The Monstrous, Cruel and Ignorant Health Minister Of Jersey.
“It would be irresponsible to allow the importation of cannabis into Jersey. I could not support a proposition to issue a special licence to an individual for the possession of illegal cannabis in its raw form, where neither the quality nor composition of the product, its safety, dosage or levels of individual use could be effectively monitored and I would urge members to vote firmly against this proposition.”
Deputy Anne Pryke, September 2014
Jersey is in an enviable position regarding medicinal cannabis. As a Crown dependency the island has constitutional rights of self-government and judicial independence. It is within the power of Deputy Pryke, the Minister of Health, to issue a licence for Bedrocan medicinal cannabis to be imported from Holland where it is grown legally for medicinal purposes under the regulation of the Dutch government.
A formal States petition has been delivered and Deputy Montford Tadier (the Jersey equivalent of an MP) has requested that an import licence be issued for his constituent, Evelyn Volante who suffers from ulcerative colitis. See a video about her use of medicinal cannabis here. You see above the disgraceful, monstrous, cruel and ignorant words which Deputy Pryke has spoken in response.
Now these are strong words. Too strong for the people at Politics Jersey, where my description of this politician’s conduct met with wide support but then I was kicked out by the admin team who described it as a “personal attack” and an “insult”.
I repeat my description of Deputy Pryke’s conduct as monstrous and cruel. If we cannot call out politicians for actions they take or words they speak in their official capacity then what sort of democracy do they have in Jersey?
To deny anyone access to a medicine that is proven by science to treat a serious medical condition is monstrous and cruel in any and all circumstances. This is a self-evident truth which renders Deputy Pryke unfit to hold any office in government, particularly that of Minister of Health.
Deputy Pryke’s words are also astonishingly ignorant. It is clear that she has been negligent in her duty properly to consider the evidence relating to cannabis and ulcerative colitis.
Cannabis works for all forms of inflammatory bowel disease because the bowel contains CB1 and CB2 receptors which when modulated by cannabis turn off inflammation. Thus it provides more than simply palliative relief. It actually treats the cause of the conditions. For all intents and purposes it is a cure.
Bedrocan cannabis, as approved and regulated by the Dutch government’s Bureau voor Medicinale Cannabis, is strictly quality controlled and its composition and safety are at least as well proven as any pharmaceutical product. As for levels of individual use, this is the same as with any medicine and is controlled by the amount prescribed.
1. The best evidence of all is Ms Volante’s own experience. She already uses cannabis, illegally, and it works better for her than the highly toxic and debilitating pharmaceutical medicines which are offered by her doctor.
2. There is a vast quantity of anecdotal evidence and personal experience from thousands of people around the world using cannabis effectively to treat ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and other forms of inflammatory bowel disease. Deputy Pryke could spend 15 minutes on Google.
3. Many peer reviewed studies show positive benefits and few adverse side effects from treating ulcerative colitis with cannabis. The following are just a small selection
Esposito G et al. Cannabidiol in inflammatory bowel disease: a brief overview. Phytotherapy Research 2012 July; doi:10.1002/ptr.4781
Lahat A et al. Impact of cannabis treatment on the quality of life, weight and clinical disease activity in inflammatory bowel disease patients: a pilot prospective study. Digestion 2012; 85(1): 1-8
Lal S et al. Cannabis use amongst patients with inflammatory bowel disease. European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2011 Oct; 23(10): 891-96
Naftali T et al. Treatment of Crohn’s disease with cannabis: an observational study. Israel Medical Association Journal 2011 Aug; 1(8): 455-58
4. GW Pharmaceuticals is presently conducting phase II clinical trials into cannabis for ulcerative colitis.
5. The Meir Medical Center in Israel is also conducting clinical trials and claims 90% of patients achieve significant clinical benefit with no side effects.