Thursday, 22 September 2016

Write to Your MP - 2



Write To Your MP

Now is the time to contact your MP making it very clear that you expect them to read the APPG's report and recommendations and if you can, arrange to meet your MP at their constituency surgery to explain things in person. Saying “NO” by email is much easier than saying it to a medical cannabis patient sat right in front of them.


You must include your full postal address and postcode to show that you are a constituent.  Without this your email or letter will be ignored.

An email or a letter is fine, both is even better and a follow up phone call to their office can be very effective in getting a response.

Write in your own words. Parliamentary email systems can identify and delete “Template Emails” to address campaigns by petitioning groups that have inundated MPs with such correspondence.  

Keep your letter fairly brief. Limited to 3 or 4 paragraphs and a single page is best.

A good format for your correspondence is:

Paragraph 1: Why you are writing? What do you want from your MP?
  • I am/want to be a medical cannabis patient who has suffered from (condition) or I am a recreational consumer
  • What do you expect in return - I want you to read, consider and respond to the APPG report and Mike Barnes' report. I want you to tell me your position on this subject. I want to arrange an appointment to see you.
Paragraph 2: Details of condition/consumption/why you believe cannabis should be legalised? It does not have to be every angle or every reason. The ones that mean the most to you will do.

Paragraph 3: I appreciate you taking the time to read this. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you. Grovel (not really)


What do I Write About?

Use your own words; choose from these points if that helps:
  • Mike Barnes' report is a new standard for evidence of cannabis' efficacy for many conditions
  • Legal regulation of cannabis will move the £6bn per year market out of the hands of the criminals, reducing under age consumption and resulting in better quality and known strengths, less prevalence of Skunk and other high-THC strains which are a response to the illegal market. 
  • The potential benefits of taxation of cannabis would allow us to invest millions more in schools, hospitals, drug abuse treatment and re-education
  • Legalising would reduce police costs and time so they can concentrate on more serious and violent crime, whilst improving relationships with the public.
  • It removes the risks relating to dealing with the criminal market for patients in accessing their medicine
  • Provide patients with much needed medicine that is effective and safe
  • It would save the NHS millions of pounds as people would chose cannabis over other more expensive and less effective pharmaceutical medications. An average Multiple Sclerosis Patient costs £30k per year unless they choose cannabis. In US states where available there is 16%-25% take up. With 100k MS sufferers in the UK, that is a minimum of £480m per year, for just MS.
  • Opiate abuse and overdose has reduced by an average of 25% and Alcohol abuse and overdose by 15% in places where regulated cannabis is available as an alternative. 
  • Allows for more research in more places without the 2 year lead time and additional costs of around £160k per year for licences and materials and would encourage competition by breaking GW Pharmaceutical's UK monopoly
  • It would directly and immediately reduce the numbers of trafficked children forced to work on illegal cannabis grows in the UK
  • It's my Human Right
You can link to the following pieces of evidence in your email or letter or add your own but no more than 3 or 4 excellent links.
Lastly and most importantly; 
Please send ALL responses - no matter how good or bad to campaign@endourpain.org 
Do give United Patients Alliance a mention.
Do support End_Our_Pain for legal access to Cannabis as a Medicine




GOOD LUCK! Let us know how you get on.

Jon Liebling – Political Director of United Patients Alliance
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Thursday, 8 September 2016

PRESS RELEASE - APPG Campaign Launch

United Patients Alliance Press Release

Embargo: 00:01hrs Tuesday 13th September 2016

Patients Welcome MPs Call to Legalise Medical Cannabis

The United Patients Alliance (UPA) has welcomed the findings of a major Parliamentary report published today that access to medical cannabis should be legalised as a ‘landmark moment’ for the estimated 1 million people in Britain that take cannabis primarily for medical reasons.  The report was issued by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Drug Policy Reform following their seven month inquiry, along with the results of a worldwide review of evidence and patient survey, commissioned by them 

Jon Liebling, political director of UPA said, ‘The findings of this report, and the review of evidence from around the world published alongside it, together with our patient survey is a landmark moment in our campaign to advance access to medical cannabis. Working alongside the www.endourpain.org campaign we have long argued that people taking cannabis for medical reasons are patients, not criminals. We urge the UK government to take heed of this report and act.  Today’s news blows the government’s view that cannabis has ‘no medical value’ out of the water.  The government needs to follow the lead of the growing number of countries, including 13 in the EU along with 25 US States that are seeing this issue for what it is – a matter of compassion and social and medical justice with solid evidence to support it’.

The APPG’s members include over 100 Peers and MPs, co-chaired by Baroness Molly Meacher and Caroline Lucas MP
.

Their inquiry stretched over 7 months.  The APPG also commissioned the most in-depth review of the medical and scientific evidence of cannabis’ efficacy for many conditions and symptoms, including mental health, ever undertaken. This review of evidence was researched and produced by one of the UKs top Consultant Neurologists, Professor Mike Barnes. This report should be seen as the most authoritative and up-to-date document on this subject, removing any doubt about cannabis’ therapeutic benefits for many conditions:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6-snQ_RW74

United Patients Alliance along with some of our patients gave evidence at a number of the APPG hearings and were tasked with running, administering and analysing a 600+ cohort Medical Cannabis Patient Survey comparing their experiences of prescription medications versus cannabis, along with preferred methods of consumption, strengths, sourcing and many other fascinating statistics. The results support both Mike Barnes’ report and the APPG’s campaign and will be addressing question such as:

How do you source cannabis? (street/grow/etc...)
What type is best for you (High THC > Low CBD, choice, etc......)
What form of cannabis (Herbal, Edible, Tincture, Oil)
How do you ingest (Smoke, w/wo tobacco, vaping, eat, etc..)
What conditions do you consume it for?
How effective is cannabis vs prescrition drugs?
Description and Severity of side-effects
How long have you had your condition? How long have you been consuming cannabis?
Have you talked to your doctor about cannabis? How did they respond?

In addition there are a few interesting and significant gender differences in terms of conditions, effectiveness, side-effects, etc..


No10 Downing Street
The public campaign #EndOurPain, which has been active for only a few months and has over 19000 signatories, 29 MPs, 12 Peers, 4 celebrities (Richard Branson, Joanna Lumley, Russell Brand and Alistair Campbell) along with a practising UK GP and Consultant Neurologist will present its aims and progress to No10 Downing Street alongside this launch - http://www.endourpain.org/supporters/  Copies of both the APPG report and the review of evidence can be downloaded from the www.endourpain.org from 00:01 Tuesday 13th September 2016

ENDS


Editors notes:

Contact Details:
Jon Liebling | Political Director - United Patients Alliance
E: jon@liebling.co.uk M: 07921589237

Clark French | Founder and Director - United Patients Alliance
E: as.the.sun.sets@hotmail.co.uk M: 07773 690488

Please use our Website Page link in any publications: http://www.upalliance.org/
(New website launched on 13th Sept)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Introducing United Patients Alliance
The United Patients Alliance are a support and campaigning community for 1000s or medical cannabis patients in the UK who suffer from a range of conditions including; Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, Crohn’s, Anxiety, Depression, AIDS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, ME, PTSD, Epilepsy, Chronic and Neuropathic Pain, all of whom have found that various types and strengths of cannabis consumed in a variety of ways has proven to be a more effective medicine than their legal and prescribed alternatives in improving their lives, reducing side effects and treating their symptoms. These patients are forced to either live in unnecessary discomfort and pain or risk dealing with criminals for their medicine and a criminal record for growing it or consuming it.


We launched in June 2014 with the support of Caroline Lucas MP and Professor David Nutt and have since gained the direct support of a number of other ministers and politicians. We run Patient Perspective and Cannabis College events around the UK to give patients a forum for telling their stories and to help inform the public of the proven medical benefits whilst dispelling the myths and half-truths about its harms. We estimate that there are about 1m active and current medical cannabis consumers who would immediately benefit from a change in this dreadful situation. In terms of genuine information on medical cannabis and how best to consume it, we are the UK’s experts on cannabis as a medicine.

Political Director of United Patients Alliance, Jon Liebling asks "What compassionate society would allow the criminalisation of patients for consuming something with their doctors blessing that helps them manage and treat their illnesses and improves their lives?"

Founder and Director of United Patients Alliance and Multiple Sclerosis patient Clark French says:
"Cannabis is medicine for thousands of UK patients suffering from chronic conditions, it is both cruel and callous to seek to arrest someone for consuming something which makes them feel better, we demand the government listens and changes the law to reflect the science and allow legal access to cannabis for all UK citizens who wish to benefit from cannabis' therapeutic potential"


Quotes from United Patients Alliance Patients:

Alex Fraser – Crohn’s Patient
"I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease at 19. I cannot be prescribed any traditional painkillers for my chronic pain. Cannabis is my only medicine, it's the only thing that's ever worked. It eases my pain, gives me an appetite, helps me sleep and reduces my nausea. Regular use reduces all of my symptoms to the point where it enables me to work. Without cannabis, my life would barely be worth living"

Faye Jones - Rheumatoid Arthritis Patient
"I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of 27 and rely on cannabis for pain relief, and to combat the side effects of prescribed treatments for my condition, that would otherwise prevent me from staying in full time employment."

Jake Barrow - Chronic and Neuropathic Pain Patient

"Patients in the UK need access to medical cannabis immediately. To expect anyone to cope or even survive on heavy opiate based medications for their entire lives shows how both cruel and inhumane political ideology can be. We need to remove the stigma from Medical Cannabis use"

APPG Cannabis Campaign Launch


www.upalliance.org/about


Short Inquiry into the case for changing the categorisation of cannabis for medicinal purposes from Schedule 1 to a more appropriate Schedule”

On September 13th, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Drug Policy Reform will publish its report and recommendations following its inquiry.

The APPG has over 100 MPs and Peers as its members and is Co-Chaired by Caroline Lucas MP and crossbench peer Baroness Molly Meacher.
To find out more visit the APPG Website

The launch of the APPG report on its inquiry into medicinal cannabis is a public event which anyone can attend. It takes place at the House of Lords committee room 2 on 13th September 2016 at 11.00am.

Molly attended our Patient Perspective event in London last year and was “deeply moved” by what she heard. She told us on the night, “I had no idea it had such a broad range of benefits. We have to do something about this!”

In the first of many meetings with Molly and her team we successfully argued that “a more appropriate schedule” would be better than “to Schedule 2” reflecting the fact that GW Pharmaceuticals full plant extract medicine Sativex is in Schedule 4 and as such, this should be considered more carefully.
The APPG’s report will include evidence from many written submissions and oral hearings in which UPA and a number of our patients took part, along with many other interested groups from both sides of the fence. Most significantly, one of the UK’s top consultant neurologists, Professor Mike Barnes, publishes his comprehensive and qualitative review of the scientific evidence for cannabis’ efficacy for many conditions which will be supported by the publication of the results from APPG and United Patients Alliance recent survey of over 600 medical cannabis patients.

The survey will answer questions like:
  • What proportion of patients source cannabis by growing their own?
  • What conditions are patients treating with cannabis?
  • How effective is cannabis vs prescription medications?
  • What types and strengths of cannabis do our patients prefer?
  • What gender differences in conditions and consumption are there?
 And many more fascinating results.

#EndOurPain will be joined by UPA and the APPG to present their petition directly to UK Government minsters in a live event – Details TBC

Sign up to support #EndOurPain here: http://www.endourpain.org/

Shortly after the APPG launches its campaign, UPA will publish details of our written and oral submissions, details of our patient’s testimony and, of course,  full results of our Patient Survey that you are going to find fascinating. 

If you would like to help make this launch a great success, please see if there is anything here you can do: APPG Launch HELP

Jon Liebling – Political Director of United Patients Alliance


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Saturday, 27 August 2016

Thinking about #EndOurPain?


Why we support #EndOurPain and why we think #CannabisisMedicine will help the wider cause too.

United Patients Alliance are never going to apologise for putting patients first. Medical Cannabis Patients are, in fact, the reason we exist. Whilst it is true that strain choice might be different for those seeking cannabis' medical benefits than for those consuming recreationally, the substance is pretty much the same thing and whilst we may and do argue that all cannabis consumption is therapeutic thanks to its neuroprotective properties and that many who consume recreationally do so for medical reasons as well; the difference that counts for us and our patients is the primary reason for consumption. Medical or Recreational?

For our patients, there is little doubt which (if any) must come first, but in any case, does this matter in practical terms when the ultimate goal is Legal Cannabis for Adults and Cannabis as a Medicine for all?

The (final) goal remains the same - but how do we get there most quickly?

The battle for Drug Law Reform including a legal and regulated cannabis market has never had more support, focus and more motivation - All United Patients Alliance and #EndOurPain are saying is; 

"Can we clear the sick from the battle field first please?"

The biggest criticism of a "medical-first" approach is that this will, in some way, delay or harm the full legalisation lobby and set the campaign back years. 
So I have had a little look at exactly that in the context of our current political reality.


Which is the fastest path to full legalisation of cannabis?


24 Months - Minimum!

How likely do you think a government who debated the legalisation of cannabis and firmly rejected it last year is going to engage on the subject again this year or perhaps for many?


There is a chance that it could be made an election issue should our unmandated new PM, Theresa May decide to call one soon. Jeremy Corbyn has just publicly stated that if he retains the Labour Leadership that he would address the issues of Cannabis as a Medicine and Drug Law Reform as a matter of urgency, but realistically it doesn't really matter, as the Conservatives would win an early GE no matter what they said about cannabis so unlikely to be a risk she would think was worth taking as she aims for a election victory.

Opinion Polls 


There have been a number of opinion polls both public and private over the last couple of years and the political picture is pretty clear, today;
58% of current MPs support cannabis as a medicine, however, only 18% currently support full legalisation.


Whilst the significant majority of the UK public support cannabis as a medicine, it is still only 32% who support full legalisation. So there is quite a way to go before getting there.

Support amongst the public might not be as high as you think? 

How long will it take to actually pass a bill to legalise cannabis if such a decision was made?


Taking a Bill Through Parliament


It takes about a year, on average; I would estimate at least 18 months for something as complex as this and then a further 6 months (at least) to implement it.


So realistically there is little likelihood that it will happen, from a standing start, within the next 5 years? I honestly doubt it.......from a standing start. Add that to the minimum 2 years it would take to pass and implement and you have:


7 years: Date for legalisation of cannabis in the UK: September 2023


HOWEVER


In every single US State (excl: California; an exception on many levels) that has introduced a medical access policy, public opinion on full legalisation has swung to positive from any start in between 20 and 30 months. Whilst their politicians have been slow to act on this, I think our political system is more "public opinion" driven and as such could work faster, or at least at the low end; Let's say 2 years?


AND


There is a way, one way, to get this process on the go early, perhaps very early!? Introduce cannabis as a medicine to the UK without actually having to change any laws:

If cannabis were to be moved from its current Schedule 1 status and some policy changes could be made by the MHRA to permit the approval of herbal based medicines, this would allow doctors to prescribe cannabis and for a pharmacy to fulfil the prescription.

(Specialist Licensed Dispensaries would need a law change and licenses/policies defined - it can't happen immediately but probably will at some point in the future)
(Schedule 2 would suffice but would make importing much more complex and with Sativex already in Schedule 4, that seems more reasonable. De-Scheduling is simply highly unlikely for now)

Sources for the pharmacy could be any "pharmaceutical grade" formulation of cannabis currently approved for use across Europe as we already have a trade agreement in place. (Not withstanding #Brexit) There are a growing number of these formulations being researched and produced across Europe with a broadening range of strains, extracts, edibles and tinctures that can be introduced, as they become available. The door will have been well and truly been opened.


So what about Grow Your Own?


Amongst #EndOurPain, #UPA, #VolteFace or #APPG or #Transform or....oh well, you get the picture, I am not aware of a single voice that does not agree that people should be left alone to grow their own (within regulations that need to be debated). However to address this in law takes us back to square 1 again; Law change! 
There are things that can be done more quickly and without changing the law though and logic dictates most of it:

Once you have introduced herbal cannabis into the UK for medical reasons, the first check that will need to be made by the police, if you are caught in possession is whether you have a prescription. This will drive 2 unwanted impacts; Many, many people going to their doctor to get prescriptions and an immediate increase in prescription fraud. Arrests would become harder to justify, mistakes will be made and successful prosecutions would become very expensive and far more difficult. The only logical thing to do to prevent this would be to decriminalise personal grows; This only requires some policy changes. The argument is being prepared. it will be being made at some point along the way. You can help by helping to make the case.


So what about Mental Health?


For politicians this is dodgy ground. Many of them and most of the public are convinced that there is a negative causal relationship between cannabis and mental health because that is how they have been led by the Red Top press.
Not for long, though. The most authoritative and up to date review of the medical efficacy for many conditions by a qualitative study of the research is about to be published by a top UK Consultant Neurologist. Within this report are a number of mental health benefits which will get significant focus during the APPG's campaign supported by #EndOurPain and by the results of #UPAs cannabis patient survey showing how high a priority and benefit it actually is, whilst recognising that there is a small minority of the population who are under 18 and with a predisposition to mental illness who may experience negative consequences and should be cautious.


Cannabis Clubs/Collectives?


It's all there in the Expert Panel Report? Perhaps some of the suggested regulations need a bit of work, but setting them from a "cautious" starting point was a wise move in order to get the report passed. If and once it gets debated all the regulations and many other aspects can be explored and agreed.

Right now there is a slim, but real chance that #EndOurPain's goals are achievable by April 2017 and will set us firmly on the road to full reform. It will depend on a number of things; this is politics, love it or loathe it and how your cards are played is important. For those who feel that it does not go far enough; How early would you show your whole hand, if you wanted to win?
It's not secrecy, it's strategy.

Once cannabis becomes more widely accepted and normalised due to its medical uses, the benefits understood and the risks in perspective, once there is a set of results, medically, criminally, financially the rest will surely follow much more quickly, than from a standing start?


That sets the realistic earliest date for full regulation and legalisation of cannabis in the UK:
April 2019 - April 2020 (with many/most patients and personal growers sorted by April 2017)

That beats the Full Legalisation Only, by a full 3 years and probably more.


Support #EndOurPain now


With financial backing, professional campaigners, structure and a strategic plan, along with 30 MPs, 12 Peers, 4 Celebrities and over 19000 supporters in 5 months, and with the incredible boost it is about to get in September it is not going to stop and it is going to be successful; This is happening and it cannot be stopped; it is not about whether you like #EndOurPain's wording or what you think about those who are helping to drive it and/or pay for it; The UK is in the process of changing. This is how it is going to change; the only way you can effect the outcome is by getting on board; Lets build the future together.

Do it now, here: End Our Pain



Jon Liebling – Political Director of United Patients Alliance


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Friday, 26 August 2016

APPG Launch - Help

Information on Launch Event

September is going to be HUGE for #CannabisisMedicine
* 100+ Peers and MPs launch campaign for cannabis as a medicine
#UPA publish Patient Survey
* Top UK Neurologist publishes "game-changing" study of evidence
* (Many More Exciting Details to come)

Facebook Posts/Tweets/etc - ALWAYS and Every one!

  • Follow us on Twitter: @upallianceuk
  • Like us on Facebook
  • Like all our FB posts and tweets
  • Comment on posts/tweets - this spreads the word (much wider)
  • Share posts/Retweet - spreads the word (much much wider)
  • Share posts in other groups you think are appropriate


  • LIKES – Likes are the throwaway gesture of social media. When you like the Page Update. Facebook assigns very little weight to it in the Newsfeed algorithm.
  • COMMENTS – When you comment on a Page Update, Facebook’s Newsfeed gives more weight to comments than likes. 10 TIMES BETTER!
  • SHARES – A share is the brass ring on Facebook. This is huge in terms of exposure, word-of-mouth recommendation, and credibility. Facebook assigns the most weight to shares. 100 TIMES BETTER!

Letter/MP Writing <- Click link for help - Old reason, right actions!

  • Write to your MP
    • BEFORE LAUNCH (Now)
      • Inform of APPG Launch/#EndOurPain #UPA Mike Barnes Medical Report
      • Highlight your own condition/situation
      • Ask for support
      • Ask for Face to Face Meeting
    • AFTER LAUNCH 
      • Highlight launch and all its information/initiatives
      • Highlight your own condition/situation
      • Request support for APPG and #EndOurPain
      • Ask for a statement regarding both/either
      • Ask for Face to Face Meeting
  • Newspapers/Magazines
    • Patient Stories (Pref Public but can be anonymous)
    • Articles (individual or groups?) for publication about the APPG Launch and #EndOurPain 
      • Be supportive, but can suggest that it does not go far enough for you/your group...because.....(GYO, Extracts, Choice/Range, etc.....)
    • "Have your say" sections of newspapers like (Metro, Sun, Mail, Telegraph, etc)
  • Published Articles
    • Share
    • Comment
    • Share your comment

On the day(s)

  • Tweet and post about events/activities 
    • With structure: Hashtags, Memes, Tags, wording
    • Night before launch News at 10 will have a special exclusive segment
    • Launch day will have many activities/media showings etc

Other Activities

  • Help organise UPA UK Tour and Grassroots showings (2 separate events...probably?)
    • Brighton, London, Bristol, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow + any others you would like to suggest
    • Ideas for improving event nights
    • Finding + booking suitable venues
    • Event Admin/Advertising/Leafletting/Posters
    • Recruiting in local area
    • Hosting event in local area
    • Become Regional Admin and recruit local help?
  • Meme Making
    • Ideas for good memes
    • Graphic Design for branded memes (#UPA #APPG #EndOurPain)
  • Video Shorts
    • Short video clips (with branding and subtitles) say 30s on why you choose cannabis for your condition - The more the merrier!
  • Blogging (Need content for brand new website due for launch soon)
    • Writing blogs about almost anything in relation to Cannabis as a Medicine
    • Writing opinion pieces about #UPA #EndOurPain, APPG Launch, Mike Barnes' report, UPA Patient Survey
      • No opinion will be censored but would strongly prefer "supportive" Eg: Brilliant and a great step forward, thanks, blah BUT: Better if, needs that, should be like this because.....etc....
  • Other website content:
    • Guides
      • GYO
      • Care Giver/Community Sharing
      • Extracts
      • Harm Reduction
      • Dosage guide
      • General consumption advice
      • Legal Advice
      • Any other ideas
  • Research for Soundbites from UK based sources
    • Politicians/Celebrities etc
    • Search Hansard/TheyWorkForYou

Be a Patient

  • We are always looking for patients willing to speak out publicly and be available for media interviews/events
  • I hate saying this, but it is just TRUE - The more emotional your story, the better. The more debilitating your illness, the better. Wheelchairs/Walking sticks all welcome! The more eloquent you are the better. The more presentable you are, the better - We put patients forward, it is (ALWAYS) the media who select who they want!
  • Particularly looking for:
    • Veterans
    • Medical Professionals
    • Elderly
    • Child
    • Mothers
    • Anyone who can demonstrate "live" the "rapid" impacts of cannabis consumption 
  • Mental Illnesses - Unique Opportunity - Maybe not at launch but v shortly afterwards
    • For the very first time, this campaign will have significant focus on the benefits of cannabis to mental health conditions, especially: PTSD and Anxiety
    • We need willing patients with these or related conditions also with broader/other mental health conditions who get benefit from cannabis to step forwards
There really has been nothing like this happen before. NOW is the time to make a difference. NOW is the time to be heard. NOW is the time to support Cannabis as a Medicine.


Jon Liebling – Political Director of United Patients Alliance


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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Write to Your MP - Today



What is Happening?

Six months ago the legalisation of cannabis was debated in parliament with fewer than 20 MPs in attendance and in a back room. Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb was one of the few that attended and now he is at it again.
The former coalition Health Minister proposed a Ten Minute Rule Bill asking for the very same thing to be debated. So what has changed?



Lamb is now armed with two things that neither he, nor any of the other speakers, could avail themselves with at the last debate:






  • He has the independent panel report on cannabis regulation that was published at the beginning of March, commissioned by the Lib Dems which proposes how the legal regulation of cannabis could be implemented specifically in the UK. 
  • He has the near unanimous support of his entire party at their Spring Conference earlier this month. The Liberal Democrats are a major political party, and Lamb’s call now carries the extra weight of far more voices than 200,000 petitioners. There is clearly appetite for this debate, at least among a swathe of the UK population and many cross-party supporters


The Second Reading of this Bill is scheduled for the House of Commons on 22nd April 2016 and what we really need to be doing is to encourage as many of our MPs to take an interest in this Bill and preferably support it.

Here is the proposal in full: 

A regulated cannabis market for the UK


Who will prepare and bring in in the Bill:

Tim Farron (LibDem)     
Nick Clegg (LibDem)
Tom Brake (LibDem)
Caroline Lucas (Green)
Paul Flynn (Labour)
Peter Lilley (Con)
Norman Lamb (LibDem)

How can we make that happen?


Write To Your MP

Now is the time to contact your MP making it very clear that you expect them to attend the debate and you want them to represent your views and if you can, arrange to meet your MP at their constituency surgery to explain things in person. Saying “NO” by email is much easier than saying it to a medical cannabis patient sat right in front of them.


You must include your full postal address and postcode to show that you are a constituent.  Without this your email or letter will be ignored.

An email or a letter is fine, both is even better and a follow up phone call to their office can be very effective in getting a response.

Write in your own words. Parliamentary email systems can identify and delete “Template Emails” to address campaigns by petitioning groups that have inundated MPs with such correspondence.  

Keep your letter fairly brief. Limited to 3 or 4 paragraphs and a single page is best.

A good format for your correspondence is:

Paragraph 1: Why you are writing? What do you want from your MP?
  • I am/want to be a medical cannabis patient who has suffered from (condition) or I am a recreational consumer
  • What do you expect in return - I want you to attend and represent my situation/opinion/position in this debate....) I want you to tell me your position on this subject. I want to arrange an appointment to see you.
Paragraph 2: Details of condition/consumption/why you believe cannabis should be legalised? It does not have to be every angle or every reason. The ones that mean the most to you will do.

Paragraph 3: I appreciate you taking the time to read this. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you. Grovel (not really)


What do I Write About?

Use your own words; choose from these points if that helps:
  • Legal regulation of cannabis will move the £6bn per year market out of the hands of the criminals, reducing under age consumption and resulting in better quality and known strengths, less prevalence of Skunk and other high-THC strains which are a response to the illegal market. 
  • The potential benefits of taxation of cannabis would allow us to invest millions more in schools, hospitals, drug abuse treatment and re-education
  • Legalising would reduce police costs and time so they can concentrate on more serious and violent crime, whilst improving relationships with the public.
  • It removes the risks relating to dealing with the criminal market for patients in accessing their medicine
  • Provide patients with much needed medicine that is effective and safe
  • It would save the NHS millions of pounds as people would chose cannabis over other more expensive and less effective pharmaceutical medications. An average Multiple Sclerosis Patient costs £30k per year unless they choose cannabis. In US states where available there is 16%-25% take up. With 100k MS sufferers in the UK, that is a minimum of £480m per year, for just MS.
  • Opiate abuse and overdose has reduced by an average of 25% and Alcohol abuse and overdose by 15% in places where regulated cannabis is available as an alternative. 
  • Allows for more research in more places without the 2 year lead time and additional costs of around £160k per year for licences and materials and would encourage competition by breaking GW Pharmaceutical's UK monopoly
  • It would directly and immediately reduce the numbers of trafficked children forced to work on illegal cannabis grows in the UK
  • It's my Human Right
You can link to the following pieces of evidence in your email or letter or add your own but no more than 3 or 4 excellent links.
Lastly and most importantly; 
Do give United Patients Alliance a mention.
Do support End_Our_Pain for legal access to Cannabis as a Medicine




GOOD LUCK! Let us know how you get on.

Jon Liebling – Political Director of United Patients Alliance
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