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Colin Davies - Acquitted

Matthew Atha, director of the Independent Drug Monitoring Unit (IDMU Ltd), gave expert evidence, concerning the therapeutic use of cannabis or cannabinoids for treatment of severe pain and multiple sclerosis, to the jury in the trial of Colin Davies at Manchester Crown Court.

Following the unanimous verdict acquitting Davies, founder of the Medicinal Marijuana Cooperative on all counts, including cultivation, supply, possession and possession with intent, Mr Atha said:

"The onus is now on the Home Office, Police, Crown Prosecution Service, Department of Health and other interested parties to develop formal guidelines as to the circumstances in which persons such as Colin Davies, requiring cannabis to cope with the effect of severe spinal pain, should or should not face criminal prosecution.

To safeguard against abuse, persons seeking exemption should require the written endorsement of a registered medical practitioner confirming diagnosis of a relevant medical condition, and the nature and effect of previous medication or other treatment for such conditions. Such exemption could take the legal form of an individual licence to possess and use cannabis.

Pending product licence approval from the Medicines Control Agency, for rapid-onset pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoid preparations, thereby avoiding the need for the smoking of cannabis, responsible organisations such as Colin Davies and the Medical Marijuana Cooperative should be considered for award of Home Office licences to produce and distribute cannabis for medical or research purposes."

These recommendations could be implemented within existing UK law and international treaty obligations.

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