Closed petition Remove cannabis from Schedule One & not just the States/MDAC approved products.
This petition is dedicated to getting the States of Jersey to legalise cannabis, at the very least it should be legalised for medical purposes so as not to punish those in need.
If we legalise cannabis the move would have numerous benefits outside of the obvious medicinal ones.
This would increase tourism, decrease crime rates, curb the opioid/prescription drug epidemic, add numerous (new) taxable revenue streams/fees with added GST, decrease unemployment and take money away from criminal organisations.
Cannabis is a wellness medication with curative & palliative qualities, the APPG Barnes report confirmed this, yet cannabis remains in Schedule One meaning the States consider it to have no therapeutic value, no medicinal properties. #ReeferMadness
Regulate & Educate
The States discussed this at 3.18 on 11/09/2018:
This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months
This response was given on 2 December 2018
The States recently agreed to bring forward legislation to allow cannabis-derived medicinal products to be prescribed. However Cannabis remains a controlled drug.
Cannabis is a controlled drug in Class B of the Misuse of Drugs (Jersey) Law 1978 and a Schedule 1 controlled drug under the Misuse of Drugs (General Provisions) Jersey Order 2009.
The States recently adopted a Proposition asking the Health Minister to bring forward legislation such that all medical professionals should have the right to legally prescribe quality-assured (ie manufactured or produced to good manufacturing practice standards) cannabis-derived medicinal products. These products are unlicensed medicinal products and not what are termed ‘authorised’ or ‘licensed’ medicines.
The intention is to reclassify cannabis-based medicinal products to Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs (General Provisions) (Jersey) 0rder 2009 so that they can be lawfully prescribed.
Following this amendment to legislation, possession and personal importation (not by post) of the products which have been rescheduled by individuals who have sought treatment from doctors outside of Jersey would be lawful.
Reclassification of these products will create a legal framework to provide for the prescription of the cannabis-based products deemed suitable for medicinal use – in the same way that morphine, diamorphine (heroin) and fentanyl (which are also controlled drugs with established medicinal uses) are currently legally prescribable by medical practitioners and other authorised, qualified prescribers.
It has to be recognised that there are limitations and risks of using unlicensed products. The decision on whether or not it is clinically appropriate to use a cannabis-based product must rest with medical professionals. Medical practitioners are in the best position to employ strategies to minimise any potential risks and to balance these against patient need. No such safeguards are in place for cannabis generally.
There is no intention of descheduling or rescheduling cannabis per se. Cannabis remains a controlled drug. Reclassifying certain cannabis-related medicinal products will not make herbal cannabis legal. No changes to the law regarding cultivation are planned. Cannabis and cannabis resin will remain class B controlled drugs and cannabinol and its derivatives would remain Class A controlled drugs even when contained in a medicinal product. Unauthorised production, manufacture, importation, possession and supply would remain offences with the same penalties as currently.
This means it will still be illegal for individuals to use cannabis for recreational purposes, to grow cannabis, or to import cannabis (not contained in a medicinal product which has been prescribed by a doctor) themselves, or to self-medicate. Any use which had not been authorised/prescribed by a medical practitioner and supplied by a pharmacy would still be unlawful.
The NHS warns that cannabis use carries a number of risks, such as impairing the ability to drive, as well as causing harm to lungs if smoked and harm to mental health, fertility and to unborn babies. www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/cannabis-the-facts/
The changes relating to cannabis-based medicinal products do not herald the liberalisation of the Island’s drug laws. There is currently no intention to reclassify cannabis that is not contained in a cannabis-derived medicinal product or to legalise cannabis for any other purpose. Recent moves are not intended as a first step to the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use – including smoked cannabis or any form of ‘street’ cannabis.
Any general reclassification of cannabis would be a matter of public interest and would require wide consultation and ultimately a States debate.
Other parliamentary business
Scheduling of cannabis under Jersey law: written question from Deputy Tadier
The following written question was tabled by Deputy Tadier and answered by the Minister for Health and Social Services on 11 September:
What is the Minister’s assessment of the finding of ‘Cannabis: The Evidence for Medical Use’ (i.e. the Barnes Report) that “cannabis does have medicinal value and continuing placement of cannabis under Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, which thus states it is of no medicinal value, is inaccurate and misleading”; will he undertake to re-visit the scheduling of cannabis under Jersey law; if not, will he explain why not; and, if so, will he state when cannabis will be removed from Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs (Jersey) Law 1978?
The Barnes Report continued in the following sentence to state: “We consider that the evidence firmly suggests that cannabis should be a legal product for medicinal use, as long as the quality of the product is guaranteed and the supply chain secured and that medicinal users are, as far as possible and practicable, entered into long term studies of both efficacy and side effects.”
The advice received from the Misuse of Drugs Advisory Council (MDAC), partly in response to the Barnes Report but also other reviews as well, was to reschedule specified cannabis-derived products which satisfy the requirements of quality in order that they could, where deemed clinically appropriate, be prescribed for patients. This is what is being done.
Should new evidence become available and MDAC advises that cannabis in its entirety should be rescheduled then I would be willing to review the position. In the meantime, I will consider the adoption of the proposed generic definition of cannabis-derived medicinal products being developed by the UK as soon as it is available and place this definition in the appropriate schedule as advised by MDAC.