Amendment 15

Part of Medicines and Medical Devices Bill - Report (1st Day) – in the House of Lords at 8:45 pm on 12th January 2021.

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Photo of Baroness Thornton Baroness Thornton Shadow Spokesperson (Health) 8:45 pm, 12th January 2021

The noble Lord, Lord Field, will know from this afternoon’s Question that I have huge sympathy on this issue, and I also completely recognise the frustration that exists around this subject. As I said earlier, “Come on, Prime Minister: if you can solve Brexit, in your own terms, I am sure that you will be able to solve this one, too.”

“Irresponsible” is not a word I would use to describe the noble Lord, Lord Field. He was very temperate in his introduction of the amendment. It is shameful, as the noble Baroness, Lady Meacher, said, that only three prescriptions have been issued properly by the NHS for free use. That means there is something is seriously wrong here. I thank my noble friend Lord Hunt, who is quite correct: this does require political muscle. The noble Baroness, Lady Bennett, is quite right, because this issue also completely exposes the inequalities we see in our society, whereby people who are fortunate enough to be able to afford to buy cannabis products can do so, while those who cannot, cannot, and then they suffer the consequences of that—literally. The noble Baroness, Lady Jolly, mentioned despair, and I agree with her.

So I do think that, as a result of this short but very potent debate, the Minister needs to commit at least to the meeting with the MHRA and the movers of the amendment.