Category Archives: politics

Open letter to Paul Flynn MP

Dear Paul,

It was an honour to support your  Ten Minute Rule Motion presented to the House on the 10th October 2017:

“That leave be given to bring in a Bill to allow the production, supply, possession and use of cannabis and cannabis resin for medicinal purposes and for connected purposes”.

No sensible person can disagree with your principal aim of access for people (of all ages) to medicinal cannabis and cannabinoid preparations.

During our chat in Parliament square, I briefly mentioned my concerns regarding your call to:

“move cannabis from schedule one to schedule two” 

The Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 place Controlled Drugs into five schedules corresponding to their deemed therapeutic usefulness and misuse potential. “Raw” cannabis is currently in schedule one, deeming it to have “no recognised medicinal use”. Due to this classification Doctors and Pharmacists cannot lawfully prescribe or possess cannabis and patients have to risk up to 14 years in prison for cultivating cannabis or for producing cannabis oils and extracts for their own use.

If your bill is successful and cannabis is rescheduled to schedule two, it would be classified alongside controlled drugs such as  diamorphine (pure heroin) and therefore subject to the strictest of regulations, e.g. being stored in a locked secure safe and the keeping of a statutory register.

I applaud your call to make sensible drugs policies and I agree with you that policies should be based on science and not political or media dogma, however, I am afraid that it makes no sense (to me) to replace the current failed policy of the total prohibition of cannabis with a new unworkable policy of Prohibition Lite. 

You rightly stated in your motion that cannabis has been used medicinally for at least 5,000 years and during all this time no one has died from consuming cannabis, therefore:

How can the scheduling of cannabis and cannabinoid preparations be justified in schedule two alongside heroin?

NOTE~ Sativex, the cannabinoid preparation produced by GW Pharma containing half a gram of cannabis oil extracts (270mgs of CBD & 250mgs of THC) is in schedule four making it exempt from the safe custody requirements and the other restrictions placed on schedule two controlled drugs.

Parents are being criminalised

I beg you, Mr Flynn, to read the book Callie Blackwell presented to you, The Boy in 7 billion is the amazing story of a determined Mother whose only ‘crime’ was to do everything in her power to save the life of her dying child.

There is no statute of limitations here in the UK, the members of Bud Buddies who assisted Callie, myself included are still subject to the constant threat of arrest and prosecution. Yet, who is the victim of our crimes? Why do we face 14 years in prison for a crime where there is no identifiable victim?

Bud Buddies are currently assisting the parents of 100+ seriously ill children in the UK and not only do these parents fear losing their child to a terminal illness they also live with the constant fear of the involvement of social services. Being made a ward of court could be a death sentence for many of the children being administered cannabinoids by their parents.

One of these parents is a serving police officer, will you please meet with her to hear firsthand her fears, her hopes and how you and your fellow MP’s can help her and her family?


Views of the author: I personally believe that cannabis and cannabinoid preparations should be placed in schedule five alongside over the counter medications such as paracetamol and therefore no restrictions regarding their importation, possession or administration. I further believe that adults should have access to cannabis via membership of a Private Members Club and/or home cultivation.  

Further reading

This slideshow requires JavaScript.







Cannabis oil treating Epilepsy, 173 years ago

William Brooke O’Shaughnessy

Everyday I read articles about scientific breakthroughs concerning the medical properties of cannabis, this morning I read an article on how CBD is “a wonder medicine for pediatric epilepsy’ and how Amylea Nunez, aged two months was the youngest patient to be prescribed cannabis oil. However, she is not the youngest and cannabis oil as a treatment in paediatric epilepsy is not a new discovery, it is merely a rediscovery.

You can read little Amylea’s amazing story: Infant Overcomes Seizures After Becoming Youngest Patient to Take Cannabis Oil

William_Brooke_O’Shaughnessy_1Dr WB O’Shaughnessy

In 1840, Victorian Doctors were treating people with extracts of cannabis for many illnesses, including tinctures for treating children with epilepsy.

One of my favourite pioneers was Dr William Brooke O’Shaughnessy MD, an irish physician, surgeon, Professor of chemistry, scientist and innovator, he was a pioneer of ‘intravenous therapy’ and he is the man credited with introducing cannabis to Western medicine.

O’Shaughnessy graduated in 1829 with a Medical Doctorate from the University of Edinburgh. In 1831, at the young age of 22, he investigated cholera and his early work led to the development of intravenous fluid and electrolyte-replacement therapy.

In 1833, O’Shaughnessy moved to Calcutta, India to work for the British East India Company and during his time there he developed new cannabinoid extraction techniques which he used is preparations to treat patients suffering from, cholera, tetanus, analgesia, rheumatism and epilepsy in infants.

In India, he initially studied botanical pharmacology and chemistry, publishing his first paper on medical cannabis in 1839.

In his paper “On the preparations of the Indian hemp, or Gunjah” published in the Provincial Medical Journal, London on February 4th, 1843, O’Shaughnessey relates the case of a baby just over a month old who he administered  an ethanol (alcohol) cannabis based tincture.

Please remember this was written 173 years ago.

Case of Infantile Convulsions, 1843

“A very interesting case of this disease has recently occurred in my private practice, the particulars of which I have the permission of the family to insert in this paper. A female infant, forty days old, the child of Mr. and Mrs. J. L., of Calcutta, on the 10th of September had a slight attack of convulsions, which recurred chiefly at night for about a fortnight, and for which the usual purgatives-warm baths and a few doses of calomel and chalk-were given without effect. On that day the attacks were almost unceasing, and amounted to regular tetanic paroxysms. The child had, moreover, completely lost appetite and was emaciating rapidly”

“I had by this time exhausted all the usual methods of treatment, and the child was apparently in a binking state. Under these circumstances I stated to the parents the results of the experiments I had made with the hemp, and my conviction that it would relieve their infant if relief could possibly be obtained. They gladly consented to the trial, and a single drop of the spirituous tincture, equal to the one-twentieth part of a grain in weight, was placed on the child’s tongue at 10pm.”
1/20th of a grain is 3.24mgs

“No immediate effect was perceptible, and in an hour and a half two drops more were given. The infant fell asleep in a few minutes, and slept soundly till 4pm, when she awoke, screamed for food, took the breast free!y, and fell asleep again. At 9am, 1st of October, I found the child fast asleep, but easily roused; the pulse, countenance, and skin perfectly natural. In this drowsy state she continued for four days totally free from convulsive symptoms in any form.

“During this time the bowels were frequently spontaneously relieved, and the appetite returned to the natural degree. October 4th, At 1am, convulsions returned and continued at intervals during the day; 5 drop doses of the tincture were given hourly. Up to midnight there were 30 fits, and 44 drops of the tincture of hemp were ineffectually given.”

“Paroxysms continued during the night. At 11am, it was found that the tincture in use during the preceding days had been kept by the servant in a small bottle with a paper stopper, the spirit had evaporated and the whole of the resin had settled on the sides of the phial. The infant had in fact becn taking drops of mere water during the preceding day.”
Always shake cannabis preparations before use and store in the fridge.

“A new preparation was given in 3 drop doses during the 5th and 6th, and increased to 8 drops with the effect of diminishing the violence, though not of preventing the return of the paroxysm. On the 7th I met Dr. Nicholson in consultation, and despairing of a cure from the hemp, it was agreed to intermit its use, to apply a mustard poultice to the epigastrium, and to give a dose of castor oil and turpentine.”

“The child, however, rapidly became worse, and at 2pm, a tetanic spasm set in, which lasted without intermission till 6.30pm. A cold bath was tried without solution of the spasm; the hemp was, therefore, again resorted to, and a dose of 30 drops, equal to one and a-half grains of the resin, given at once.”

Approx: 100mgs

“Immediately after this dose was given the limbs relaxed, the little patient fell fast asleep, and so continued for 13 hours. While asleep, she was evidently under the peculiar influence of the drug. On the 8th October, at 4am, there was a severe fit, and from this hour to 10pm, 25 fits occurred, and 130 drops of the tincture were given in 30 drop doses”

Dr O’Shaughnessy (quite correctly) increased the dose

“It was now manifestly a struggle between the disease and the remedy; but at 10pm, she was again narcotised, and from that hour no fit returned”

“The child is now 17/12/1842 in the enjoyment of robust health, and has regained her natural plump and happy appearance. In reviewing this case several very remarkable circumstances present themselves. At first we find 3 drops, causing profound narcotism, subsequently we find 130 drops daily required to produce the same effect”

He was learning about how tolerance builds, hence the requirement to increase the dose (slowly).

“Should the disease ever recur, it will be a matter of much interest to notice the quantity of the tincture requisite to afford relief. The reader will remember that this infant was but 60 days old when 130 drops were given in one day, of the same preparation of which ten drops had intoxicated the student Dinonath Dhur, who took the drug for experiment”

Dr O’Shaughnessy concludes:

“The preceding cases constitute an abstract of my experience on this subject, and constitute the grounds of my belief that in hemp the profession has gained an anti-convulsive remedy of the greatest value”

The Doctor explains how he prepares his preparations

“The resinous extract is prepared by boiling the rich, adhesive tops of the dried gunjah, in spirit, until all the resin is dissolved. The tincture thus obtained is evaporated to dryness by distillation, or in a vessel placed over a pot of boiling water. The extract softens at a gentle heat, and can be made into pills without any addition”

The alcohol he used was 84.5% ethanol, he was preparing what many people today would refer to as a FECO extraction (full extract cannabis oil).

“Doses, ec.-In tetanus a drachm of the tincture is every half hour until the paroxysms cease, or catalepsy is induced”

 A drachm is 1.77 grams and tetanus is also referred to as lockjaw

“In hydrophobia I would recommend the resin in soft pills, to the extent of 10 to 20 grains to be chewed by the patient, and repeated according to the effect”

10 to 20 grains is 0.65 grams to 1.3 grams, and from Dr O’Shaughnessy’s description of the pill making process it is actually cannabis oil as we now know it, 1.3 grams is a very significant dose. Hydrophobia is a common symptom of Rabies.

“With the alcoholic extract made from the tops in the way I recommend the practitioner has only to feel his way, and increase the dose until he produces intoxication as the test of the remedy having taken effect”

“Of all powerful narcotics it is the safest to use with boldness and decision”

I fully concur

Jeff Ditchfield

August 11, 2016


I would like to remind everyone that the issue with the United Patients Alliance is not with the vast majority of their members. Let us keep in mind that many of our friend’s are members of the UPA, they are good decent people who support the UPA in the hope for a better future.

However, there are rumblings of discontent amongst the membership, there are claims that UPA members are being misled by the company Directors of the United Patient Alliance Co Limited, but first, a little background. I have heard all of my adult life from successive UK Governments that there is a “War on Drugs” and I think it is safe to say that things are not going to change under the UK’s new PM Theresa May, she is not known for being progressive on drugs reform, however she supports ‘corporate interests’.

Except of course for alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceuticals.

H.JPGI recall a conversation I had many years ago with the late, great Howard Marks, he told me that a “war on drugs” was actually a war on drug consumers and therefore a war on people, I recall we were pretty stoned on some very fine haze at the time. But what happens when a Government declares war on a section of its own people? is it a ‘civil war‘? Whatever it is, it is not a war of my choosing or wanting.

The UPA management claim to be fighting the same fight as my colleagues  are in the National Cannabis Coalition  but do their actions behind the scenes portray a different strategy? A senior UPA member who wishes to be anonymous recently told me that they were concerned that the UPA management were merely paying “lip service” to the right to home cultivation and private cannabis clubs. At their request I had a look at United Patients Alliance Limited company registration number 10188176.

This company has been registered as a private limited company, i.e. a company run for the benefit of its shareholders, if (as they claim) it is a necessity to have an official incorporation then why not as a CIC non-profit company, as the UKCSC have done?

UPA Limited Directors:  Clark French  Jonathan Liebling   Alex Fraser  Faye Jones

Clark French owns 100% of the shares in UPA Limited.

Three of the Directors are sole Directors, however, as well as his Directorship of UPA Limited, Jonathan Liebling is also the sole Director of Darling IT Limited, when a UPA member asked about Lieblings new private limited company, he responded:


“The fact is that neither I (nor anyone else) have been paid anything by EOP or Tendo. Tendo are a professional campaigning org who are being paid to run a professional campaign as they have political nouse and experience.

What I am going to be in receipt of in due course is related to the work UPA and I are doing for the APPG inquiry.

They required a data analytics professional for which they were going to the open market and as I have an IT Consultancy business I offered them a better deal and I will be doing this work which amounts to about 6 days.

I have been completely up front open and honest about this with all at UPA and have their full support and see no reason to defend it with anyone else.”

The Darling IT consultancy business was created in March 2016, it was incorporated to specifically process data gathered from the medical cannabis questionnaire the UPA conducted on behalf of the APPG.

This raises more questions, is Darling IT Ltd, Mr Liebling or the UPA registered under the Data Protection act? Did the people submitting e-mails to the APPG know that their private data would  be handled by a private company? How much did the APPG pay Darling IT Limited for the processing the data? 

Tendo, is described by Liebling as  “a professional campaigning org who are being paid to run a professional campaign” Tendo describe themselves as: “A dynamic agency offering PR, communications, Public Affairs, and Campaigning”

 The Tendo ‘professional campaign’ 

One of their Directors  Peter Carrol he is in charge of the endourpain campaign and he is a 50% shareholder in Tendo Consulting Limited. The company is staffed by experienced political lobbyists and ex-advisors to Government Ministers, here are their views on campaigning:

Campaigning is part art, part science. It requires a particular blend of skills, message definition, motivation, engagement, lobbying and organisation. But more important than anything else winning campaigns need passion, belief and commitment.

The above explains why they need the support of passionate people, it is required to make their campaign work, after all, as Tendo state: “campaigning is an art, part science”.

An example of Tendo’s ‘science‘ (some would call it manipulation) is in the document they produced outlining their endourpain campaign:
“The campaign will need a high quality digital presence. We will need to gather a very large number of online supporters in a short timescale. We will need to hit 100,000 to have any credibility with the media and to generate any sense of political momentum. The 100,000 figure is a minimum. Five times that should be a realistic target. And these ‘sign ups’ will need to be engaged with. We will be asking them to do a range of things at the appropriate time. These will include, but not be limited to – contacting their MPs, contacting local and regional media, and spreading the message via their social networks”

They are building an army, but an army of lions? or an army of misled sheep?


“We will also need a number of spokesmen and women”



The Tendo document goes on to say:

“we propose a very nimble structure involving Tom Lloyd as the director of the campaign, Tendo providing the strategic advice to direct the campaign, and Tim Colbourne providing strategic policy advice”
Tim Colbourne is a Director of “Open Reason” (who are a company advising Nick Clegg) on drugs policy, he was also a Special Adviser to Nick Clegg when he was Deputy PM. Mr Colbourne is also not adverse to relationships with lobbyists and big business.
The Tories and Lib Dems vowed to curb relationships with public affairs firms who try to influence policy in favour of the corporate clients who pay them a fortune.But aides, known as special advisers, or “SpAds”, working at the heart of the coalition have been treated to sporting events, concerts and dozens of expensive meals by lobbyists.
 And what are Tendo going to do with the 100,000+ email addresses they gather?
Hello Darling
“To be successful, we will have to engage with these replies even if only to acknowledge them. That can be quite a time consuming job. Tendo would not be able to fulfil that role. We would look to the technical person, perhaps backed up by some volunteer admin support and with guidance from Tom to fulfil this role”
It is worth mentioning here that many of the Tendo personnel were previously Government advisors and as such they are subject to strict controls when they left Government. They are barred for 2 years from lobbying in regard to private companies, however, are they circumnavigating this restriction? is it lobbying by proxy?
“If we can get many thousands of people interacting with their MPs, including some who need their cannabis for medical use, get the issue high up the media agenda and make use of every parliamentary device and procedure, then we have a strong chance of building up that whirlwind of activity that has a real chance of delivering the result”

The result? more of that later.

The civil service has strict rules on what advisers can do for 2 years after leaving service: THE BUSINESS APPOINTMENT RULES FOR CIVIL SERVANTS, INCLUDING SPECIAL ADVISERS

10. As a general principle, there will be a two year ban on lobbying Government on behalf of their new employer after they leave the Civil Service.

Lobbying in the context of these Rules means that the former civil servant should not engage in communication with Government (including Ministers, special advisers and officials) with a view to influencing a Government decision or policy in relation to their own interests, or the interests of the organisation by which they are employed, or to whom they are contracted. 

Are Tendo lobbying by proxy? if so, is that permitted?

 What is the Tendo campaign costing?
Monthly costs approx. £13,000 excluding VAT. We envisage this being funded from a range of sources, including private individuals and grant making bodies. 
To fight a high intensity media, lobbying and digital campaign to pressure the UK government into the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal purposes within an 18 month timescale.
Monthly costs £13,000 x 18 months = £234,000 (+vat), a total campaign cost of £280,800

Who is providing this funding? I cannot think of any grant making bodies that would fund their campaign and I note corporate sources are not mentioned as a possible resource, why the omission?

It would in fact make sense for Tendo to seek funding from corporate entities, the very people who would directly benefit from a successful Tendo campaign are the ones most likely to fund it, however Tendo would then not be able to gather the public support they require to make their campaign successful. Campaigners are not going to devote their energies to corporate interests.

There are many other individuals and companies involved, Privateer Holdings the investment company that has agreed a 30 year licensing deal with the Marley family to use Bob Marley’s name in a multi-million dollar deal. Paul Birch (the man behind CISTA and Volteface) is rumoured to have a holding in Kingsley Capital Partners, they have all been mentioned as possible corporate backers of Tendo.

 What are Tendo aiming to achieve with their endourpain campaign?

From their website

EoP aim

Which on the face of it sounds reasonable, however, who will supply the prescribed cannabis? Will it be Tilray? or Bedrocan? or GWP? or indeed CLEAR UK run by Peter Reynolds who served 9 months in prison for fraud?

Peter Carrol, Director of endourpain and Tendo Consulting Limited , is attending a Global Medical Cannabis Conference conference in Dublin, the conference is being organised by Tilray and Volteface (Paul Birch’s propaganda media company). It is being sponsored by BedrocanTilray and Leafly which is owned by Privateer holdings. The UPA are listed as one of the supporting organisations.

Also in attendance at the September conference will be Tim Colbourne, Adviser to Nick Clegg and Director of Open Reach.

More from Tendo and endourpain

EoP home growing

E o P slipper slope

They claim that developing a risk of psychosis is associated with “street cannabis” and not “medical grade cannabis”

E o P street cannabis

Their views on recreational adult consumption of cannabis

E o P slipper slope

On rescheduling cannabis 

It is appropriate to mention that the APPG have issued this report, Val Curran is also a member of the Lib Dem’s ‘expert’ cannabis panel and connected to many of the people mentioned in this article:

EoP schedulling

Why schedule 2? Why not schedule 4 where Sativex is scheduled? Why does sativex get special treatment?


Nearly at 17,000 signatures, but as Tendo admit, they are not processing this information, it is being outsourced, to who? it is a very important question.

The endourpain campaign is just one part of Tendo’s overall strategy. They are behind the recent medical cannabis stories in the TV soap Coronation Street, I do not know if the scriptwriters or indeed the producers of this popular soap are aware that they are delivering a political message to achieve Tendo’s commercial objective?

 The Coronation Street storylines:

Erica agreed to buy cannabis for Izzy after she explained that her painkillers weren’t working. At first Izzy wasn’t keen on the idea but she handed over her cash to Erica and ends up smoking the drug to relieve the pain.

Meanwhile, Johnny explains to Izzy that for safety reasons, he can’t allow someone “on dope” to operate a machine.

Izzy talks about the cannabis spray (Sativex) and how she cannot obtain it on prescription as it is only available for people with MS

Having been found guilty of possessing cannabis and causing actual bodily harm, Izzy Armstrong (Cherylee Houston) discovers her fate when she returns to court for sentencing

Who are the experts who have advised the Coronation Street script writers? and an awful lot happens to Izzy over a £20 bag of weed, the experiences of Izzy very conveniently support the issues raised by endourpain.

Producers on the ITV1 soap have worked with experts to ensure the plot explores the legal dilemma faced by people using banned cannabis for pain relief

 The impact of these Tendo cannabis storylines have been surprising, the Daily Mirror ran a story:

Coronation Street loving judge lets off pot smoker after comparing arthritis sufferer’s case to soap storyline

“A cannabis smoker has been let off by a judge after his story reminded him of one he had seen in Coronation Street.

Back to Mr Liebling, a few days ago he was sounding out some activists on his latest strategy idea, he ‘wondered’ if he could ‘spin’ the case of Nikolas Brown from Dundee to further the UPA/endourpain/Tendo Consulting/Privateer Holdings campaign for corporate cannabis.

 “a compelling reason for legal regulation – so the business is not in the hands of this kind of person”

This kind of person? According to the BBC news report on the court case, Nikolas Brown was a “cannabis club manager” who was sentenced to 20 months in prison after being raided and found with over 2 kilos of cannabis and 34g of MDMA.

Every heard that people in glass houses should not throw stones, Mr Liebling?

Below Liebling talks about his arrests and court appearances in his Blog

“Firstly as a student, caught in possession where the police took my 14 grams of “Soap-Bar” hash and proceeded to steal half, and then charge me with possession of the other half. I received a fine that I could not afford and a conditional discharge”
“Secondly when I was about 30 for growing 4 plants, outdoors, on a farm in the middle of nowhere. This time I was threatened with imprisonment but after making grovelling apologies and promising that I would seek help and never do it again, I received another (bigger) fine that I could afford even less and another conditional discharge. This is something that must be considered when listening to the number of “Cannabis users seeking help with their addiction”, how many of those were just saying they had a problem to avoid imprisonment? I have to say that this was ultimately an act of perjury in court – of course I wouldn’t stop”

Grovelling apologies in court are not something I would expect to hear from someone who describes themselves as a cannabis campaigner, some might interpret making promises to a court that you know are false as  contempt of court.

 Why should anyone take the word of a ‘wannabe’ politician who freely admits that they lie under oath?

“There were more and on each of those occasions the impact on me was loss of a job or education and loss of motivation combined with an increase in my anxiety, feeling disenfranchised from society and let down by our social and justice systems”

So quite a few arrests and court appearances before he turned to cultivation.

“Just as the first 4 plants of my grow were beginning to mature, there was a knock on my door, and there were the police who “had received a tip off” and I was arrested.”

“For the time being I await my final hearing in Liverpool Crown Court court on 4th December 2015 where I will be asked to answer to the charge of Production of a Controlled Drug”

Liebling is in no position to sit in moral judgement on Mr Nikolas Brown.

But his use of words like “spin” and him his attempt to reinvent himself does not really come as a surprise, Mr Liebling has long had political ambitions, a few months ago he was attempting to be accepted as a Lib Dem candidate, however, he did not divulge his criminal convictions and after a meeting of the local constituency office.his application was “disapproved”.

JL Twat

He had to delete his Jonathan Liebling facebook ‘Politician’ page.

I will leave the final comment to the author of the Art of War, Sun Tzu:

“All warfare is based on deception”

Jeff Ditchfield: is the chair of the National Cannabis Coalition, the views expressed in this article are his and not necessary the views of all the NCC member organisations.