United Patients Alliance Press Release
PRE-PARLIAMENT DISCUSSION ON MEDICAL CANNABIS IN CAMDEN, LONDON
United Patients Alliance, who campaign for legal access to cannabis therapeutics, held a Patient Perspective event on Monday 28th September 2015, featuring Baroness Molly Meacher, former Chief Constable Tom Lloyd and Jason Reed from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition UK.
The event was held at Friend's Meeting House, 173 - 177 Euston Road NW1 2BJ at 19:00-21:00.
The event gave patients a forum for telling their stories and to inform the public of the proven medical benefits of cannabis therapeutics, whilst dispelling the myths about its harms. More than 70 people attended and the event a video and photos from which will be available shortly.
This is a topical issue with a debate in Parliament scheduled for the 12th October 2015 after more than 200 000 individuals signed a Government petition to Legalise the Sale, Production and Use of Cannabis.
Speaking on the issue previously Baroness Meacher, Chair of the APPG for Drug Policy Reform, has said:
"Cannabis significantly helps people with MS whose symptoms don't respond to traditional treatments. But cannabis also transforms the lives of people who live with chronic pain, children with very severe epilepsy, cancer patients and many others. Germany is among the European countries who have legalised cannabis for medical use. Britain urgently needs to catch up."
Long term campaigner for drug law reform, Tom Lloyd states:
"Let's be clear, it can never be right for the police to arrest and prosecute someone for growing and consuming cannabis to treat serious medical conditions. Legal access to cannabis for all adults and legal access to cannabis for medical purposes for all."
Producer of the film, The Culture High, Jason Reed speaking for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition has said:
“Our drug laws are designed to protect communities, but in practice our drug policy simply criminalises large sections of society and adds a second layer of harm. As an organisation of police, we at LEAP UK have a unique perspective - we have seen first-hand how drug laws are counterproductive, and serve only to fragment the relationship between ordinarily law abiding citizens and the police. If we're serious about addressing all harms in drug policy, then we must first look to reform and end criminalisation.”
Founder 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"
Jonathan Liebling, depression and anxiety patient and Political Director stated:
"For the 8000 medical cannabis patients we represent and the estimated 1m across the UK the law must change as soon as possible. What compassionate society would allow the criminalisation of patients for consuming a medicine that helps them manage and treat their illnesses and improves their lives?"
This event is part of a series of events across London and the UK to inform public opinion and challenge the government, with a growing evidence base for the benefits of cannabis therapeutics. Visitors are always welcome at our events.
Jon Liebling | Political Director - United Patients Alliance
Event Date/Time: Monday, 28th September 2015 19:00-21:00
Venue: Friend's Meeting House, 173 - 177 Euston Road NW1 2BJ
Baroness Meacher - Chair of the APPG for Drug Policy Reform and Life Peer:
Jason Reed - Law Enforcement against Prohibition UK and writer for Huffington Post:
Tom Lloyd - Former Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire and Chair of National Cannabis Coalition:
Paul Birch – Founder of CISTA and Help not Harm:
United Patients Alliance Speakers:
Lesley Reynolds – NORML UK Women's Alliance
Jonathan Liebling - Anxiety and Depression
Clark French - Multiple Sclerosis
Faye Jones - Rheumatoid Arthritis
Alex Fraser - Crohn's/IBD
Jake Barrow – Chronic and Neuropathic Pain
Michelle X – Multiple Sclerosis
Government petition to be debated in Parliament on 12th October 2015:
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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"
Introducing United Patients Alliance
The United Patients Alliance are a support and campaigning community of over 8000 medical cannabis patients 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 politicians, including former drugs minister, Norman Baker. 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.