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Anorak | Top Tories profit from the cannabis they say only criminals sell

Top Tories profit from the cannabis they say only criminals sell

by | 13th, May 2018

Cannabis is a dull drug that induces apathy. Maybe something in the air confused Victoria Atkins, the drugs minister. Her husband, Paul Kenward, is managing director at British Sugar, operator of Britain’s biggest legal cannabis farm. But there’s no conflict of interest between he and she’s jobs. Perish the thought. The Home Office said she had “voluntarily recused herself from policy or decisions relating to cannabis”. It’s all ok because the drugs minister won’t talk about, er, drugs.

The drugs policy is a mess. If you grow cannabis illegally, you can be locked away for 14 years. Kenward’s business is fine because it grows the banned weed for a new epilepsy medicine soon to be approved in the US – it was licensed in 2016; Atkins became a minister in 2017. Sill it all stinks stronger than that nasty skunk crap.

The Sundays Times adds:

[Atkins] She does not declare Kenward’s role in the register of ministerial or MPs’ interests, though she mentioned it in a debate when she was a backbencher. Cabinet Office guidelines say interests held by the “close family members” of ministers should be declared where they “are, or might reasonably be perceived to be, directly relevant to a minister’s ministerial responsibilities”.

Whoops!

Steve Moore, of Volteface, a think-tank on drug policy, tells the paper: “The medical use of cannabis and its wider decriminalisation is rising up the political agenda. But we have the ridiculous situation of the drugs minister being unable to speak in parliament or make decisions on one of the most important parts of her job.”

Ridiculous. Hypocritical. Wrong. Stupid. And useless for people who suffer from conditions that cannabis can alleviate.

Atkins, a barrister and former criminal drugs prosecutor, has been a firm opponent of decriminalising or regulating cannabis, saying its brief downgrading to a class C drug during the Blair government had a “terrible” impact and that the “gun-toting criminals” who control the trade would not suddenly “become law-abiding citizens” if it was legalised.

In 2017, she opined:

“We are talking about gun-toting criminals, who think nothing of shooting each other and the people who carry their drugs for them. What on Earth does my Honorable Friend think their reaction will be to the idea of drugs being regulated? Does he really think that these awful people are suddenly going to become law-abiding citizens? I do not share the optimism of others about tackling the problem through regulation.”

Maybe they’ll all get jobs at her husband’s firm?

The paper adds:

In her first three months in her post, between November and early February, Atkins gave 17 Commons speeches or ministerial parliamentary answers about drugs, including several on cannabis-based drugs known as cannabinoids. In the three months since, she has not spoken about drugs in the Commons and has answered only six written questions on the subject.

And there’s more.

The majority of this “legal” cannabis is produced by one company: GW Pharmaceuticals.

GW made headlines in 2010 after releasing Sativex: a controversial, cannabinoid-based, medication, legal to purchase in the UK.

Sativex is “an oromucosal spray of a formulated extract of the cannabis sativa plant that contains the principal cannabinoids delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) in a 1:1 ratio.”

GW is legally growing cannabis containing THC despite the British Government viewing cannabis as having “no medicinal properties,” refusing to remove it from Schedule I, the strictest level of drug schedule.

And:

GW was granted a licence from the Home Office in 1998 to grow cannabis plants for medical use and in 2010 the UK became the first country in the world to authorise a prescription medicine derived from cannabis.

This site adds:

[Theresa] May’s husband, Philip May works for Capital group, which has a 19% holding in GW through its subsidiary, Capital Research Management Company.

Bit hypocritial?

It’s no what you know, it;’s who you blow…



Posted: 13th, May 2018 | In: News Comment | TrackBack | Permalink