I’m waiting for the first daft so-and-so from the UK to travel by boat or plane with a bottle of CBD oil in their luggage, thinking it’s legal here, it’s okay to travel with it. It isn’t. You might get out – but would you arrive at your destination and not be challenged, and what about when you return home? You can’t tell UK-legal non-THC CBD oil from THC-containing CBD oil. At best they’ll spend hours being interrogated and detained. At worst they can be incarcerated and even threatened with the death sentence if thought to be bringing an illegal drug into a country.
The way the mother and her epileptic son were treated by the UK was appalling; in some Middle Eastern countries, had she arrived in those instead, with the six-month supply of THC-containing CBD oil she bought in Canada to treat her son, she’d be in prison praying the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, doesn’t talk his usual shit and in so doing make it so she’d have her sentence doubled by peed-off authorities. Meanwhile, the US has no overarching federal law permitting any form of cannabis use; at national level, cannabis is still considered a narcotic to be clamped down on. Laws on cannabis use, recreational, medicinal, vary widely from state to state, so it isn’t safe to take benign UK CBD oil to that country either.
Even if there were a nation that allowed from one end of it to the other all uses of cannabis, its growing and trading, which there isn’t to my knowledge, it still wouldn’t allow a free-for-all bring-as-much-cannabis-as-you-want when it came to people entering the country. It would also not want people to freely depart with the stuff, either. It would have customs and excise duties, taxes to pay, like any other nation that engages in cross-border trades.
So yes, the UK law on cannabis is outdated, grossly unjust, wholly ineffective when it comes to prohibition and basically in desperate need of reform. But laws on cannabis in other countries are just as nonsensical, resulting more from religious and political prejudice than evidence-based science. And they can lead to foolish, ignorant travellers, carrying a few bottles of THC-free CBD oil, spending hours, days or longer in nasty cells with less than basic amenities or could result in international outrage if some mother of a sick kid or a person with chronic pain were convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to death. Worth the risk? I don’t think so.
The best – the only – advice to give to chronic pain sufferers who rely on THC-free CBD oil in the UK is to leave it at home when travelling abroad and instead rely on opiate-based prescribed painkillers while you’re outside UK borders. Or don’t go abroad.
Andrew’s latest book, myfibromyalgia: one man’s experience of living with chronic illness, is out Monday 2 July in all Amazon store territories the world over. The ebook can be pre-ordered for £5.99 and the paperback will be £8.99 from the date of release.