Medicinal cannabis? We could grow our own, says Deputy

In an open letter, Deputy Montfort Tadier has asked Health Minister Andrew Green to consider licensing Island growers to produce medicinal cannabis.

His comments come after Senator Green told the States Assembly this week that finding appropriate suppliers that are prepared to deliver cannabis-based medicine products to Jersey has been ‘more difficult than originally envisaged’.

Earlier this year, Senator Green revealed that following advice from the Jersey Misuse of Drugs Advisory Council he was looking into whether certain medicinal cannabis products could be made legal and added that he could lodge proposals to legalise certain products before the end of the year. However, he told the States on Monday that his original timescale had slipped.

In an open letter published yesterday, Deputy Tadier says he has written to the minister to pass on the concerns that many Jersey people ‘are being delayed in legally accessing effective medicine’.

He adds: ‘It is nothing short of an act of cruelty to force patients to choose to live with pain and not access their chosen medication, or to potentially criminalise themselves and access unregulated and variable-quality medicine from the black market. They can of course choose to grow it themselves, ensuring quality, but still risking prosecution and jail.’

Deputy Tadier says he understands that quality-verified, medicinal cannabis already exists in the brands ‘Tilray’ in Canada and ‘Bedrocan’ in the Netherlands and says if the issue is getting medicinal cannabis through UK Customs ‘maybe the answer is to license our own growers here’.

He adds: ‘Why not put the fields to use in that way, and export the surplus? If we can grown hemp for rope, we can grow it for medicinal use too.

‘The benefits would be economic as well as environmental.’

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