Write To Your MP

NB - Whilst every letter received by a Minster ticks a box somewhere and has value (especially when it's 1000s) they have no obligation to respond directly to a member of the public. They DO, however HAVE to respond to your MP when they write on your behalf. Ask YOUR MP to write to a government department and/or Minister on your behalf for maximum impact.

The very best way to get a good response out of your MP is to arrange to meet them 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. However, first you do have to write a letter and/or email - So here are a few tried and tested tips to help maximise your impact.

You must include your full postal address with postcode to show that you are a constituent. Without it, they have no obligation to address or respond to it. 

Without this your email or letter may be ignored.

An email or a letter is fine, both is even better but a follow up phone call to their office is a  very effective way of getting a response. 

Write in your own words! Parliamentary email systems can identify and delete “Template Emails” to limit campaigns by petitioning groups such as 38degrees that have recently been inundating MPs with such correspondence.  

Keep your letter brief; limiting to 3 or 4 paragraphs and a single page is best. Something that doesn't take a long time for them to read. They are really busy people and are more likely to read something that gets to the point and won't take them all day.

A good format for your correspondence is:

Paragraph 1: Why you are writing? What do you want from your MP? This is where you make the impact that will encourage them to read further.

  • I am a medical cannabis patient who has suffered from (condition) or I am a recreational consumer who feels that etc.....
  • What do you expect in return - I want you to write to the Home Office/Department of Health on my behalf; I want you to read, consider and respond to the APPG report and Mike Barnes' report. I want you to tell me your personal position on this subject. I want to arrange an appointment to see you. I want you to attend the United Patients Alliance Event in support of .......; I want you to support the vote on ....... on my behalf as your constituent. Be clear!

Paragraph 2: Details: Of your 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 are best. Remember to speak personally - emotion is fine, even beneficial as long as you remain respectful. Pull as their heart strings - MPs are people too! 

Paragraph 3: Thank-you: I appreciate you taking the time to read this. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you. 

What do I Write About?

Use your own words; choose from these points if that helps:

  • Mike Barnes' report is the most up to date and authoritative report for evidence of cannabis' efficacy for many conditions
  • Cannabis should be removed from Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs act to removed blockers to further research and allow doctors to discuss the subject freely with patients (Use links above for more information on Rescheduling)
  • 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 high-THC/low CBD 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 current 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.

Please give United Patients Alliance a mention.

Lastly, please send ALL responses - no matter how good or bad to info@upalliance.org

GOOD LUCK! Let us know how you get on, and if you do (rather likely, I'm afraid) get one of those "standard pre-canned reponses" - Here is an example of a great follow up letter!

Never has the phrase "If at first you don't succeed..." been more pertinent! 

Jon Liebling – Political Director of United Patients Alliance

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