United Patients Alliance Press Release

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.

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.

Copies of both the APPG report and the review of evidence can be downloaded from United Patients Alliance Website from 00:01 Tuesday 13th September 2016


Editors notes

Contact Details:

Jon Liebling | Political Director
jon@liebling.co.uk & 07921589237

Clark French | Founder and Director
as.the.sun.sets@hotmail.co.uk / 07773 690488

Please link the UPA website in any publications: www.upalliance.org

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"