Statement regarding the legality of medical cannabis in the UK

We have received numerous queries with regards to recent claims that the importing of medical cannabis is now legal with a UK prescription. We have been silent, on what is an extremely bold claim, for some time because we have been privately making our own inquiries in an attempt to verify this.

To date, no legal advice we have received has been of the opinion that it is legal to import cannabis into the UK without an import licence, which the Home Office systematically denies to all personal applicants. We have obtained verbal confirmation from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs that they have no discretion over the importation of controlled drugs and they are obliged to enforce the law, set by the Home Office. We also received a letter from the HMRC underlining that the import of cannabis remains legal only with a valid import licence issued from the Home Office.

We are still waiting for an official Home Office response regarding the legality of importing cannabis without an import licence but with a UK-issued prescription. We will publish this when it arrives.

We would also ask our members to apply common sense, ask themselves why there has been no press coverage of this issue and why no other cannabis campaigning organisation in the world has seen fit to endorse or even comment on it.

For the time being, we cannot recommend for the safety of our members that they attempt this route. From the advice we have obtained so far, attempting to import validly prescribed medical cannabis remains unlawful and a matter of civil disobedience. If any cannabis user or activist is willing to undertake this route NORML UK will of course support them in every way possible but they MUST realise and accept the potential risks, including arrest, confiscation of goods, prosecution and conviction. This is not a safe path for those who cannot risk a criminal record and the possession of cannabis remains an offence in the UK. Having said this, it should be noted that the 2012 sentencing guidelines that importation for sole personal medical use is classed as a “lesser offence”.

Finally, NORML UK has members at every level of our organisation who use cannabis as their medicine. We are just as desperate for medical cannabis to be available in this country as any other medical cannabis user. We will investigate and pursue every possible avenue to speed up the political process so that none of us will ever be persecuted again for using our medicine. But we will never pretend that the UK situation is rosier than it is. We are truly in this with you.

We will be continuing to hold our cannabis hypocrisy protest on Wednesday to draw attention to the numerous hypocrisies of our cannabis laws, everyone is welcome to attend.

For further information, visit:

Cannabis Hypocrisy Protest to be held near Parliament on Wednesday 9th October 2013.

Posted in News and tagged , , , , .


  1. Thankyou guys especially you steve I would try if a had the time money or freedom from tiddlers.
    I stand with you proudly and honestly and will help all I can

  2. Go steve with you 100 percent. Id go with you but the cash situation is holding me back. Good luck if you go for it. P.s I fond a story on inside out london its on youtube its the beeb so maybe not to be trusted but? You all have probably seen this any way.

  3. Pingback: About CLEAR and that “Legal Medical Cannabis” claim… | | Activism, spirituality and opinion

  4. Weed is kept away from us as it’s a natural medicine that I’m sure cures all kinds of things. My opinion is that the government already know this but legal weed would put scum bag pharmacys out of business and would holt the economy as we would simply grow our own medicine.

  5. Genuine legalised medical importation is long overdue, and it is about time that the U.K took a positive definitive stand over this issue. I know of several people who cannot control their pain any other way, and could seriously improve their quality of life if only they could import medicinal cannabis, however controlled it has to be, in order not to allow abuse.

  6. In my opinion weed should be legal regardless of use either for medical or just a good old chongathon with the lads !!

    My reason for this is simple, if everyone on the planet smoked a joint at the same time again only “in my opinion” world peace would rain down for about 2hours maybe 3.

    If everybody was drunk at the same time which is legal….. then imagine the outcome.

  7. I have permanent nerve/spine damage,cannot work or even socialise due to pain and discomfort.The best pain relief and all round relief for me is cannabis,or as i cannot afford it,prescribed opiates.Not wanting to get addicted to opiates i asked my GP to reffer me to a pain clinic after she said no to prescribing sativex or even cannabis.I said maybe the pain clinic is allowed to prescribe sativex to MS patients that have the similer pain to me and can prescribe it to me, so send me there and i will try them…Got an urgent refferel,2 days later my GP surgery ring me to say the refferel cannot happen as the pain clinic does not prescribe cannabis…I said I expected that anyway but what about my pain and other drugs, I need something…I said urgently reffer me again and i will take up the cannabis issue with them and if that is not an option then i will take what ever they have as i am in pain …Mention cannabis and your not even wanted it would seem.

  8. I now have an apointment at a pian management clinic in a private hospital on the NHS…Does anyone know if this helps with my chances of getting sativex prescribed? NHS is controled by money and rules surely a private hospital will be more proffesional and offer the best treatment possible?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.