* Phylos Bioscience is attempting to map the genetic data for every
marijuana strain in the world
* The team has so far sequenced over a thousand different kinds, which
they plot on the interactive 'Galaxy'
* Genetic report reveals a strain's closest relatives, clonal
relationships, its uniqueness, origin, and more
* The researchers say this could one day help scientists to achieve
'unthinkable' strains of marijuana
Scientists may soon be able to achieve 'unthinkable' strains of marijuana
thanks to new efforts in DNA sequencing.
[continues 634 words]
A California company is selling a MARIJUANA monthly subscription box
packed with curated cannabis products
* San Diego-based Club M requires a California medical marijuana license
to join and delivers boxes each month for $97
* The packages include marijuana, edibles, vapes, and other 'gear' for using
* Each box is worth about $200 and can be purchased without a
subscription, except for the new limited-edition boxes for $1,000 each
There seems to be a subscription box service for everything these days,
from cosmetics to snacks to alcohol -- so really, it was only a matter of
time for the medical marijuana community got in on the monthly shipment
[continues 465 words]
Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs also suggests supervised
injecting rooms to combat rising number of drug deaths
Heroin on prescription and supervised injecting rooms are among a
range of measures that the government's drug advisers have suggested
to reverse the UK's soaring numbers of drug deaths.
Responding to a sharp rise in the number of heroin-related deaths in
recent years, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs said
maintenance of drug treatment programmes was essential to prevent
[continues 465 words]
THE narcotics trade provides the financial basis for almost every
other form of organised criminality in this country and abroad. The
scale is staggering: the global drugs market is worth UKP375 billion
every year, and an estimated UKP7 billion a year in Britain alone.
Britain spends a further UKP7 billion policing the drugs problem -
and that's without the associated costs of imprisonment and public
health and everything else.
It might not seem visible to the majority of ordinary, law abiding
citizens, yet drugs and the gangsters who deal in them blight our
towns and cities and dominate our criminal system. More than half the
inmates in British prisons are there for drug-related offences.
[continues 1605 words]
THE most sinister thing I have heard all year was this week's
revelation that British government doctors secretly sought to drug
troublesome teenagers in the 1960s and we have only just found out.
One of the pills they wanted to use was called Haloperidol. Its side
effects include incurable lifelong twitching, delirium and rigid muscles.
This plan was stopped, but another worrying substance, Beclamide, was
given to boys at a Yorkshire 'Approved School' (a state-inspected
home for troubled teens). Neither the boys nor their parents were
told of this experiment.
[continues 500 words]
LONDON - While Amazon and the British government are looking into how
to use drones to deliver parcels to customers, criminals are already
exploiting the technology to send drugs to accomplices in prison.
Police on Monday said they recovered two drones carrying mobile
phones and drugs near London's Pentonville prison and have set up a
special task force - Operation Airborne - to catch offenders trying
to get contraband into the jail.
In the early hours of Aug. 17, police saw a man acting suspiciously
near the prison. He ran away, dropping two bags containing drugs and
mobile phones and managed to evade arrest, according to a police statement.
[continues 186 words]
Music festival Secret Garden Party allowed people carrying illegal
narcotics to test the quality and strength of the drugs over the weekend.
The pioneering scheme had the support of local police, and was run by
the drugs charity The Loop. Thought to be the first of its kind in
the UK, the project appears to have been a success.
Festival-goers were able to have their stash tested without handing
over the rest. It was reported that over 200 people had their drugs
tested. Finding over 80 suspect substances, over a quarter was
disposed of after testing. The Transform Drugs Policy Foundation, who
assisted in the scheme, claimed that it was an attempt to "undo the
damage the War on Drugs had done."
[continues 302 words]
The progress towards a peace deal between the Colombian government
and the Farc guerrillas is greatly to be welcomed (Editorial, 21
July). The terms are inevitably controversial and many who have
suffered at the Farc's hands will find it hard to see them pass
directly into politics. But that is the price of peace. The cocaine
trade has fuelled this conflict over the last 35 years or so. You are
absolutely right to propose that governments which wish to support
peace in Colombia should consider backing President Juan Manuel
Santos's efforts to reform the UN system of drugs prohibition and
open the door to experiments in regulated markets in drugs like
cocaine, just as is already happening with cannabis.
British ambassador to Colombia 1990-94
Amputee's Plea to Legalise Medical Marijuana
A WAR hero who lost both legs in an Afghan bomb blast is forced to
break the law to get cannabis to ease his pain.
Lance Corporal Callum Brown is now leading calls to legalise the drug
for medical use. He wants to see cannabis made available to patients
like him who suffer agonising pain 24 hours a day.
Callum, 28, also shattered his pelvis in the huge explosion after he
stepped on a boobytrap bomb while on patrol in Helmand five years
ago. Speaking exclusively to the Record, he said: "As well as my
other injuries, I have no skin on my backside it's just thin scar
tissue so the nerve damage and the phantom pains are the main reason
[continues 883 words]
THE 'WAR on drugs" has failed in terms of public health and drug use
should be decriminalised, two leading organisations have said.
The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and the Faculty of Public
Health (FPH) said the personal possession and use of all illegal
drugs should no longer be considered a criminal offence.
While the bodies still support criminal charges for people who deal
drugs, they said users should instead be referred for treatment and help.
The recommendation is made in a new UK-wide report, Taking a New Line
on Drugs, which has the backing of several charities and law
[continues 109 words]
Britain's two leading public health bodies, representing thousands of
doctors and other professionals, are making an unprecedented call for
the personal possession and use of drugs to be decriminalised.
The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and the Faculty of Public
Health say the war on drugs has done more harm than good. They
believe drug misuse should be a health issue and not a matter for the
courts and prisons.
"We have taken the view that it is time for endorsing a different
approach," said Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the RSPH. "We have
gone to our stakeholders and asked the public, and tried to gain some
consensus from our community and the public." The RSPH commissioned a
poll of more than 2,000 British adults and found 56% agreed drug
users in their local area should be referred for treatment, rather
than charged with an offence. Fewer than a quarter (23%) disagreed.
Experts: Jail Bad for Addicts
PERSONAL possession and use of all drugs should be decriminalised,
public health experts will say today.
Users need help not punishment, they say, and 56% of adults in a poll
of 2,000 agree.
Drug use has fallen in the last decade but related harm including
death continues to rise.
Jailing users makes things worse, says a report by the Faculty of
Public Health and Royal Society for Public Health.
But both groups insist dealers must still be prosecuted. Shirley
Cramer, of RSPH, said: "The war on drugs has failed... It's time for
a new approach, where we recognise those who misuse drugs are in need
of treatment not criminals in need of punishment." The report was
"very much welcomed" by Parliament's Drug Policy Reform group. Prof
David Nutt, of Imperial College London, backed it and Prof Peter
Anderson, of Newcastle University, said: "It's the way to go." The
Home Office said we must "support people dependent on drugs" and also
"tackle organised crime behind the drugs trade".
Ron Hogg Said the War on Drugs Has Failed and the UK's Drug Policy Is
'Unsustainable' As He Called on Colleagues to Back His Views
Cannabis should be made legal and used for medicinal purposes,
Durham's Police and Crime Commissioner has said.
In a letter to the country's 40 PCCs, Ron Hogg said the "war on
drugs" has failed and the UK's present approach is "unsustainable".
Mr Hogg highlighted the "genuine body of evidence" that cannabis
brings pain and symptom relief to sufferers of various conditions.
[continues 559 words]
The ban on legal highs will not lead to the disappearance of spice
and other synthetic cannabis-like drugs because they are so
profitable to dealers, a senior government drugs adviser has warned.
Prof Harry Sumnall, a member of the Home Office's Advisory Council on
the Misuse of Drugs, said the economics of producing the substances -
often collectively dubbed "spice" - versus that of growing
traditional cannabis made them an appealing proposition.
Sumnall said the ingredients were easily available online. "We were
making some in the lab the other day. Very, very easy to do, pretty
much shake and bake. Really easy to make, highly profitable, these
drugs aren't going anywhere."
[continues 127 words]
Everyone from the chief inspector of prisons to prisoners themselves
is now expressing concerns about the impact that new psychoactive
substances are having on prisoners, prison officers and the efficacy
of the prison system (Prisoners reveal regular 'spice' habit has
tripled, 1 June). Current approaches to addressing their use are not
working, and the situation is getting worse.
HMP Forest Bank, however, is taking a fresh approach. Using the
principles of restorative justice, it is encouraging those prisoners
who are using spice and other so-called "legal highs" to face up to
the impact of their behaviour on their fellow prisoners and on prison staff.
[continues 74 words]
Prison should not be regarded as a punishment (Letters, 2 June). It
is place of restraint where those who are incorrigibly violent - such
as terrorists and incurable psychopaths - must be kept.
Punishment is a consequence of this restraint, but it should not be
its aim. Punishment can be achieved by much more effective means, eg
ill-gotten gains can be sequestered and subsequent earnings mulcted.
The aim must be restitution, reform and rehabilitation, not
Magistrates, who can only award useless short sentences, should have
this power removed completely. Crown court judges should have their
sentencing audited, and where it has proved ineffective they should
be held to account. If all drugs were legally regulated imprisonment
would reduce by about 65%.
[continues 87 words]
This Act Drives Users Back Towards Illegal Drugs and Alcohol, the
Most Dangerous Substance of Them All
With the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, ministers last week banned
the sale or procurement of any substance that has psychoactive
activity, regardless of whether it is harmless or even useful. The
sole exceptions are alcohol, nicotine products and caffeine.
The main justification for this draconian piece of legislation is to
make it easy for the police and local authorities to close down "head
shops", or at least to stop them selling so-called legal highs: drugs
such as nitrous oxide; some synthetic cannabinoids, salvia, and some
weak stimulants known as bubbles or sparkle. The act is based on the
false premise that legal highs are responsible for up to 100 deaths a
year, when in fact the true number is fewer than 10. Media hysteria
about the use of nitrous oxide by a few footballers and a dislike of
young people doing something different from their parents has also
played a part.
[continues 735 words]
THE trumpeted 'ban on legal highs' is a fiction, like the rest of our
drug laws. The new Act imposes no penalties at all for possessing
these dangerous poisons - except for people who are already in jail.
This is an amazing giveaway of the Government's real drugs policy,
which is to look the other way while pretending to be 'tough'.
In fact, simple possession of cannabis, heroin or cocaine is now
hardly punished at all, even though it is illegal.
[continues 104 words]
The new law (Legal high ban risks creating fresh crisis, 28 May),
which criminalises the selling of so-called legal highs, but
crucially does not criminalise the user, is the right thing to do. It
came out of an independent study into these substances which I set up
when drugs minister.
A wide range of experts produced a unanimous report and that forms
the basis of the law. I was clear that so-called legal highs
presented more of a danger to users than many long-prohibited drugs,
[continues 294 words]
Critics of Law Say Trade Will Simply Shift Underground
Whipped Cream Chargers May Come Under Suspicion
The blanket ban on the trade in legal highs which comes into force
today is expected to end their sale through high street "head shops"
and UK-based websites almost overnight, police and trading standards
officers have said.
But there are fears that the trade in new psychoactive substances
(NPS) as they are officially known will move underground to illegal
street markets and the darknet, the network of untraceable and hidden websites.
[continues 886 words]
I AGREE wholeheartedly with David J Crawford in his exhortation to
government it should decriminalise cannabis (Letters, May 23).
What did the war on drugs achieve? In the US the prison population
has increased by 500 per cent in the last 30 years due almost
entirely to drug convictions. In the UK a large number of people now
have a criminal record for merely possessing a very small amount of
the drug. Vast amounts of money and violence have been the result as
the criminal element took control of the supply chain.
[continues 94 words]
Critics Say Antisocial Behaviour Powers Are Already Criminalising
Vulnerable People, Ahead of All-Out Ban
It's just before 11.30am on a Friday morning and I'm standing in
Lincoln's city square. With me are police officers Andy Balding and
Joel Dowse, an antisocial behaviour officer at Lincoln council. We're
on the lookout for socalled legal highs synthetic substances that
have similar effects to illegal drugs but have not yet been banned by
We scan the square for anything suspicious. Everything looks in
order, but I'm assured it hasn't always been this way. Balding points
to a line of benches overlooking the river. "Along here used to be
really bad," he tells me. I hear stories about groups of people on
legal highs terrorising shopkeepers and falling unconscious in the
street. Right now, all I can see is an elderly man peacefully
contemplating the river.
[continues 1392 words]
Lib Dem's Norman Lamb Urges MPs to Pass the Bill to Create a
Regulated Market for the Drug
Parliament will be failing in its duty to reflect the will of the
people if it continues to resist calls to introduce a regulated
cannabis market, a former coalition minister has warned.
A 10-minute rule bill proposing the introduction of a legal cannabis
market in the UK, something that would constitute the biggest shakeup
of the drugs laws in the past half-century, will end its passage
through the Commons on Friday. It was tabled by Norman Lamb, the
Liberal Democrats' health spokesman, and supported by MPs from all
parties, as well as experts including a serving chief constable.
[continues 473 words]
First Minister Makes Controversial Health Announcement As She
Confirms Dundee Will Get Its Own Trauma Centre
Nicola Sturgeon would back decriminalising cannabis for medicinal use.
The First Minister said there was a "specific case" for relaxing laws
to treat people with conditions such as multiple sclerosis but
reaction to her announcement split the audience of around 150
activists in Dundee's Queen's Hotel.
A wide range of topics were covered in the hour long question and
answer session, with the SNP leader committing to building a trauma
centre in Dundee and said she would "love" to implement Frank's Law
but stopped short of committing herself to a fairer care system.
[continues 254 words]
Synthetic Cannabis Has 'Devastating Impact' On Jails, Says Chief Inspector
Synthetic cannabis is having a "devastating impact" in British
prisons and making it difficult for normal life to continue in some
facilities, the chief inspector of prisons has warned.
Sold as "spice" and "black mamba", synthetic cannabis has been blamed
for deaths, serious illness and episodes of self-harm among
prisoners. Some prison officers have reported falling ill from
exposure to the fumes.
High demand for the compound has fuelled more severe problems in the
prison system than officers have faced from any other drug, with
prisoners racking up greater debts and suffering worse bullying and
violence, Peter Clarke told the Guardian. "Prison staff have told me
that the effect on individuals and prisons as a whole is unlike
anything they have seen before," said Clarke, who took up the post in February.
[continues 674 words]
SOME things are unsayable in British politics. One such is the truth
that cannabis has been, for many years, a decriminalised drug. The
police, the CPS and the courts have given up any serious effort to
arrest and prosecute users, just as evidence starts to pour in that
it is extremely dangerous.
Instead our elite moan about 'prohibition', which does not exist, and
the cruel 'criminalisation' of dope-smokers, which would be their own
fault if it happened, but actually doesn't. Arrests for this offence
are rarer every week, and some police forces openly say they don't do
it any more.
[continues 211 words]
Laws on Tobacco Smoking Should Extend to Marijuana
It's time to legalise marijuana, then ban it again. Here's why. The
Canadian government chose April 20 to make the announcement that
cannabis will be legalised next spring, in the latest progressive
move by the new Liberal government. The news had been coming for a
while, because it was an election pledge last year but the date was
significant because it was "4-20", when weed enthusiasts get together
to call for changes in the law. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's
government beat them to it with a morning announcement.
[continues 277 words]
Nick Clegg has accused the home secretary, Theresa May, of attempting
to delete sentences from a Whitehall report after it concluded that
there was no link between tough laws and levels of illegal drug use.
The former deputy prime minister also said senior Conservatives, such
as David Cameron and George Osborne, have failed to act on drug
reform because they see the issue as a "naughty recreational secret"
at Notting Hill dinner parties instead of a public health crisis.
In an interview with the Guardian before a major UN conference on the
global drug problem, Clegg said the Tories were failing to listen to
warnings that the war on drugs had failed.
[continues 638 words]
Drugs policy in the UK is not actually made in smoke-filled rooms but
it might as well be. The mixture of befuddled optimism with a lack of
urgency that characterises official thinking about cannabis has had
Getting on for 50 years of prohibition, vigorously defended in
principle but lackadaisically enforced in practice, have produced a
situation that combines the disadvantages of tolerance and
criminalisation. Two generations of parents now know that it is not
as dangerous as official propaganda told them, but this leads to a
reluctance to admit that the habit has any real dangers at all. That
in itself is dangerous to their children.
[continues 473 words]
HOW on earth did I end up on friendly terms with Howard Marks, the
drug smuggler and pro-cannabis propagandist who died last week? Yet I
did. You might think we would loathe each other. He stood for almost
everything I am against. But not quite. He was a fierce and
instinctive defender of free speech, a rare and precious quality.
I learned this one long-ago evening in Blackpool, when a squawking
rabble of ignorant, intolerant students succeeded in having me driven
off the stage at a debate.
[continues 519 words]
The president of Colombia will this week present a plan for the
complete and radical overhaul of global policy towards drug
trafficking and organised crime at a special session of the United
Nations general assembly. Unveiling his proposals in the Observer
today, Juan Manuel Santos said urgent measures were needed to bring
about "a more effective, lasting and human solution" to the misery
and crisis of narco-traffic.
The most sensational element in Santos's presentation is the
announcement that his government will - as a result of a four-year
peace process soon to bear fruit as a peace treaty be implementing
its own domestic struggle against narco-traffic alongside its bitter
enemies, the Marxist guerillas of Farc. The group admits to having
funded its war by what it calls "taxation" of narco-profits.
[continues 355 words]
Juan Manuel Santos, the president of Colombia, argues that his
country's narco-related violent history illustrates exactly why a
global rethink on prohibition should be the key discussion at this
week's UN general assembly special session on drugs
How does one explain to a Colombian peasant in a rural community in
the south-west of the country that he will be prosecuted under
criminal charges for growing marijuana plants, while a young
entrepreneur in Colorado finds his or her legal recreational
marijuana business booming?
[continues 1116 words]
Colombia's president, Juan Manuel Santos, arrives in New York this
week with a clear message to the UN general assembly special session
on drugs: the failure of the "war on drugs" to deal with the human
cost of narco traffic and drug abuse. Santos's message will be: the
whole policy needs to be rethought, with a different set of priorities.
President Santos first called for an overhaul in policy towards drugs
in an interview with this newspaper in 2011, urging that "a new
approach should try and take away the violent profit that comes with
drug trafficking". He has continued to drive that conversation
forward with the moral authority bestowed by leading a country that
was nearly destroyed by the violence and corrupting influence of
cartel money on the police, judiciary and the body politic. It was
close to a failed state in the late 90s and it was drugs that did that damage.
[continues 194 words]
UN Meeting to Discuss Growing Drugs Problem
Up to Quarter of Psychosis Cases Could Be Prevented
The risks of heavy cannabis use for mental health are serious enough
to warrant global public health campaigns, according to international
drugs experts who said young people were particularly vulnerable.
The warning from scientists in the UK, US, Europe and Australia
reflects a growing consensus that frequent use of the drug can
increase the risk of psychosis in vulnerable people, and comes as the
UN prepares to convene the first special session on the global drugs
problem since 1998. The meeting in New York next week aims to unify
countries in their efforts to tackle issues around illicit drug use.
[continues 1160 words]
A CHIEF constable who wants to legalise drugs has been charged with
overseeing how officers tackle the menace nationwide.
Mike Barton believes some Class A and B drugs should be made legal
and, in some cases, handed out for free to addicts.
Despite his controversial views, the officer has now been quietly
elected to an influential role at the National Police Chiefs' Council
(NPCC). The move provoked fury from critics who warned legalising
drugs would simply create a new set of challenges.
[continues 200 words]
Jamie Doward's admirable special report rightly stressed the
importance of the UN general assembly special session on drugs
(Ungass) to be held in New York later this month.("Is the prohibition
era finally coming to an end?", News, last week).
As Doward makes clear, the international drugs trade is an ongoing
problem that affects all countries but reaches crisis level in
producer and transit countries. It is to a very large degree the
product of the well intentioned but misguided UN conventions that
imposed drugs prohibition on all countries without regard for their
cultures or traditions.
[continues 185 words]
Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has been warned by the European
Union's drugs agency that Britain's new blanket ban on so-called
"legal highs" may not work.
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)
said it was "unlikely" that any new regime could stem the tide of
designer drugs, which emulate the effects of controlled substances
such as cannabis or heroin. It comes weeks before the Government's
Psychoactive Substances Act becomes law.
More than 100 new legal highs were recorded by authorities last year
and more than 560 are being monitored by the EMCDDA. "It is unlikely
that any regulatory system can be designed to sufficiently limit the
stream of new substances being manufactured without resorting to a
ban on a huge range of chemicals," it said.
When the Home Office decided to impose a blanket ban on synthetic
drugs known as legal highs, it must have thought this would be a
reasonably straightforward matter. These substances are harmful to
those who take them and have been blamed by police for an upsurge in
violence among young people. But drafting legislation has not proved
an easy task. There was concern in the Church, for instance, that
incense would be proscribed since it is capable of producing a
psychoactive effect. Assurances have since been offered by ministers
that vicars would not be caught up in the ban.
[continues 175 words]
THERE are fears that cannabis is being legalised by the back door,
after figures showed that arrests for possession have dropped by
almost 50 per cent over the past five years.
The number of people being charged or cautioned for having the Class
B drug has also fallen significantly, according to figures obtained
under the Freedom of Information Act.
However, data from the annual Crime Survey of England and Wales
suggest that the drop in offences has not been matched by a reduction
in the number of people who admit using the drug, with around 7 per
cent of adults saying they regularly smoke cannabis.
[continues 356 words]
The year 2008 was momentous. Lehman Brothers collapsed, Radovan Karad
i was arrested, Russian troops massed on the Georgian border, and
Barack Obama beat John McCain to the White House.
But 2008 was also significant for something that didn't happen. It
was the year that the world didn't eliminate the illicit drugs
problem. This quixotic goal had been set a decade earlier at a United
Nations general assembly special session when, under the vainglorious
slogan "We can do it", the supranational body pledged that, by 2008,
the world would be "drug free".
[continues 2177 words]
Experts Urge Reversal of Policies That Have Driven Violence and Deaths
An international commission of medical experts is calling for global
drug decriminalisation, arguing that current policies lead to
violence, deaths and the spread of disease, harming health and human rights.
The commission, set up by the Lancet medical journal and Johns
Hopkins University in the US, finds that tough drugs laws have caused
misery, failed to curb drug use, fuelled violent crime and spread the
epidemics of HIV and hepatitis C through unsafe injecting. Publishing
its report on the eve of a special session of the United Nations
devoted to illegal narcotics, it urges a reversal of the repressive
policies imposed by most governments.
[continues 709 words]
Global Report Urges UN to Back Decriminalisation
Commission Backs Move to Legal, Regulated Markets
Medical experts are calling for global drug decriminalisation,
arguing that current policies are leading to violence, death and the
spread of disease, harming both health and human rights.
The experts, working as an international commission, set up by the
Lancet medical journal and Johns Hopkins University in the US, find
that tough drug laws have caused misery, failed to curb drug use,
fuelled violent crime, and helped spread HIV and hepatitis C
epidemics perpetuated by unsafe injecting.
[continues 626 words]
A BATTLE to legalise cannabis is set to start in Parliament as
Liberal Democrat MPs propose a major shake-up of the UK's drug laws.
Norman Lamb wants the drug to be legalised in order to stop money
going into the pockets of criminals and to prevent the lives of
people who are prosecuted for possession of the substance from being
"blighted" by a criminal conviction.
The former LibDem health minister said: "A regulated market in the UK
will take profits out of the hands of organised crime and reduce both
health and social harms.
"I've argued for a long time that our laws on drugs are outdated,
harmful and well overdue for reform."
Samples Collected at Nightclubs Can Provide Data on Which Substances
Are Being Used and Where
For decades, the war on drugs has been fought on fronts from the
jungles of Latin America to the classroom. But now the struggle to
understand the use of illegal substances has reached a new low - the
Scientists in charge of tracking drug use across Europe, in
particular the booming use of so-called "legal highs", have put
forward proposals to use samples from urinals in locations such as
nightclubs and music festivals to try to work out which illicit
substances are being consumed.
[continues 414 words]
Firm Says Drug Reduced Seizures in Children With Dravet Syndrome by 39 Per Cent
From page 2 A British company that has been working for 18 years to
find medicinal uses for marijuana has had a major breakthrough in the
treatment of childhood epilepsy.
Yesterday GW Pharmaceuticals, which has a licence from the Home
Office to grow cannabis, announced final-stage tests on 120 children
with Dravet syndrome (a type of epilepsy) had successfully reduced
seizures by 39 per cent. The phase 3 trial of the drug known as
Epidiolex has been extremely closely watched in the medical
community, due to the current absence of a cure for the painful and
dangerous condition. Currently, Dravet sufferers have to take a
cocktail of medicines but still suffer an average of 13 seizures a month.
[continues 408 words]
SIR - It is disturbing to hear that delegates at the Liberal Democrat
conference have called for the legalisation of cannabis (report,
telegraph.co.uk, March 12).
This decision indicates a lack of research on their part as well as
an ignorance of the connection between cannabis and mental health
disorders. Those working in this field are aware that cannabis can
trigger the onset of schizophrenia, particularly in the young. It can
also seriously reduce the efficacy of the medication that is
prescribed to alleviate the distressing symptoms of this condition.
A petition launched by the former Solidarity MSP seeks to legalise
what he calls the "non-criminal action" of using cannabis, instead
directing the money raised from taxing the drug into drug treatment programmes.
Only 98 people have so far signed his petition on change. org since Saturday.
The petition, called "Legalise, regulate, license and tax cannabis.
Drop the stupid 'war' on drugs. Wise up", is directed at the UK Parliament.
[continues 62 words]
Lib Dems' Conference Decision Is a Totemic Policy That Would Also
Raise Ukp 1bn Tax, Says MP Norman Lamb
The Liberal Democrats have become the first major party to support
the legalisation of cannabis, a move, they argue, that will reduce
drug- related crime and raise around UKP 1bn in tax revenue.
The policy was overwhelmingly approved by delegates at the Lib Dems'
spring conference in York yesterday.
It follows a review of soft drugs set up by the former health
minister Norman Lamb, one of the eight MPs who survived the party's
general- election rout last year, and chaired by Steve Rolles, a
senior policy analyst from the Transform Drug Policy Foundation.
[continues 713 words]
LIB DEMS yesterday overwhelmingly backed the legalisation of cannabis.
Just a handful of members at their spring conference in York opposed
Heal th spokesman Norman Lamb said: "It's long overdue that we call
time on the most discredited, most stupid, most dangerous so-called
'war on drugs'.
"I want this party to lead the way to a new approach, based on
evidence, which is liberal, and which protects public health."
Selling the drug in regulated shops and clubs could raise UKP1billion
tax, he said.
In a speech today Lib Dem leader Tim Farron vows to "fight this
Government's short-sighted cuts to school budgets" in a speech.
THE Liberal Democrats yesterday become the first mainstream political
party to call for the legalisation of cannabis.
In a landmark vote at the party's spring conference, delegates voted
in favour of licensing shops to sell cannabis in plain packaging and
with health warnings to adults in Britain.
Householders would also be allowed to cultivate marijuana and harvest
the drug for personal consumption. said the MP had offered advice at
last Thursday's meeting but was not planning a formal, paid
relationship with the Seattle-based Privateer Holdings.
[continues 165 words]