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Medical Cannabis Under Prescription

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:04 pm on 20th May 2019.

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Photo of James Cartlidge James Cartlidge Conservative, South Suffolk 7:04 pm, 20th May 2019

That is what I have been trying to understand. If I were to hazard a guess, I think there has been institutional resistance to CBD in general, but particularly to THC. In a sense, we have helped to force an open-mindedness towards it. When people say there is no evidence, what they mean is that there is no evidence from standard clinical tests. The idea there is no evidence is not true, because the evidence is our constituents’ lives and what they are seeing every day. My constituents do not go to Holland, having crowdfunded all that money, to buy something that does not work. They are parents, and we must have faith in them—by the way, all the doctors put a lot of store in that—but nevertheless, the institutions whose guidance lays the foundations for medical decisions ultimately need clinical trial evidence for it to be sustainable, in addition to individual circumstances.

I welcome the Minister to her position, which she very much deserves. My appeal to her is that we put everything we possibly can into getting that empirical evidence and undertaking those trials so that we can say to our constituents that everything is being done to ensure that clinicians can make decisions with the greatest confidence and without the nervousness we have all encountered.

Finally, and this needs to be said, I was asked in my meeting, “You do realise we are being trolled?” We have had debates in this Chamber about the horrible abuse we receive—some of us, particularly female colleagues, have received obscene abuse—but members of the medical profession are now getting the same thing. I understand the frustration of a parent who has done everything they can to support their child and who feels that the system is not helping them. That is why we are having this debate, because we want them to be supported by the system, but there can be no justification for people in the medical profession being subjected to trolling and the sort of abuse I know they have received because they feel they have to make an objective decision. They have the best interests of the patient at heart, and I have faith in the medical profession. It is nervous because of the lack of evidence, so we need to move on with trials as quickly as possible. We need to be able to give our constituents confidence that the system is fair, transparent and consistent, and is not acting in an ad hoc fashion.