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Cannabis to be consumed legally in public near Parliament

NORML UK, the national organisation for cannabis law reform, will be holding a static demonstration close to the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday 9th October 2013, commencing around midday.

The purpose will be to protest the discriminatory laws whereby a medical cannabis patient from Europe is legally entitled to consume their herbal cannabis medicine in the UK, but a UK citizen is not.

The attendees, from both the UK and the Netherlands, will comprise of patients from The Netherlands legally smoking their cannabis in a public space. There will also be UK medical cannabis patients who consume cannabis illegally. NORML will be making the necessary distinction with large banners, which tell the story of each group of patients. Under the Schengen agreement, herbal Bedrocan BV cannabis can be legally consumed in the UK by a Dutch national with a prescription but not by a British patient with a similar condition.

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Under current UK law, British patients may only be prescribed Sativex, a whole plant extract of cannabis in the form of a tincture spray, which is too costly for many patients and local authorities.

Joanne Moss, Deputy Director of NORML UK, said: “Cannabis is known to have a therapeutic effect on many medical conditions, including multiple sclerosis, a fact which even Prince Charles has recognised. Every day we see news stories of people who have serious medical conditions being prosecuted for growing their own medicine because they cannot access it via their doctors. Decisions regarding medical treatment should be made between a patient and their doctor, not by a government which recognises Sativex, a whole plant extract from cannabis, as having medical application but not the plant it is extracted from. This is hypocrisy.”

Exact times and assembly points will be announced on the NORML UK website and social media.