FOI 22032022-1 - Policy for the verification of prescribed medical cannabis
I wish to request, under the Freedom of Information Act (2000), the following from your Constabulary, Commissioner, or Panel:
1) a copy of the Constabulary’s policy or procedure for the verification of the legitimate possession and use of prescribed medical cannabis/cannabis-based prescription medicine (CBPM);
2) if the Constabulary does not have a local policy regarding this, could you please confirm that the Home Office guidance is adhered to by the Constabulary – namely that someone claiming the legitimate possession and use of medical cannabis will be expected to produce: the original medication container complete with the pharmacy dispensing label bearing the name of the patient; with either a copy of their FP10 prescription or a letter from the prescribing clinician; and a form of recognised photo ID (such as a passport, driving licence, or a PASS accredited photocard) bearing the same name as displayed on the dispensing label and the copy of the FP10 or clinician’s letter;
3) if your Constabulary does not have a policy relating to this, could you please provide the Constabulary’s policy regarding compliance with the PSED (Public Sector Equality Duty), especially with regards to the avoidance of discrimination against disabled people for the legitimate possession and use of a prescribed medication;
4) a copy of any internal briefing documents provided to police officers regarding the existence of – and the process for the verification of – prescribed medical cannabis flower or other CBPM’s following the Home Office Circular 2018: ‘Rescheduling of cannabis-based products for medicinal use in humans’ and The Misuse of Drugs (Amendments) (Cannabis and Licence Fees) (England, Wales and Scotland) Regulations 2018 which allowed the prescribing of medical cannabis (CBPM);
5) the named lead for the Constabulary for matters pertaining to the verification of medical cannabis (CBPM);
6) the Constabulary’s policy or position relating to the recognition of unaccredited card schemes such as Cancard or MedCannID, if such a policy exists.
The above information will be invaluable to patients in receipt of medical cannabis and will ensure a wider understanding and subsequent compliance with the expectations of your Constabulary. It is clearly in the public interest to ensure that medical cannabis patients are aware of local policies and procedures and can comply accordingly, so that finite police resources are not spent on the avoidable and potentially unlawful arrest of patients in receipt of legitimately prescribed medical cannabis medication (CBPM’s).
I am writing to advise you that, following a search of our paper and electronic records, I have established that the information you requested is not held by the Office of the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.
It is important to understand that The Office of the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (OPFCC) and Northamptonshire Police are two separate legal entities. Information regarding operational policing matters is the responsibility of Northamptonshire Police, therefore the OPFCC does not hold any of the information you have requested. Northamptonshire Police’s Information Unit may hold some of the information you are seeking. If you have not already done so, then you may wish to write to their Freedom of Information and Data Protection Team, Information Unit, Force Headquarters, Wootton Hall, Northampton, NN4 0JQ / firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original letter and should be addressed to: Nicci Marzec, Monitoring Officer, Office of the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, East House, Force Headquarters, Wootton Hall, Northampton, NN4 0JQ.
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications. If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.