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We have heard some really rather touching and heartfelt speeches, and I suspect that I cannot justice to some of what we have heard. Although of course I condemn the current policy of criminalisation, I am incredibly sceptical about the use of cannabis in a recreational sense, but I am very much in favour of us moving towards a proper, normalised relationship with cannabis and cannabinoids in our health system.
The cruelty of what happened last year was that we dangled hope in front of lots of people’s faces—not only the children and their families who led the campaign, but many adults who suffer with long-term pain conditions and other conditions that would be helped by medical cannabis—and said that medical cannabis would be available for them. Through administrative burden—deliberately or because of a cock-up, I cannot quite tell—we have created a system in which the barriers are so high that the drugs are not being prescribed. Part of the problem is to do with the rescheduling, which has not been sufficient. The rescheduling has not normalised cannabis and cannabinoids even to the level of opiates. Extra conditions have been laid down through which clinicians have to jump; they have to know that no other drug could work.