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Request for Information RE: who decides when a petition to talk about cannabis is refused?

We're waiting for Cefyn Jones to read recent responses and update the status.

Dear Home Office,

Since 2019 there has been an over 50% approval rating for a conversation about cannabis, be it for decriminalisation or legalisation.

Since 2019 the Home office has received a lot of petitions that is some way focus on cannabis, and not just for the two reasons as stated above.

It is commonly believed that politicians work for the public, and represent their interests. So on that basis, I need to understand how a petition is processed to determine whether or not it's in the public interest to have a conversation on cannabis.

Can I please ask: what process is used to review every petition, how is each petition judged, and can I request all documents or information that shows those petitions have been reviewed via some sort of process.

The timeframe for this request is 01/01/2019 through to the current day (27/11/23)

Yours faithfully,

Cefyn Jones

FOI Requests, Home Office

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FOI Requests,

Dear Cefyn Jones,

Thank you for contacting the Home Office with your request.

This has been assigned to a caseworker (case ref FOI2023/05901). We will
aim to send you a full response by 28th December which is twenty working
days from the date we received your request.

A link to the Home Office Information Rights Privacy Notice can be found
in the following link. This explains how we process your personal
information:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

Kind Regards,

Home Office

FOI Responses, Home Office

1 Attachment

Dear Cefyn Jones,

Please see the attached response to the FOI requests listed in the subject
line.

Yours sincerely,

FOI Responses

 

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Dear Home Office,

Thank you for responding, however the response is for a different FOI request, and doesn't address the actual request being made

Can you confirm that, and send the response appropriate to this request.

Yours faithfully,

Cefyn Jones

FOI Requests, Home Office

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Dear Home Office,

Happy New Year from The Hemp Hound Agency.

Regarding this FOI response, I'm a little confused.

The request for information re: Theresa May and Cannabinoid Policy(case ref FOI2023/05894), that's about cannabinoids collectively, and not just CBD.

The same could be said for FOI2023/05855, which focuses on the placement of Prof. Ben Whalley as the co-chair of the ACMD 'Phytocannabinoid' Working Group.

FOI2023/05849 asks for information RE: Dr Geoffrey Guy and, Lord William Waldegrave and any interactions between them and the Home Office. (You've said there's nothing, but Dr Geoffrey Guy seems to suggest otherwise. The link below is what you need to see)
https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/20...

And ref FOI2023/05905 (yet to be replied to) does ask for details of any communications between the Home Office and Deloitte on the topics of: cannabis, cannabinoids, medicinal cannabis, novel foods, and GW Pharmaceuticals.

It could be argued that they cover 'CBD Policy'...

But, FOI2023/05877 focuses on the potential for a Public-Private Partnership with GW Pharmaceuticals, which in part has been managed by the Home Office. CBD and/or cannabinoids are not mentioned in that request.

FOI2023/05897 related to 'cannabis samples', given by the Home Office to GW Pharmaceuticals. There was no mention of CBD and/or cannabinoids in that request.

FOI2023/05901 asks whether a Public Interest Test is applied to all rejected petitions that ask for a conversation on cannabis.

Finally, FOI2023/05894 requests information, specifically communications between Jacqui Smith and Gordon Brown (yet to be replied to) re 'cannabis'.

So we have a 50/50 split, which is strangely convenient for what I'm about to say.

The Home Office has been at the forefront of a battle: cannabis is a bad word, but cannabinoids come from cannabis, and the intent with cannabinoids is spelt out in the TIGRR report.

The same is the case for cannabis, in that there's no intent to legalise it whilst making the UK a powerhouse for medicinal CBD and cannabinoid based products.

So here's the issue, if you're saying that all of these FOIs apply to 'CBD policy', I don't think the Home Office has considered what the implications are for that.

FOI2023/05877 - Are you saying that any PPP that exists 'could' be more focused on cannabinoids and not cannabis?

FOI2023/05897 - Are you saying that you gave GW samples of cannabis specifically to test with the results being able to influence CBD policy?

FOI2023/05901 - Are petitions for a conversation about cannabis being blocked because of CBD policy?

FOI2023/05894 - Are you saying that Gordon Brown ordered Jacqui Smith to reclassify cannabis in 2008 due to CBD policy?

I would appreciate some clarity on this before moving forward. Specifically, I need to know what FOI's you deem are focused to CBD policy.

Yours faithfully,

Cefyn Jones

FOI Requests, Home Office

Thank you for contacting the Home Office  Freedom of Information Requests
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This is to acknowledge  receipt of your email.

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FOI Requests,

Dear Cefyn Jones,

Thank you for contacting the Home Office with your request.

This has been assigned to a caseworker (case ref FOI2024/00009). We will
aim to send you a full response by 30th January which is twenty working
days from the date we received your request.

A link to the Home Office Information Rights Privacy Notice can be found
in the following link. This explains how we process your personal
information:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

Kind Regards,

Home Office

FOI Responses, Home Office

1 Attachment

Dear Cefyn Jones,

Thank you for your email. Our original response attached addresses the FOI requests that you have sent (namely, FOI2023/05894, FOI2023/05900, and FOI2023/05901). Section 12 of the FOIA allows us to refuse to provide the information because attempting to meet your requests exceeds the cost limit. Please see our original response for more details.

Regards,
FOI Responses

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Dear Home Office,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Home Office's handling of my FOI request 'Request for Information RE: who decides when a petition to talk about cannabis is refused?'.

The Home Office has combined two FOI's, FOI2023/05894 and FOI2023/05900, with this one, FOI2023/05901, and then stated that they couldn't reply on the basis of Sect 12 of the FOIA.

The reason given for combining the three is because they believe the questions relate to CBD Policy..

But the problem is that they've replied to one, FOI2023/05901, stating that it's the Petitions Committee and the Offices of the Leaders of the Houses of Parliament who deal with them.

That has nothing to do with CBD policy either, in fact I've never heard of CBD Policy until the Home Office responded to these FOI's.

But, surely that FOI is now dealt with? So I don't understand why it is combined with the other FOI's.

Then there are the other two FOI's in this response:

FOI2023/05900 - I asked for information about Theresa May's influence on Cannabinoid Policy, which is broader than CBD Policy, but the Home Office disregarded this FOI stating: In this case, this limit would be exceeded because of the time taken to seek historical records from before 2010, as well as identify and work out what is meant by “Theresa May’s influence on policy” as well as collating information on policy you have requested relating to CBD.

I wasn't asked to clarify my request, and I do think there's a clear distinction between Cannabinoid Policy and CBD Policy.

That being said, that one FOI is the only one out of the three that mentions the word 'policy'

Finally, FOI2023/05894 - It is public knowledge that Jacqui Smith said Gordon Brown told her to reclassify cannabis in 2008. I wasn't aware that there was anything outside of cannabis policy at the time, and my stated intention was to obtain communications between Smith and Brown to verify her claims.

There was no mention of policy outside of FOI2023/05900, until the Home Office's response.

Not only do I feel that they are wrong to group these three FOI together, I also feel that any FOI that involves cannabis can be described as asking about CBD Policy.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/r...

Thank you for your time in looking at this.

Yours faithfully,

Cefyn Jones

FOI Requests, Home Office

Thank you for contacting the Home Office  Freedom of Information Requests
Mailbox.

This is to acknowledge  receipt of your email.

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FOI Requests,

Dear Cefyn Jones,

Thank you for contacting the Home Office with your request for an internal
review.

This has been assigned to a caseworker (case ref IR2024/00266). We will
aim to send you a full response by 1st February which is twenty working
days from the date we received your request.

Kind Regards,

Home Office

FOI Responses, Home Office

1 Attachment

Please see attached

 

Regards

 

S.Wilson

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Cefyn Jones please sign in and let everyone know.