Police Seize Legally Prescribed Cannabis

Liz Filmer
01 May 2022

Police seized a man's legally prescribed cannabis, which he used for a life-long condition. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with ADHD at five years old. Cannabis helps with some of the more extreme symptoms of ADHD, including rage, irritability and lack of control.

Methylphenidate - a licensed medicine for treating ADHD under the NHS - often has many side effects, including loss of appetite, insomnia, headaches and irritability.

Ryan Specter of Norfolk is the UK registered medicinal cannabis patient prescribed Adven Flos 17 by a private pharmacist provider.

Following an argument with neighbours in October, Mr Specter began receiving complaint forms about the cannabis, ending up with police seizing the cannabis from his home. 

"I am still dismayed by how forces are handling this and wish to see more change. Pharmaceutical company GW Pharmaceuticals have a massive cannabis farm in Wissington near King's Lynn. That is one of the reasons I am shocked police do not have an awareness of the issue here in Norfolk. This should be their bread and butter." -Mr Specter.

The drug is taken via inhaler with Mr Specter's prescription form stating there should be a build-up of inhalations over three to five days. The government legalised medicinal cannabis as prescribed by specialist doctors in the UK in November 2018. 

Norfolk Police said: "Officers were called to an address in Poringland after a man reported ongoing issues with a neighbour who was unhappy about the smell of cannabis smoke emanating from his property. When officers arrived, the man said he had been prescribed medicinal cannabis and showed them a white plastic bottle of herbal cannabis".

"He didn't provide them with a Cannabis Card (Cancard), so they couldn't verify his claim using the Can card app and the scheme's helpline – which officers called while they were at the man's home – was also unable to verify that he had been prescribed medicinal cannabis. A label on a medication bottle is not sufficient evidence to prove that person is legally allowed an illegal drug."

"That being the case, and as in all cases where officers suspect someone may have an illegal drug, they seized the drug and explained they would need to make further enquiries with the private pharmacy. This has now happened, and the private pharmacist has confirmed that they legally prescribed the drugs. Officers have contacted the owner and made arrangements to return the cannabis."

Mr Specter disagrees with the police statement that he did not provide them with a Cancard on the day. The Department for Health and Social Care has said that they have nothing to add.

In a similar story, 28-year-old Liam Lewis recently had his prescription of medicinal cannabis returned to him after Shetland police officers intercepted it at the Royal Mail sorting office in Lerwick in February.

Liz Filmer