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Dangerous Drugs

Part of Supply and Appropriation (Main Estimates) (No. 3) Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:19 pm on 3rd July 2019.

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Photo of Nick Hurd Nick Hurd The Minister of State, Home Department 4:19 pm, 3rd July 2019

We are determined to look at all aspects of drug demand and supply, and the terms of reference of the review are public. I want to add, because this is relevant to the context of the narrow debate that I thought we were going to have, that in the interests of updating evidence—this relates particularly to the right hon. Gentleman’s point on updating evidence on harm—I have asked the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to review the current classification of synthetic cannabinoids in this context. That review is due to report by the summer of 2020, and I hope that he will welcome that.

I want to talk briefly about the issue of medicinal cannabis, which a number of Members took advantage of your generosity to address, Mr Deputy Speaker. As the Minister who led the work, under the direction of the Home Secretary, to change the law, I am pleased that we took that step at the pace that we did. It was clear to me that it was absolutely necessary, when we were confronted by the evidence from families who were suffering what I believed to be unnecessary hardship and pain as a result of regulation and law. As has been pointed out, the law liberalised the situation but effectively required prescriptions to be issued by specialist clinicians. As was disclosed in evidence to the Health and Social Care Committee, which reported today, there is clearly an issue around the levels of clinical confidence at the moment, and my colleagues in the Department of Health and Social Care are absolutely determined to work closely with partners to try to build that clinical confidence, which is clearly a priority, so that more families do not have to suffer the pain and frustration that are clearly out there.