Dear Home Office,
On 29th June 2018 in The Times newspaper, Nick Hurd MP, minister of state at the Home Office, published the following promise:
"If medicinal and therapeutic benefits are identified, the intention would be to reschedule cannabis-related medicine as a treatment available through GPs. Whilst recent cases in the media have involved epilepsy this would be open to patients suffering from all illnesses where such treatment is identified to benefit them."
Recently, including in response to a written parliamentary question on 7th September 2018, this promise has been dramatically broken and Mr Hurd's message is now wholly different:
"The Home Secretary has confirmed that cannabis-derived medicinal products will be rescheduled. This means that senior clinicians will be able to prescribe the medicines to patients with an exceptional clinical need."
In particular, on the basis of what evidence has it been decided that 'GPs' must now be 'senior clinicians' and 'open to patients suffering from all illnesses where such treatment is identified to benefit them.' has become 'exceptional clinical need'?
What justification or evidence is there for this dramatic tightening of policy when there are already an estimated one million people in the UK using cannabis for medical purposes for conditions ranging from minor aches and pains to terminal cancer?
Please provide full details of all discussions, correspondence, advice and meetings related to this change and all decisions related to it.
Thank you for contacting the Home Office with your request.
This has been assigned to a caseworker (case ref 50150). We will aim to send you a full response by 08/10/2018 which is twenty working days from the date we received your request.
If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact us.
Please find attached our response to your Freedom of Information request.
2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF