05 Jun Tomorrow, 6th June 2013, MPs Debate The HASC Drugs Inquiry Report

Parliament_Logo_imageThe debate takes place in Westminster Hall, starting at 1.30pm and can be viewed online here.

If I were able to speak , this is what I would say. I have asked several ‘friendly’ MPs whether they might be able to say something similar.

I would like to ask the chair of the inquiry why the issue of medicinal cannabis was not considered at all.

It was the subject most often referred to in all the written submissions of evidence and I know that each member of the committee was individually provided with comprehensive information and evidence on the subject. Only after the end of the inquiry did Mr Vaz declare that the licensing of medicines was not a matter the committee would consider and it was something for the Department of Health.

This is simply not good enough and is the excuse regularly proffered on this subject as the Home Office and Department of Health pass this buck back and forward, both refusing to deal with it.

This is a matter of huge concern to at least hundreds of thousands if not millions of people in Britain. Extraordinarily, while Britain is one of only two countries in Europe to deny access to medicinal cannabis, we are the only country in the world that has licensed a pharmaceutical company to grow vast quantities of the plant to manufacture the cannabis medicine Sativex. Increasingly this looks like a monopoly enforced by the Home Office and the British police for the benefit of a private company.

The evidence for the efficacy of cannabis in treating chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, MS and many other conditions is now overwhelming and our present attitude to people who would benefit from this medicine can only be described as cruel and inhuman.

Will the committee now take up this issue with the Home Secretary and ensure that, as a minimum, those whose doctors wish to prescribe medicinal cannabis can have access to it? The Dutch government’s official producer is able to start provision of safe, high quality medicinal cannabis to British patients immediately.