10 Dec CLEAR Medicinal Users Panel. Third Delegation To Parliament

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Dr Sarah Woolaston MP, George Hutchings, Dean Price, Shirley Ellis, John Ellis, Victoria Hodgson, Richard Tong, Peter Reynolds, Paul Lewington

Today, six members of the CLEAR Medicinal Cannabis Users Panel met with Dr Sarah Woolaston MP, chair of the Health Select Committee.

This was our third delegation to Parliament this year and it demonstrates the great progress that we are making. More and more MPs are beginning to understand that cannabis is a legitimate and valuable medicine that has been unjustly and cruelly denied for too long.

In February, a CLEAR delegation met with Keith Vaz MP, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee and in July we were invited to a conference by Norman Baker MP, then drugs minister, where we able to deliver evidence and testimony to officials from the Home Office and the Department of Health. Just a few days later, in an astonishing move for a government minister, Norman Baker called for the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

We are successfully improving understanding and knowledge within Parliament. More and more MPs are realising how many of their constituents use cannabis safely and effectively to deal with pain, suffering and disability. Although drugs policy and the power to reform the law remains with the Home Office, we are now concentrating on the Department of Health and health policy as the way forward.

Dr Woolaston clearly understands the issues and sympathises with the plight of those who are criminalised merely for trying to improve their own health. Our next move is to meet ministers at the Department of Health and prepare a case for reform that will create change, based on evidence and a need for compassion.

I pay tribute to the courage of our delegates who travelled from all over the country to meet Dr Woolaston. For many the effort required will take days to recover from but all gave their time gladly in the knowledge that they were representing hundreds of thousands of British people who need reform of this backwards and oppressive law.