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Community / Carmichael speaks out in support of man whose medical cannabis was seized by police

ISLES MP Alistair Carmichael and MSP Beatrice Wishart are to make representations to Police Scotland after a local man was issued with a police warning after his medication which contains medicinal cannabis was seized by officers at Royal Mail’s sorting office in Lerwick.

Carmichael described the treatment Liam Lewis received at Lerwick police station as “disproportionate” and added that officers should not be denying him access to his medication.

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The 28 year old suffers from chronic migraine and has had the medication Adven Flos 20 and Adven 20 THC oil prescribed to him by the London based Sapphire Medical Clinics in London for two years after being referred there by his local GP.

Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael.
Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael.

Yet, on Saturday, officers seized the medications, described by officers as a “controlled substance” and issued him with an official warning which will become part of his criminal record.

The use of medical cannabis was legalised for prescription in November 2018 across the UK.

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Carmichael said he had been a criminal lawyer for long enough ahead of his political career to know that cannabis when distributed as a class B drug doesn’t come with prescription labels.

He said from what photos he had seen it appears to be carrying a valid prescription coming from a pharmacist.

“This is a massively unsatisfactory situation for Mr Lewis or anyone else to be relying on medicinal cannabis which is now legally available in the UK,” the Lib Dems MP said.

“If Mr Lewis had a prescription, as I understand to be the case, then surely he could have been allowed time to produce that for the police officers.

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Liam Lewis at his home in Lerwick this week. Photo: Chris Cope/Shetland News

“It is not clear to me how he can be warned for medicine lawfully obtained, even if there is a technical reason for it not to be delivered in this way, there is a wider public interest in him being allowed to obtain it.

“Beatrice [Wishart] and I will be making representations to Police Scotland – there is a public policy issue here about them apparently denying access to medicine.

A tub of Adven Flos medication prescribed to Liam Lewis in December last year.

“There may be some technical reason why the medicine should not have been distributed in this way, in which case that needs to be dealt with.

“In the meantime, this will count as a criminal record, it will stay on his [Liam Lewis] criminal record, and to my mind this is disproportionate.”

Lewis said police had been in touch on Tuesday again to ask further questions to establish who prescribed the medication.

He said he had also obtained legal advice and has now appealed the police warning.

Police Scotland said they had nothing to add to a previously issued statement which said Lewis was unable to provide satisfactory evidence to police that the substance had been prescribed legitimately by a medical professional.

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