The Sanskara Protocol
Reaching out to venues/events can be daunting and while it may seem innocent and of good nature to let the venue/event know of your intentions to bring your medical device and medicine along with you, you may find that the use of the word “cannabis” or “vaporiser” may raise some eyebrows and could provide you with a straight up “NO!”
As this is not ideal, most patients would rather have a positive experience and not be suffering from their condition while out and about. There are some patients who would rather not contact the place they are going as this may be difficult for them for many reasons. However, we have put together a simple step by step guide for patients to ensure they get the answer they should be getting and that the awareness can spread among the general public, in turn supporting those patients that can’t make the initial contact. Using the right language is crucial to ensure a positive experience.
You can find our list of venues that are inclusive and will respect the rights of patients prescribed cannabis here – Approved Venues
Based on experiences patients have had and our interaction with businesses and the Devon & Cornwall Police, here’s a protocol we recommend patients follow:
Remain calm at all times and stay positive. Ask a family or friend to speak on your behalf if the confrontation is not comfortable for you.
Patient: Hello, I will be required to use a medical device to consume my medication.
Person: (This is when they may ask what the device is)
Patient: Heated Nebuliser is a device used to consume my cannabis based medication prescribed to me by a doctor.
Person: (They may say that there is a no smoking/vaping policy or refute cannabis is legal)
Patient: “I understand that many are not aware of medical cannabis being legal since 2018” (You may wish to present your medication and optionally offer to show the label and an ID) “And as my medical device is a heated nebulising device used for medical purposes, it is exempt from this policy.”
Person: (Still may refuse and may say that others may complain or be jealous for not being able to vape themselves)
Patient: In line with the Equality Act 2010, as a service provider, you must not discriminate and you must treat disabled individuals more favourably than non-disabled individuals. As I have a condition being treated with medication, I fall under this protected characteristic.
If they continue to discriminate or refuse your rights, immediately report this incident to the Police as a hate crime as well as write a report on the Gov.uk website (www.gov.uk/report-hate-crime)
Email Communications (Recommended prior to visit)
Patient Guide: Ensuring a Positive Experience at Venues/Events
Step 1: Identify Venue/Event Contact Details
- Ideally, reach out to the accessibility or safeguarding team for more targeted assistance.
Step 2: Craft a Thoughtful Email Using the Template
Step 3: Record All Responses
- Keep a record of responses for follow-up communication.
Step 4: Follow-Up and Clarify Common Terminology
- If the response is positive, follow up to clarify common terminology (“Heated Nebulisers” vs. “Dry Herb Vaporisers”).
- Mention the use of Cannabis-based Products for Medicinal use (CBPM) and specify Medical Cannabis Flower (Bud) consumed using a Heated Nebuliser (Dry Herb Vaporiser).
- Remind the venue of their policy (if positive) and the Equality Act 2010.
- Emphasise the intention is not to seek explicit permission but to foster awareness.
Step 5: Responding to Negative or Neutral Responses
- For negative responses, consider sending a polite follow-up, seeking clarification on the reasons for the refusal using the template provided:
- For neutral responses, ensure the individual has acknowledged the email and forwarded it to the correct department. Follow up directly with the correct department, using the reference number provided, to seek clarification or address concerns. Use this template to assist you:
Step 6: Attend or Decide Not to Attend Based on Communication
- Attend the venue/event with your medication and medical device if the outcome is positive.
- Remind the venue/event hosts about the importance of training staff and security on this matter.