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Guidance for Parliament Submission

Overview of submission

The UK Parliament’s Health and Social Care Committee is inviting written submissions from the public to inform their views on medicinal cannabis policy. This is an opportunity for people with direct experience of the impact of medicinal cannabis to make their voices heard by politicians who will be making recommendations on these laws. The voice of patients should be absolutely central to this process. This submission is your chance to make sure that lawmakers hear your story and understand why medicinal cannabis must be made available.

Some people who make written submissions may be invited to appear in person before the Committee to give personal testimony. This might happen in the next phase of the Committee’s inquiry into medicinal cannabis (although this is not guaranteed).  For this reason, we strongly feel a submission in your own name is the most powerful way to make your voice heard by lawmakers. If, however, you would prefer to submit anonymously and we know you may have very good reasons to, then there is guidance about making an anonymous submission below.

The submission is first and foremost a chance for you to tell lawmakers about your own personal experience with medicinal cannabis. To help you do so, we have prepared some guideline questions below to guide your submission. You do not have to answer every one, and the word counts are just a guide. The main point is for you to tell your story in your own words.

How to make a submission

You can make your submission online here: https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/health-and-social-care-committee/inquiries/parliament-2017/drugs-policy-medicinal-cannabis-inquiry-17-19/commons-written-submission-form/

  • You will be asked on this page to fill in some personal details about yourself.

  • You will be asked if you are submitting as a an individual or an organisation: select ‘Individual’

  • You must include your name, surname, email address and telephone number.

  • It is optional to include your title, job title and home address.

  • You must upload your submission itself as a Microsoft Word Document (.doc). A guide for writing this submission can be found below

If you are submitting anonymously then you do not need to upload your submission to the website directly. Instead you can send it to info@upalliance.org, making sure you include no identifying information. UPA will then make an anonymous submission on your behalf, without your name attached.

If this is the case, it would be very helpful to explain to the Committee why you feel you have to remain anonymous, so that the politicians understand how difficult it is for some patients to speak out on this issue.

Submission guide

Please note:

  • This is a suggested guide only. You may choose to phrase your experience in your own way.

  • It is strongly encouraged to use spell check and refrain from using slang or abbreviations. Take your time and be thoughtful.

Title: ‘Written evidence by [your name]’

1. Introduction (1-2 sentences): State who you are, and why you wish to submit to the consultation – are you a patient or a family member of a patient using medicinal cannabis?

2. What does your experience tell us about the efficacy of medicinal cannabis? (150-300 words)

-        How did you find managing your condition before medicinal cannabis?

-        How has medicinal cannabis changed this?

-        What would your life be like without medicinal cannabis?

3. Do you find the current procedures for prescribing medicinal cannabis in the UK suitable? (150-300 words)

-        Can you obtain medicinal cannabis for your condition in the UK?

-        Can you obtain medicinal cannabis conveniently?

-        Have you experienced difficulties in obtaining medicinal cannabis in the UK and if so, what were they?

-        What needs to change to make your life better?

4.  How knowledgeable is the medical profession when you seek advice regarding the medicinal cannabis products available for your condition? (150-300 words)

-        What has your experience been when seeking prescriptions for medicinal cannabis?

-        Does your doctor/consultant have the expertise in your opinion to confidentially prescribe medicinal cannabis?

-        Have you experienced any negative feedback when seeking information or prescriptions for medicinal cannabis?

5. Have you been prescribed medicinal cannabis in another country? If so, how did your experience compare to your experience in the UK? (100-200 words)

-        In which country were you prescribed cannabis?

-        How was the process different from the process in the UK?

6. How has recent media attention around medicinal cannabis affected you? (100-200 words)

-        Do you think people in the UK are aware of how medicinal cannabis can help in the treatment of conditions such as yours?

-        Do you feel there is a stigma attached to medicinal cannabis in the UK?

Anonymous submission:

While we believe it will have more validity and impact for you to attach your name to your submission to the Committee, we understand that for some people this may be difficult.  Therefore, in order to protect your identity, United Patients Alliance can make an anonymous submission on your behalf, telling your story without your name being attached to it. Please send completed doc to: info@upalliance.org

If this is the case, it would be very helpful to explain to the Committee why you feel you have to remain anonymous, so that the politicians understand how difficult it is for some patients to speak out on this issue.


Thank you to Red Flag for their assistance in creating this guidance and to Aurora for the introduction.