plant extract from cannabis, as having medical application but not the plant it is extracted from. This is hypocrisy.”
Exact times and assembly points will be announced on the NORML UK website and social media. More information about the issues surrounding medical cannabis, with testimonies from medical cannabis patients, can be found on NORML UK’s website, at http://www.norml-uk.org.
For a number of years an idea has widely circulated within the UK cannabis community, with every activist laying claim in someway that it was unique to them. Now is the time when the idea becomes a set of plans and shortly an event, which the NORML UK team believes will help promote positive change to the cannabis laws in the UK, and raise further public awareness as to the reality of cannabis as medicine.
On 9th October 2013, NORML UK will be staging a peaceful protest by way of a static demonstration in close proximity to the Houses of Parliament in London. Exact times and the assembly point will be announced through the events page and our website a couple of days prior to the event. We would advise supporters of this event to arrive in central London in time to assemble just before 12 noon, and it is envisaged the protest will conclude within 3 hours. The event will be a static, peaceful assembly and we will advise supporters with mobility problems the best ways to access and exit the assembly point.
The purpose of this peaceful protest is to demonstrate the hypocrisy and the flaws of cannabis legislation both here in the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. The attendees will mainly comprise legal and illegal cannabis consumers smoking or consuming their cannabis within the same public space. We will be making the distinctions by way of large banners, which tell the story for each group of patients.
Herbal Bedrocan cannabis, which can be legally consumed in the UK by a Dutch national with a prescription, but not by a British patient with a similar condition.
Herbal Cannabis which is available on prescription in the Netherlands
Most supporters will be people with diagnosed medical conditions who use cannabis, prescribed or otherwise, to treat the symptoms of their medical condition. A few of those in attendance will be residents from The Netherlands, who are permitted under the terms of the Schengen Agreement, to bring their prescribed herbal cannabis, to the UK, and consume when and wherever their needs dictate.
NORML UK wishes to highlight the hypocrisy of the Cannabis laws, especially as at this juncture the UK government is seeking to amend The Misuse of Drugs Act which will schedule cannabis and Sativex differently. Giving Sativex legitimate and therapeutic use. Sativex is a whole plant extract, made into a tincture spray, and available on prescription in the UK and an increasing number of other countries. However, in the UK Sativex is so expensive that most doctors budgets do not allow them to write any NHS prescriptions for it. The product is manufactured by GW Pharmaceuticals, under license in the UK. They are permitted to grow tons of cannabis every year in the UK in their factories, to produce a product which is not affordable to most NHS trusts/councils, yet the government still wishes to prosecute people who have been denied Sativex prescriptions due to funding issues, and grow their own medicine out of desperation, in order to gain relief from their symptoms. Where on earth is the logic, which allows a plant and a whole plant extract to be scheduled and considered differently?
Sativex, a legal cannabis tincture made from herbal cannabis is used to treat Multiple Sclerosis.
Sativex: legal spray tincture available on prescription in the UK via a NHS postcode lottery
NORML UK are looking for UK residents who are currently prescribed Sativex, either privately or through the NHS, and for patients with MS and other health problems for which Sativex is indicated, but who have been denied a prescription for Sativex. If you are one of these people, and would be happy to join the event or share your story, then please send a message to email@example.com
Cannabis Plant… not legal in the UK and not available on prescription
Cannabis Plant… not permitted in the UK and not available on prescription.
For more information and to keep updated, please visit our official Facebook event page.
Notes to the Editor
1. Founded in 1970 in the USA, the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is an international organisation campaigning on cannabis laws worldwide. NORML UK, founded in May 2012, is a non-partisan, non-profit organisation seeking to reform British cannabis laws and campaigning for more research into the benefits of the uses of the cannabis plant for all purposes.
2. NORML UK welcomes to this demonstration UK residents who have Sativex on prescription, privately or through the NHS, or who have a condition such as MS which can be treated through Sativex but have been denied a prescription. All enquiries can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. The Schengen Agreement and Article 75 .. In a nutshell enables patients who live in a Schengen Area Country where herbal cannabis is prescribable to obtain a certificate to travel to any other Schengen Area Country with it, and be allowed to consume it legally when and where medical need dictates. The UK although not a signatory to the Schengen Agreement has obligations under Article 75, which permits patients to travel freely with their prescribed controlled drugs to the UK, providing they have the correct documentation.Republish