Police Seize Legal Medical Cannabis After Patient Called Them To Report Harassment

A fully legal medical cannabis patient in the UK has had his medication seized by police officers after he called them to report harassment from his neighbours.

Posting on the subreddit r/UKmedicalcannabis, user u/RespectYarn says his legally prescribed cannabis flower was seized by Norfolk Police after he reported his neighbours for harassing him – ironically, over his medical cannabis use.  

The post is titled: “My Adven 17 [medical cannabis product] was seized at my home today following my reporting of a harassment issue from my neighbours (stemming from their issue around smelling cannabis immediately outside my property).”

There are two videos of the incident posted on YouTube, where you can clearly see that the officers in attendance have little knowledge of the fact that medical cannabis has been legal in the UK since 2018 and that cannabis flower can be legally prescribed by private clinics. 

Seized

The patient in question, Ryan Specter, who is clearly well versed in the medical cannabis laws in the UK, is visibly upset at having his medication seized and by the officers’ clear ignorance surrounding medical cannabis. 

The videos of the incident can be seen here and here

In the second video, Mr Specter explains to the officers the trouble he’s been having with his neighbours shouting obscenities outside his house directed at his use of medical cannabis. However, the officers are more interested in Mr Specter’s cannabis than with his complaints. 

Disbelief

After Mr Specter explains how cannabis has been legal since 2018, he is met by groans of disbelief from the attending officers, who continue to press him for proof.

Mr Specter then shows them the prescription label on the side of his medical cannabis container, as well as emails from his prescribing clinic – although these are not deemed to be worthy proof. 

Mr Specter then shows them the prescription label on the side of his medical cannabis container, as well as emails from his prescribing clinic – although these are not deemed to be worthy proof. 

They ask him if it has been prescribed by the NHS, to which Mr Specter informs them that the NHS will not prescribe medical cannabis, only private clinics will – in this case, Sapphire Clinics based in London. 

The officers are clearly puzzled by the pot of medical cannabis, with the female officer taking a sniff and saying: “That’s just cannabis, isn’t it?”

Me Specter replies: “Well, it’s in the name, medical cannabis.” 

Later, after acknowledging that cannabis oil can be legal for medical use, the male officer points to the cannabis flower and says: “The problem I have is what you’ve given me there is what I look at on the street all the time.”

“The fact it’s in a plastic tub with labels on it doesn’t change what’s in it, that’s the problem.”

The situation comes to a close after the officers arrest Mr Specter and seize the medication. He is informed informed that, should their investigation prove his medication is legal, it will be returned.  

Commenting on the incident, Mr Specter says: “I’m disheartened that after nearly four years of the legal framework being in place for the use of prescription cannabis, that police officers are not given a higher degree of training in dealing with such matters.

“It’s not like we’re talking about some relatively obscure offence like computer misuse, drug arrests are the police’s bread and butter and as such officers should have a much more intimate understanding of such a pivotal change in how they would have to carry out their day to day duties. It’s as simple as that.”

Not the first

In November 2018, the cannabis laws in the UK were amended to allow specialist doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis to their patients. Since then, thousands of patients have been prescribed medical cannabis to treat a wide range of conditions. 

However, this recent case is just another example of UK police being unaware of medical cannabis laws and infringing on patients’ rights.  

There have been a number of cases similar to this where officers have detained patients with legal cannabis prescriptions, confiscated medicines, and also refused to return them. 

Is it too much to ask that the police are up to date with the laws that they are tasked with enforcing?

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2 Comments on “Police Seize Legal Medical Cannabis After Patient Called Them To Report Harassment”

  1. This is harrasment based on a discriminatory pre existing bias of what cannabis is. If Ryan had any other medication, the police would have just phoned the number on the pot, spoken to the clinic or doctor and then been on their way. They put him through this because they are pre dispositioned to bully people for using weed.

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