Tag Archives: cannabis

THC-a is legal in the UK

What is the Home Office playing at?                                                              13th March 2018

There is a long history of cannabis extracts being used in the UK to treat childhood Epilepsy, Dr W.B. O’Shaughnessy was administering cannabinoid extracts for severe forms of Epilepsy such as Dravet Syndrome as far back as 1840.

In 1971, the Misuse of Drugs Act was enacted and at the stroke of a pen Doctors in the UK lost the power to prescribe tinctures of cannabis as the Government had ruled cannabis to “have no medicinal value”.

This child is suffering a seizure, watch this amazing video and see how quickly THC-a can bring a child out of a severe seizure episode.

In the UK, there are approximately 60,000 children under 18 with epilepsy.

Symptoms include seizures, the intensity of which varies depending on the severity of the condition.

Dravet syndrome affects one in every 40,000 children in the UK.


In some US states and European countries parents and Doctors are successfully treating children suffering from severe forms of epilepsy with cannabinoid extracts and understandably, parents in the UK want access to similar preparations.

Professor Helen Cross a Consultant in Paediatric Neurology at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) reported in May 2017;

“120 children with Dravet syndrome across Europe and the USA were given two daily doses of CBD (cannabidiol) orally for 14 weeks. At the end of the study the average number of severe seizures reduced by nearly 40%. For 5% of patients, seizures stopped completely”

“The results of this study are significant and provide us with firm evidence of the effectiveness of CBD. This drug could make a considerable difference to children who are living with Dravet syndrome and currently endure debilitating seizures.”

As Professor Cross’s clinical trial indicates; for 5% of the children involved in the study, severe seizures “stopped completely” and as CBD is not a controlled drug here in the UK parents are free to administer preparations of CBD to their child without legal interference.

However, for 95% of children, CBD alone was not sufficient to eliminate the most severe life-threatening seizures and in these cases the administration of another cannabinoid, THC-a could have been effective.

“We never imagined how well it would work (THC-a),  He’s just a six-year-old boy, he deserves a happy life. We’ve found something that makes him happy and now we’ve got to take that away.”  source

c Maggie Deacon press Association

Photograph: Maggie Deacon – P.A.

Alfie Dingley, from Kenilworth, Warwickshire, can suffer up to 30 seizures a day. His mother said they had decreased dramatically in number and severity while he was in the Netherlands being treated with a prescribed, (THC-a) cannabis-based medication.”



The law in the UK

Within the two main acts of Parliament covering “controlled drugs”, the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (MDA 1971) and the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 (MDR 2001), controlled drugs are placed within one of five schedules. Cannabis is in schedule one alongside MDMA, psilocybin, and LSD, which are deemed to “have no medicinal value”.

The Home Office has stated to Hannah Deacon and the media, that THC-a;

“cannot be practically prescribed, administered or supplied to the public”.

The acts of cultivation, supply, possession, and production of cannabis are restricted as per the regulations in the MDA 1971 and the MDR 2001, yet despite these controls, it will surprise many in the UK that the importation, possession and administration of THC-a (as a compound) is not regulated or restricted by any current UK drugs legislation.

The Drug Licencing Unit of the Home Office responded to my direct question;

“Is the cannabinoid THC-a a controlled drug in the UK?”

xxHome Office

Image copyright – Jeff Ditchfield 

This raises more questions

Q – As THC-a is not a “controlled drug”, why is Hannah Deacon or indeed any other parent having to seek permission from the Home Office for a special license or permission to import, possess or administer THC-a to their child?

Hannah Deakin is currently fighting a battle with the Home Office for her son Alfie to receive THC-a in the UK.

Darren Gibson says that he is being forced by the Home Office into taking drastic action to take his daughter Sophia to visit The Netherlands to receive THC.

“We are not meant to be any further than 30 minutes from the nearest hospital as Sophia takes status seizures which is a seizure which lasts more than 30 minutes and could be fatal or result in her being in intensive care”

“We know we are taking a risk travelling with Sophia in her current state but we have no alternative as we need Sophia to be on this medication”

Q – why was I arrested “for possession of THC-a with intent to supply” to the parent of a seriously ill child?

arrest us

On the morning of the 23rd February, I announced live on Sky News I would be attending Parliament to answer the pleas of  Paul Flynn MP;

“I would call on people, and I know we’re not supposed to do this as members, to break the law.

“To come here (to Parliament) and use cannabis here and see what happens and challenge the Government, the authorities, to arrest them and take them in.

“That’s the only way we can get through the common mind of the Government, which is set in concrete and the whole laws are evidence free and prejudice rich – let’s see them do that.”

After travelling to Parliament later that day  I was arrested for possession of THC-a on 23rd February outside Parliament and I was released “pending further investigation”, it seems that the Metropolitan police do not understand UK law, but that is another (ongoing) story.


There are in excess of 5,000 stable individual strains of cannabis plant producing in excess of 80 cannabinoids, the most well known is THC, responsible for the psychoactive effects.

Tetrahydrocannabinol-acid is the form of THC produced by the cannabis plant and it is non-psychoactive.

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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

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Cannabinoid testing and labelling is essential for consumer protection

In a jurisdiction where cannabis is prohibited by law there is little if any protection for consumers of cannabis or cannabis extracts. To protect people from contaminated cannabis products, quality control and the laboratory testing of cannabis and cannabinoid preparations is essential.

In an uncontrolled, unregulated market it is very common to find cannabis contaminated with pesticides, heavy metals, toxins and microorganisms. It is also quite common to find products containing mould spores, bacteria and fungus, these contaminants can have a detrimental effect on health, which can be compounded if people are using cannabis for medicinal purposes and they have a compromised immune system.

Producers of pharmaceuticals, food and drink products are strictly regulated and they are required to submit to third-party testing to verify the safety of their products, unfortunately, there is no basic level of safety or quality control under a decriminalised or prohibitive (cannabis) system.

As well as testing for contaminants the potency of cannabis products is also important to cannabis consumers. To protect the consumer and the general public a testing and labelling scheme for cannabis and cannabinoid preparations is required, imagine the chaos if alcohol was not tested and labelled accordingly, the effects of drinking a glass of vodka are very different to drinking a glass of beer.

As the cannabis market develops and matures so will the demand for cannabis concentrates and cannabis extractions.

Cannabinoids are extracted from cannabis plant material by the use of a solvent, butane, hexane, isopropyl alcohol and ethanol are commonly used to produce cannabis concentrates, however, unless the products are tested for solvent residues some of the solvent used in the extraction process can remain in the final product and some of these residues can be detrimental to health.

Cannabis cultivators and processors should have access to the following tests:

  • Microbiological test – testing for moulds, bacteria and fungi
  • Potency testing of cannabis flowers (cannabinoid profile)
  • Solvent residue testing
  • And ideally, terpenoid testing


In Spain Bud Buddies have access to testing facilities, they use HPLC testing for all their cannabinoid extracts

All preparations are labelled.





This 1:1 extraction contains 39.5% THC and 37.8% CBD, total cannabinoid content 80.3%

The HPLC test shows that the extraction is fully decarboxylated and based on these results preparations with standardized doses can be produced.

Testing standards

There are two main types of testing, Gas Chromatography (GC) and High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC).

Gas chromatography (GC) is a common type of chromatography used in analytical chemistry for analysing compounds that can be vaporized without decomposition. Typically, GC analysis is used to determine the purity of a substance, samples are converted to a gas and the gas is then analysed.

High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is another process used in analytical chemistry to separate, identify, and quantify the individual components in a mixture of compound, HPLC analysis is more suited to the testing of cannabis extractions and preparations than the plant material itself.

Cannabinoid Testing

Cannabinoids produced by the plant are in their natural acid state and to be bioavailable they require transforming from their acid form to a neutral form, this is achieved by the application of heat (or UV light), this process is called decarboxylation. For example, to make THC-acid effective it has to be converted from THC-a to THC, when you inhale cannabis via smoking or vaporisation THC-a is converted (by heat) from THC-a to THC.

However, if THC-a is orally ingested the acidic cannabinoids will remain in their original state and bioavailability will be greatly reduced s THC-a has a low affinity for CB1 receptors.

HPLC analysis allows us to identify the major cannabinoids present in both their acid and neutral forms, GC testing converts cannabinoid acids into cannabinoids so therefore is unsuitable for the testing of orally administered cannabinoid preparations. As HPLC testing does not use heat it can be used to identify and quantify both the acidic and neutral cannabinoids in a sample and this is our preferred testing method. We would require HPLC analysis for cannabinoid extractions, preparations and other products such as medibles, edibles and topicals.

The decision to use GC or HPLC testing will depend on the type or form of the sample and its end purpose.

 Terpene Testing

Terpenes are the chemical substances responsible for the aroma of cannabis and many express their own medicinal properties, e.g. anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and neuroprotective effects.

Common terpenes present in cannabis varieties are α-Pinene, β-Pinene, limonene, myrcene, linalool, and β-caryophyllene.

Microbiological Testing

Mould and bacteria exist everywhere and while not all forms are harmful, some microorganisms such as E. coli can be very dangerous.

High levels of microorganisms can be avoided by following good hygiene practises during the cultivation, processing and storage stages.

In Spain in 2014 our colleagues at Fundación CANNA at Valencia University carried out a study in cooperation with 31 Cannabis Social Clubs (CSC’s), over 50 individual samples of cannabis were analysed. The aim of the study was to identify and determine the microorganisms present and they were present in 80% of the samples analysed.

Some of the potentially pathogenic microorganisms that can be found in Cannabis:

Aspergillus genus, spores occur naturally in the environment and they develop rapidly in environments with high humidity levels, they can lead to the production of mycotoxins (aflatoxins) which are highly carcinogenic substances.

Their presence can lead to Aspergillosis, ill people with a compromised immune system can struggle with this fungus and its presence is especially dangerous to people with immunosuppressive disorders.

Penicillium genus, many people are allergic to penicillin.

Enterobacteriaceae, are normally found in soil and faeces and their presence is generally indicative of poor hygiene measures, cultivating with poorly formulated organic fertilisers can also result in contamination. Two enterobacteriaceaes which can be present in cannabis are E.coli and salmonella.

The spores of fungi are often inhaled during smoking and although some of the spores are destroyed (via incineration) the ones not subject to the source of combustion can easily reach the lungs. Cannabis that has not been correctly dried, cured or stored provides an ideal medium for the development of fungi.


Cannabis bud (flowers) should be labelled with the following (minimum) information:

bud-labelStrain, name of producer, batch number, THC, CBD and CBN content, net weight.

With access to such information a cannabis consumer can estimate their cannabinoid intake, e.g. if a consumer uses half a gram (500 mgs) of this Blueberry haze in a joint then they can calculate that their joint will contain 83.5 mgs of THC (16.7% x 500 mgs)


In addition to the information required for labelling bud (flowers), there will also be a requirement to inform on dose per serving for edibles and medibles.

This chocolate bar contains 80 mgs of THC and comprises of 8 squares of chocolate, therefore the amount of THC per serving (or square) is 10 mgs.


Cannamol is a sublingually applied preparation containing both THC & CBD produced in Spain.

cananmol-labelLabels inform on the total amount per vial of active ingredients (THC & CBD) and per drop.


cannamol-label1All products have a batch number, 1ml = 20 drops.


Labelling is redundant if the consumer does not understand the information


There is also a need for a public education campaign to inform the public and cannabis consumers on how the information provided on the packaging should be interpreted.

In addition to educating the public on ‘safe practise’, labels should also carry prominent warnings regarding “Keep out of reach of children”




One of these Gummy Bears contains THC, but which one?

The one on the left contains 100 mgs of THC



imageCannabinoid testing kits are available:

Combining the straightforward diagnostic technique of thin-layer chromatography with specific thin-layers and developing fluid, the alpha-CAT test kit can identify six cannabinoids present in your plant material and their levels of concentration.

Each Regular Kit allows the user to conduct between 10 and 40 tests. This simple method enables anyone to expose the active cannabinoid profile in medicinal materials, regardless of your scientific understanding.   Order: Here


You think you know cannabis?

Many people are aware of the terms, Sativa, Indica and Ruderalis, however, the vast majority of people are mis-informed regarding their correct definitions.

It turns out that there is just one species of cannabis, with different subspecies.  What people generally consider to be cannabis Indica actually originated in Afghanistan so it is actually cannabis Afghanica,  cannabis Sativa? well that is actually Ruderalis and cannabis Indica is cannabis Sativa, confused?


Enter a caption


For the past 40 years, the conventional view has been that there are 4 distinct varieties of cannabis plant, namely: cannabis Indica, cannabis Sativa and cannabis Ruderalis. The fourth classification is given to what is now referred to as Hemp, this is the name given to low producing THC cannabis plants which are grown commercially for their seeds, oil and fibre.

Cannabis Indica

This variety originated from the mountainous regions of Central Asia. Local strains were collected from Kashmir, Pakistan, Northern India and Nepal during the early 1960’s and these native plants became the gene pool for many of today’s varieties. They are characteristically stocky and hardy plants that produce broad, maple like leaves and rarely reach heights in excess of 2m (7ft) outdoors, producing dense, tight flowers.

Cannabis Sativa

Sativa varieties originate from equatorial regions and can reach heights in excess of 15 feet (4.5m)

They are easily identified by their thin, slender, spiky leaves.

Cannabis Sativa varieties are sort after for their high THC content and the associated profound and uplifting experience, a total contrast to the more sedative effects of Indica strains.

 Cannabis Ruderalis

This is a debated third variety of cannabis found in Russia, Poland, and other eastern European countries, Ruderalis varieties do not require a photo-period to induce flowering.

Latest Findings

The above definitions are mainly due to the work of Richard Schultes, who categorised the varieties in his cannabis taxonomy in the 1970’s, however, it seems that he was in error.

From O’Shaughnessy’s:

“McPartland was the first researcher to look at the genetic markers on the three subspecies of cannabis using the plant’s genome to conclusively identify where it originated. He also proved conclusively that they are all the same species, just different subspecies.  As it turns out, cannabis Sativa should have been identified as cannabis Indica, because it originated in India (hence indica) and cannabis Indica should have been identified as cannabis Afghanica, because it actually originated in Afghanistan. Finally, it seems that cannabis Ruderalis is actually what people mean when they refer to cannabis Sativa”

It has been determined by using “DNA barcodes” that cannabis Indica and cannabis Sativa are not separate species, they are both subspecies, separate varieties of one cannabis species.

McPartland traced the confusion that prevails today among cannabis breeders to the 1970s, when botanist Richard Evans Schultes incorrectly identified cannabis Afghanica as cannabis Indica.

Mr C farm3

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.

The Lib Dem’s make a hash of cannabis reform

Proposals are Prohibition Lite                                                                               


Last night along with Greg de Hoedt of the UKCSC I attended a meeting of the UK Liberal Democrat party to discuss their proposals for a “Legalised Cannabis Market”.

The venue was a very pleasant London public house, the event had been arranged to discuss cannabis policy over a pint, the irony!

At first glance the proposals look like great news for cannabis consumers, they include the commercial sale of cannabis to over 18’s from licensed outlets and they would permit regulated home cultivation, however as with all political initiatives the devil is in the detail, the Lib Dem’s actually only propose to permit the sale of three varieties of cannabis:

5% THC, 10% THC and a variety with a maximum of 15% THC and they all must contain a minimum of 4% CBD

According to the Liberal Democrats expert panel the sales of edibles, extracts, and even hash will not be permitted, not only are these proposals Prohibition Lite they are also totally impractical.

The cannabis community in the UK are split on the issue and apart from The United Patients Alliance there seems to be little support for the Tendo and endourpain campaign.

Who is actually funding these campaigns?

The endourpain mission is to enable GP’s within 18 months to prescribe Bedrocan and Sativex but what about cannabis oil for cancer sufferers?

I was recently asked about the endourpain campaign, “are you prepared to accept half in the hope that you can get the rest later, or do you refuse to compromise?”

Actually I refuse to compromise.

Activists campaigning to end slavery 200 years ago did not accept a compromise for slaves to have a few hours off on a Sunday afternoon in the ‘hope’ that they could be free at later time, there cannot be a compromise on human rights.

Say No! to Prohibition Lite

Greg Me