medical cannabis

So, CLEAR made a massive claim last month, that they had succeeded in opening a loophole by which UK residents could legally import Bedrocan, a branded form of herbal cannabis available in parts of Continental Europe. They put out a big headline:

"Legal Medicinal Cannabis In Britain Achieved" - CLEAR headline

Never one for understatement.

Peter Reynolds campaigning in the Corby by-electionTheir basis for this was a medical cannabis patient, codenamed Clarence, who had gone to the Netherlands, filled a prescription for Bedrocan, and then flown back and declared his haul at Customs. A Customs officer looked at his paperwork and decided to let him through. Bang! Legal medical cannabis now exists. (We’ll forget that Clarence’s home was subsequently raided by the police for now. Or that to access the only form of legal medical cannabis described in the article, you had to go abroad every three months.) Out went the press release:

CLEAR Press release - "Legally Imported Medicinal Cannabis"

Don’t know how many more times you could have shoehorned “legally” in there…

And then the most significant breakthrough in the cannabis campaign since the Dangerous Drugs Act 1925 just…didn’t break through. No-one picked up the press release, no drug policy organisation in the country or the world did anything. Wikipedia didn’t update its article on medical cannabis.

Perhaps it was because the entire thing is nonsense. [click to continue…]

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Peter Reynolds campaigning in the Corby by-electionSo last week, NORML UK published a testimonial from someone who had been using cannabis oil to treat his cancer, which had suddenly gone into remission. Our contributor had titled it “Cannabis Cures Cancer!”, which proved very controversial among our membership. To avoid confusion, the title was changed to “Cannabis Cured My Cancer”. That worked for most people. But not Peter Reynolds, who published an article on the CLEAR – Cannabis Law Reform website called, “Two Cautionary Tales For The Cannabis Campaign” – the first cautionary tale being about us.


A well known cannabis evangelist has been promoting his latest efforts in the manufacture of cannabis oil which he has christened pretentiously as “RSO”, an abbreviation for Rick Simpson oil.  While there is some exciting anecdotal evidence around the use of cannabis oil and a lot of good science that supports the theoretical possibility of its effectiveness, claiming that cannabis cures cancer is irresponsible and extremely cruel both to those who have cancer and their families.  It’s also very probably a criminal offence under the Cancer Act 1939 – a crime that has very real victims who deserve protection from such charlatans and confidence tricksters.

This is yet another example of how cannabis campaigners regularly sabotage their own efforts.  There is overwhelming evidence of the efficacy of cannabis as medicine and this sort of wild exaggeration, overclaiming and behaving like snake oil salesmen does nothing but damage our cause.


Heavy stuff. “Criminal”. “Fools”. “Snake oil salesmen”. “Charlatans and confidence tricksters”. Such are what Peter Reynolds thinks of people who claims cannabis cures cancer.

I have to say, I think that this statement might have a little more weight and be less rooted in sour grapes if it weren’t for the fact that CLEAR’s own leaflet says on the second page, “Cannabis oil is now proven to cure skin cancer.”




If posting a cancer sufferer’s testimony regarding his use of cannabis oil is “probably criminal”, what would that make putting a direct claim that cannabis cures skin cancer?  [click to continue…]

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Are There are More Interesting Statistics Than Medical Marijuana?

November 7, 2011

Many cannabis campaigners like to throw around the fact that 15 out of 50 states have medical marijuana laws. However, as a friend pointed out to me, “To me, that simply means that 35 American states don’t have medical marijuana.” It’s not, on the face of it, an incredible statistic except to people who genuinely […]

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