Medical Use Of ‘Cannabis Containing Products’

November 7, 2014

Government revealed in today’s [Nov 7] Throne Speech, that the Legislature “will be invited to approve” legal amendments to permit the use of what they said were “specific forms of cannabinoid drugs [cannabis-containing products] for medical purposes.”

In addition, the Throne Speech said the Caution Policy “will be amended to permit greater discretion on the part of police officers when dealing with first- time offenders who might otherwise have been charged with simple possession of cannabis.”

The relevant portion of the Throne Speech said, “As promised, the Government has led the debate on the issues surrounding cannabis use in this community.

“Significant public engagement, augmented by scientific research and a full consideration of the criminal justice implications, has helped to shape the Government’s position on these matters.

“Therefore, in this Session, the Legislature will be invited to approve amendments to the Pharmacy and Poisons Act 1979 and the Misuse of Drugs Act 1972 to permit the use of specific forms of cannabinoid drugs [cannabis-containing products] for medical purposes.

“Additionally, in consultation with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Bermuda Police Service and the Ministry of Legal Affairs. the Caution Policy will be amended to permit greater discretion on the part of police officers when dealing with first- time offenders who might otherwise have been charged with simple possession of cannabis.

“The Government will also examine the ramifications of fixed penalty notices for certain minor offences. Fixed penalties allow police to issue on-the-spot fines to persons committing an offence, giving them the opportunity to pay the fine out-of-court.

“Fixed penalties can ease the burden on the criminal justice system through the elimination of unnecessary court appearances.”

View our live blog covering the Throne Speech here, all our 2014 Throne Speech coverage here, and all our coverage on the discussion surrounding decriminalization of cannabis here.

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  1. Premier Dunkley's Post-Throne Speech Remarks - : | November 10, 2014
  1. Bye election says:

    OBA,Thankyou for what you are doing for Bermuda.
    The former govt did not address the telling issues as they were only interested in self serving.
    Hopefully your time as govt will be long so that more can be done to help us.

    • sage says:

      Still penalizing cannabis is still ridiculous, not good enough. There are no penalties for the really harmful drugs, cigarettes and liquor. Specific forms of cannabinoid drugs sounds like GW Pharma rep got what they wanted.

    • Infidelguy says:

      The OBA is doing as little as possible on this issue. They, like previous administrations, continue to play politics with reforming our marijuana laws. They are only interested in appeasing entities who stand to gain financially from the medicinal use of marijuana. My guess is we will likely see legislation allowing the use of products such as Marinol — which is produced and controlled by big pharma companies.

      You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can notfool all of the people all of the time.

  2. bermyguy says:

    finally logic and reason is being used to handle marijuana progressis being made on this issue

  3. Legalize it! Stop calling it a drug and tell the truth about why it was made illegal in the first place.

    • Will says:

      they couldnt tell you why it was made illegal..they are just doing what the US mandated politicians around the world to do…like puppets

    • Creamy says:

      If it isn’t a drug, I guess it has no medical benefit then.

      • I and I says:

        Ginger aids in indigestion,chamomile calms the mind and body,thyme is a powerful antiseptic!Just three plants out of tens of thousands that have medical benefit and are not labeled a DRUG!!!!

  4. N/A says:

    For the life of me, I’ll never understand why, in the year 2014/15, we are still discussing the legality of cannabis for ANY use, let alone medicinal use. Conclusive and verifiable facts have shown cigarettes and alcohol to be far more dangerous, yet both are perfectly legal. If we continue to allow incompetent politicians to create and maintain our laws, we as Bermudian people are in serious trouble…

    • Bryan says:

      See….the reason why its still illegal in Bermuda and in most othet countries, is because people haven’t found their freedoms violated on marijuana (being told that they cannot use the plant)
      Oh, a fellow union employee gets fired, there’s people “marching in the streets” for that.
      Someone gets shot while being unarmed? Peaceful (or otherwise) protests begin to take place.

      But the heavy handedness and fear that is perpetuated on people because of the use or possession of marijuana???
      Ain’t nobody marching for that.


      • I and I says:

        In total agreement!

      • Carlton Smith says:

        There have been marches and petitions a plenty. Every single one got big support from the electorate. Every single one got ignored by Parliament.

        As a result the people who NEED marijuana (medical) can’t get it and are doing, and the people who everyone speaks negatively about (recreational usersand smokers) have free and easy access to it.

        The numbers don’t lie: over SIX TONS are consumed annually.

        Weed smokers are reading this while smoking a joint and laughing at the silly misguided perspectives.

        • Creamy says:

          The last march in support of pot was well-publicised and was attended by about 8 people.

  5. This just maybe one of the wises choices the One Bermuda Alliance can possibly make e.g. if they were to decriminalize “weed”.
    It’s well overdue! What would be far better is if the O.B.A. along with the support of the P.L.P. take the $ value out of “weed”. Yes, then we will notice a vivid difference in crimes being committed on this Island for many are without any doubt, related to narcotics :-(

    • Those who have spent their lives fighting for pot, still won’t get the control of it if it were made legal.That privilege will go to those with money or the Drs. and pharmacies.

      • Creamy says:

        It would be much better if, for example, fathers were allowed to give mind-altering substances ti their two-year-old kids. Nothing wrong with that, surely. Not irresponsible or anything.

      • Truth Teller says:

        A true Rodney…a true!

  6. pimp squad holding it down says:

    it aint a drug but most of my friends that don’t have a job still need to buy what is called “loud” high grade for $400 a quarter ounce.

    • damn.... says:

      oh shes loud alright. but $400…someones ripping your friends off. I can link it for MUCH less

  7. sage says:

    “Fixed penalties can ease the burden on the criminal justice system through the elimination of unnecessary court appearances.” Oh yes the poor criminal justice system , so burdensome to persecute and prosecute people for a medicinal plant for no good reason, it must be hell on them, imprisoning people unjustly destroying careers, families, travel opportunities, the economy (millions wasted), takes its toll I’m sure. Lets give all involved a fat bonus too.

  8. street wise says:

    This is just a baby step. Unfortunately… I dont think this Govt has the cahonies to legalize cannabis until after the US Federal Govt legalizes it… And the Feds have a lot of vested interests to deal with first. Including their ridiculous No Fly list!

  9. Next says:

    Looks like a lot of people are going to come down with a sudden case of glaucoma.

  10. Will says:

    Just legalise it already! 4 states plus the District of Columbia have legalised and we all know Bermuda (and the world) is waiting for the US to do it first anyway…and seeing as though its going that way we might as well just do it already! Also giving police the power to caution is probably not going to work…its easier for the BPS to charge low level offenders for possession because its an easy crime to deal with..non violent and means you get to stay away from the dangerous crimes….lets see how this plays out.

    • Lucky says:

      The legalization of weed in those 4 states is still really really recent. When new legislation like this is implemented, it is really important to measure its effects. I feel as though this is why many countries are not quickly following suit.

      It makes sense to wait and see how this legislation has impacted the states that have legalized marijuana. It will be interesting to review data on crime, employment and the like after maybe 3 years have passed since the implementation.

      Research and legislation go hand in hand. Yes, the law needs to respond to societal changes, but they cannot do so without first examining the data and researching the effects. Legislation is not like a Facebook status, it cannot be edited or deleted every second. It’s like this for a reason- it ensures that adequate consideration and research has been done before implementing such huge changes.

  11. Larry Woolgar says:

    This is not good enough. Yes, it’s good for some people who are ill, but the war on drugs has failed and I’m sick and tired of paying for the huge longstanding mistake. LEGALIZE AND REGULATE!

  12. animallover says:

    For Real, let’s get this done, once and for all.

  13. Norman newsom says:

    £400 for quarter the input of canabis into bermuda must be controlled by government as you can buy that for £30 in uk

  14. more than enough says:

    Slow right out of the gate…as usual.

  15. Alan Gordon says:

    They really do like these over-priced, useless patented $$$$ versions of medical cannabis, don’t they. I wonder if anyone has paid money for Bermuda to take such a perspective.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      So during your campaign for medical herb did you ever talk about the differences or did you just have something else in mind without coming out and saying it ?
      I can’t recall .

  16. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    products mean processed…processed means poison…round n round the mulberry bush!

    • I McH**t says:

      How much of the weed that you people want to legalize is grown “naturally” (not by hydroponics) or cut with with some other substance. Stop pretending its good and admit you just want to get high. Keep it illegal!!

      • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

        i see you’re still asking questions which leads me to believe that you are still ignorant of the facts…but yet you make a statement like : “Keep it illegal”…ummm who do you really think you are,to dictate to the lives of many, many people that you don’t even know…and quite possibly someone you do.

  17. Loud says:

    Colorado is going to be giving annual tax rebates to their citizens because they are making so much money from taxing the sale of marijuana!!! The Bermuda government needs to open their eyes!!

  18. Malcolm Kyle says:

    ” … specific forms of cannabinoid drugs [cannabis-containing products] for medical purposes”

    Reducing cannabis to just THC (Marinol), minimizes efficacy and greatly increases side effects.

    “THC is actually a single molecule — and THC alone is horrible. That’s what Marinol is, and that’s why no one wants to take it. It makes you very uncomfortable and it doesn’t get you high in the sense that it gives people relief. It gets you stressed, which is why Marinol isn’t used by anyone with an alternative — plus, it costs something like $1,500 a month.”
    —Dr. Robert Melamede, Professor of Biology at the University of Colorado,

    Many scientists believe—and patients agree with them—that Marinol/dronabinol lacks the beneficial properties of marijuana/cannabis, which contains more than 60 cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD), which is thought to be the major anticonvulsant that helps multiple sclerosis patients, and cannabichromene (CBC), an anti-inflammatory which is believed to contribute to the pain-killing effect of cannabis.

    It takes two to four hours for Marinol to reach full effect, compared to minutes for smoked or vaporized cannabis. Patients accustomed to inhaling just enough cannabis smoke to manage symptoms have complained of too-intense intoxication from Marinol’s predetermined dosages. Further, If a patient is suffering from nausea it makes it near impossible to keep a pill down. Many have also said that Marinol even produces a far more acute psychedelic effect than cannabis.

    The following two paragraphs come from “Marijuana and Medicine”, a report published by the Institute of Medicine, March 1999:

    “Marinol is synthesized in the laboratory rather than extracted from the plant. Its manufacture is complex and expensive because of the numerous steps needed for purification. The poor solubility of Marinol in aqueous solutions, and its high first-pass metabolism in the liver, account for its poor bioavailability; only 10-20% of an oral dose reaches the systemic circulation.
    The onset of action is slow; peak plasma concentrations are not attained until two to four hours after dosing. In contrast, inhaled marijuana is rapidly absorbed…”

”Marinol’s most common adverse events are associated with the central nervous system (CNS); anxiety, confusion, depersonalization, dizziness, euphoria, dysphoria, somnolence, and thinking abnormality.”

    Marinol (Dronabinol) = 1500 USD per month

    Marijuana = practically free if you grow your own outdoors.

    Cannabis is safe. The Queen of all herbs, with euphoria-inducing and life-preserving qualities . . . and need euphoria be a bad thing?

  19. running from the cure. says:

    So out of one side of the health ministers mouth marijuana is bad… Then out of the other side they tryna sell us on some products derived from marijuana..(diluted) forms .. So which is it … Is marijuana good or bad…

    • Creamy says:

      So you’re not really interested in medical marijuana. You just want to get high.

  20. running from the cure. says:

    The government needs to realize that they can not feed us all types of false propaganda in a time when knowledge is at our fingertips… They need to be honest with themselves first and ask the question, is cannabis as harmful as we have been led too believe… Can this plant really benefit us as a country.. And last but not least how to regulate to keep it away from minors… Once their eyes are no longer close and their minds are opened they will be able to see this remarkable plant for what it is.. They will also recognize that this plant also has the potential to increase visitors to the island … That’s a garuntee… No more spending all this crazy money for somebody to tell us what to do to get our tourism industry back on track.. Gone are the days of u thinking that you can lie to the people about the truths about marijuana.. Legalize the healing of the nations..

  21. LOL (Original TM*) says:

    Want to beat race politics OBA this is the way to do it. Mark my words if you legalise this plant it wont matter what the PLP race cards say or do. You would win hands down. Don’t believe me try to go to the poles without doing it.


  22. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    Washington (CNN) — Voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. have voted to approve sweeping pro-marijuana legalization, according to a CNN projections.
    The three wins have pro-legalization activists enthused and many are already looking towards 2016, when ballot initiatives in states such as California, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada and Arizona are likely to be put to voters.
    In Oregon, the law legalizes personal possession, manufacture and sale of marijuana for people 21 years of age and older. Mimicking similar plans in Washington State and Colorado, the Oregon law will also create a commercial regulatory system for the production, distribution and sale of marijuana.
    Alaska’s law is similar to Oregon and would tax and regulate the production, sale and use of marijuana, making the use legal for people over 21 years old
    Washington, D.C.’s proposal, while scaled back compared to the others, allows for a person over 21 years old to posses up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use and grow up to six cannabis plants in their home. It also allows people to transfer up to one ounce of marijuana to another person, but not sell it.
    Photos: History of marijuana in America Photos: History of marijuana in America
    The issue is not fully resolved for the District of Columbia, however. Because of its unique status as a district, not a state, Congress has the authority to overrule D.C. laws and some lawmakers have signaled that they would likely work to overrule the popular vote.
    Pro-marijuana activists heralded the victories as “huge” on Tuesday.
    ‘I like weed, and I’m a good person’: Pot smokers fight stereotypes
    “It’s always an uphill battle to win a marijuana legalization initiative in a year like this, when young people are so much less likely to vote, which makes today’s victory all the sweeter,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance said about Oregon. “The pace of reform is accelerating, other states are sure to follow, and even Congress is poised to wake from its slumber.”
    Wins in Washington, D.C. also have activists hoping for federal recognition.
    “With marijuana legal in the federal government’s backyard,” said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, “it’s going to be increasingly difficult for national politicians to continue ignoring the growing majority of voters who want to end prohibition.”

  23. Rasta says:

    The OBA will win the next election if they make sure people with small amounts do not become criminals.Just do it !

    • sage says:

      People with small amounts or even huge amounts of deadly drugs like cancer sticks and devils’ soup are never considered criminals nor their suppliers, her doesn’t kill it heals, why should it remain punishable by law at all? Are we that stupid?

  24. skinnydipper says:

    My question is where will the government or the pharmaceutical people get it from…if they import …more Bermuda money being exported when we can grown right here in Bermuda

    • Toodle-oo says:

      What ‘medical’ purpose does the raw product provide other than relief from nausea ?

      Are you suggesting that we both grow it here and process it for it’s medicinal uses ?

      • sage says:

        Oh no, we’re so flush with cash why would we want to produce a commodity locally, creating jobs and circulating money on island when we can just have someone else do it and then import it? Buy Bermuda? A little self reliance maybe?