Patients at Parliament - The Second Event
Image: Crowds at the protest
Last Friday (23/2/18) we attended the second Patients at Parliament protest which took place outside the house of commons in Westminster, London.
The event which was arranged by the UPA (United Patients Alliance) was the second protest in support of Labour Newport south MP Paul Flynn who in the latter part of 2017 invited medical cannabis consumers cannabis to come and break the law by consuming their medications on the green outside the houses of parliament.
Image: October protest
He also proposed the Elizabeth Brice bill. The proposed bill which was named after the sadly now departed Elizabeth Brice MS sufferer and cannabis activist seeks to reschedule cannabis from schedule 1 to schedule 2 allowing more medical research to be conducted in British academic institutions and by pharmaceutical companies. Subsequently many accepted the invitation to attend.
Image: Elizabeth Brice
The first protest which took place on October 10th 2017 was attended by a couple of hundred protesters from all over the country. Including various clubs from all over the UK as well as the UKCSC The first reading saw no opposition to the bill meaning it passed to the second reading. which was the reason behind the second protest.
Image: Flags and banners
The bill is rather limited as it only seeks to move cannabis from schedule 1 to schedule 2. This only really aids the pharmaceuticals companies as the proposed bill would still keep cannabis in an incredibly restrictive scheduling. It also does nothing to change the criminal penalties that surround this humble plant. Cannabis possession and cultivation would still incur a class B charge meaning that consumers that utilise cannabis would still be breaking the law and risk discrimination and possible incarceration.
Under the proposed bill medical consumers would still face up to 5 years in prison for possession and for their caregivers or patients that are helping them independently cultivate their own medicine still face up 14 years in prison!
This bill does very little to help the average medical consumer. It primarily allows companies like GW pharmaceuticals to continue their monopoly on medical cannabis in the UK.
The company currently produces cannabis derived medications that are grown and prepared in the UK – while our current Conservative drug minister Victoria Atkins reads from the government's prepared script regurjitating propaganda and reefer madness. All while her husband Paul Kenward, managing director of British Sugar cultivates cannabis under licence from the British government. They now produce 45 acres of Cannabis for GW Pharmaceuticals in Norfolk.
Image: British sugars massive 45 acre cannabis greenhouses.
This is the hight of hypocrisy and a disgusting abuse of her power. Mrs Atkins claims cannabis has no "accepted medical value" while her husband gets rich making cannabis medications.
WTF?! Can you say hypocrites!
This bill allows for these pharmaceutical companies to create patented and excessively profitable single symptom cannabis derived medications that yes, would be available on the NHS but would, however cost it billions in excessive mark ups as prescription costs are so low when compared to the insane price tag they're asking for products like Sativex.
The bill does not support patients growing their own either. possibly because this would effect those same companies record breaking profit margins and their position on the stock market.
There were dozens of impassioned speeches by activists, patients and politicians but seemingly to no avail as the second reading of the bill was filibustered, some what surprisingly by a member of the labour party.
There was several proposed members bills to get through on the day and following the quick reading of two proposed bills there was a palpable excitement in the air, however this quickly turned to disappointment as it became apparent that the bill would not get chance to be read.
Around 3;30pm members of the UPA announced the news that the bill had been filibustered and that the next attempt for the second reading of the bill would be on July 6th and that there would indeed be another protest to coincide with the reading.
Shortly after this announcement Callie Blackwell arrived adjitated to inform the gathered crowds that Jeff Ditchfield, from Bud Buddies was being arrested round the corner on suspicion of possession of Cannabis oil. The arrest took place while Jeff was giving an interview to RT news.
Having galvanised a crowd they headed up to the scene of Jeff's detention. A group of some 40-50 activists made there way to the scene. Callie along with others were live streaming the events when she was attacked by three excessively large police officers and corralled her against her will to an adjacent wall.
Shortly after her husband Simon arrived on scene and attempted to assist his wife. As any partner would.
Video: Callie Blackwell being detained for allegedly being seen holding a cannabis plant.
Several officers needlessly grabbed Simon and violently threw him to the ground. Despite his total compliance and putting up no resistance he still subsequently received injuries to his ribs at the hands of the draconian London Met.
Simon was detained for allegedly obstructing the officers who were, from his perspective assaulting his wife. Callie was being arrested for allegedly being in possession of a cannabis plant and Jeff was arrested for allegedly being in possession of Cannabis oil.
Image: Jeff Ditchfield getting arrested
Simon was released first a few hours after the protest had finished with Callie being released shortly after. Jeff was released at 2am on to the freezing streets of London with no money having had his cash for his visit to the UK taken from him as "suspected proceeds of crime"
The situation proved to be useful in more ways than one, it provided a perfect opportunity to see first hand who are the real Activists and who are the Actorvists. When the shit went down two camps quickly emerged. Those running towards the action and those running away.
Image: Little Elizabeth
The bill is as discussed previously primarily for pharmacological research and development of patentable and thus profitable cannabis based drugs but does nothing to help patients on the front line that are currently utilising cannabis for hundreds and thousands of various health conditions that various medical programs around the world still refuse to accept as being helped by cannabis.
It does nothing to stop medicinal cannabis patients from facing incarceration. It does nothing to prevent the discrimination they face everyday from their healthcare professionals. It does nothing to tackle the stigma around medical cannabis consumption or anything to provide education so that consenting adults can make a decision whether they wish to consume one of the safest, oldest plant medicines on Earth.
Cannabis is medicine not because some multinational pharmaceutical conglomerate CEO or corrupt politician says so. Cannabis is medicine if when you consume it you get relief from any of the symptoms of your condition. If it alleviates any of you suffering and improves the quality of your life, then its medicine!
You do not have to wait for it to be relegalised in the UK to access medicinal cannabis. The cannabis you can access now, when consumed for medicinal purposes is medical cannabis.
Its not a special strain or grow / extraction method its what works for you!
Plant a seed and grow your way out of poor health!