Cannabis (Therapeutic Use)

Part of Prayers – in the House of Commons at 1:59 pm on 12th July 1995.

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Photo of Paul Flynn Paul Flynn , Newport West 1:59 pm, 12th July 1995

Clearly, there is no one here but the lady might be listening to me on the radio. I shall not refer to her again. However, the lady in question bought a cannabis plant. She does not have the dexterity to roll her cannabis cigarettes herself but keeps them in a lovely silver cigarette case that she has placed near a bust of Queen Victoria because Queen Victoria took cannabis every month of her adult life and lived to a great age, thus demonstrating the drug's lack of ill effects. Many other people took the drug at that time.

The Government cannot continue to hide behind the claim that additional research is needed. Research could continue for many years and might produce a result only in five, 10, or 20 years. The argument needs to be resolved now. The Minister is known to be a humane and compassionate man who is respected by every hon. Member. He has the possibility to do something that all politicians would love to do—he can relieve the pain of hundreds of thousands of people, stop many people being criminals and take a major step towards the provision of respite.

Many patients cannot be treated for their terrible illnesses with the proper medicines that doctors would like to use. That charade must be stopped. On behalf of the many law-abiding people who are nevertheless breaking the law, those who are denied the best treatment, those who are in pain but cannot get relief, and those who see others in terrible pain, I appeal to the Minister to announce a minor change in the law and a return to what it was in 1971.