National Security Minister Michael Dunkley said it is not out of the question for doctors in Bermuda to prescribe marijuana for medical use.

He said no doctor or pharmacist has ever asked the government permission to do so and, if they did, it would be considered based on the merits of the applicant's claim.

He further said that the recent campaign by Alan Gordon for the medical use of marijuana was "misleading and inaccurate".

In a press release Mr Dunkley said: If a practitioner, as defined in the Misuse of Drugs Act, makes an application for the medical use of any controlled drug, that application will be considered on its merits and I will be guided by the letter and spirit of the law. To date, no practitioner has made such an application.”

“Bermuda’s laws already make provision for the properly regulated, medical use of controlled drugs. Mr. Gordon’s argument is not with me as the Minister or with the Government,” Minister Dunkley said.

 “He and others interested in this issue already know what needs to be done to secure the medical use of marijuana and the current petition simply cannot achieve the result they want.”

 A review of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1972 and Misuse of Drugs (Designation) Order 1973 would indicate the following:

 Section 12(3) states, Subject to subsection (4), the Minister shall so exercise his power to make regulations under subsection (1) as to secure that it is not unlawful under section 5(1) for a practitioner, acting in his capacity as such to prescribe, administer, manufacture, compound or supply a controlled drug, or for a pharmacist, acting in his capacity as such, to manufacture, compound or supply a controlled drug; and that it is not unlawful under section 6(1) for a practitioner or pharmacist to have a controlled drug in his possession for the purpose of acting in his capacity as such.

 Section 12(4) states that if in the case of any controlled drug the Minister is of the opinion that it is in the public interest— for production, supply and possession of that drug to be either wholly unlawful or unlawful except for purposes of research or other special purposes; or for it to be unlawful for practitioners or pharmacists to do in relation to that drug any of the things mentioned in subsection (3) except under a licence or other authority issued by the Minister, he may by order designate that drug as a drug to which this subsection applies; and while there is in force an order under this subsection designating a controlled drug as one to which this subsection applies, subsection (3) shall not apply as regards that drug.

The Misuse of Drugs (Designation) Order 1973 lists Cannabinol, Cannabinol derivatives, Cannabis, and Cannabis resin.  

As such, section 12(4) applies to Cannabis as a drug which the Minister finds either wholly unlawful, unlawful except for research or special purpose, or unlawful for practitioners or pharmacists (to prescribe, administer, manufacture, compound or supply) unless licensed or authorised.

Consequently, the Act only envisages practitioners (defined in the Act as a physician, dentist or veterinary practitioner) or pharmacists being licensed to prescribe, administer, manufacture, compound or supply such controlled drugs.

As Mr. Gordon is neither a physician nor pharmacist, he is not eligible to be considered for a licence by the Minister to import, cultivate, or supply cannabis in any form.