Medical Cannabis

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:37 pm on 20th February 2018.

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Photo of Nick Hurd Nick Hurd The Minister of State, Home Department 3:37 pm, 20th February 2018

I thank my hon. Friend. I totally respect his position. I should place it on record that the Under-Secretary of State for Health, my hon. Friend Steve Brine, is sitting next to me, very much in listening mode.

I reassure my hon. Friend, and my right hon. Friend the Attorney General, who has made many representations to me on behalf of Alfie Dingley and his family, that there are clearly some special circumstances in this case that need to be respected. I have undertaken to meet the family, and I will do that as quickly as possible. I also undertake to explore every option within the current regulatory framework. I give that undertaking with sincerity.

I know my hon. Friend well enough to know that he will understand the importance of proceeding on the basis of evidence, particularly when it concerns the safety of drugs and of children. We have our position—he is right that it has been established for a long time—and it is supported by expert opinion. However, we are aware that the position is shifting in other countries, and we monitor that closely.

We are also aware that cannabis is an extremely complex substance, and the WHO quite rightly is looking at it from every angle to get an up-to-date view on its therapeutic use. We are monitoring all that closely. Our current regulatory position is what it is. However, I have undertaken to explore every option within the regulatory framework to see whether we can find a solution to this extremely emotive case.