Results 1–20 of 600 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Jeff Smith

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport: Covid-19 Plan B: Tourism Industry (6 Jan 2022)

Jeff Smith: Happy new year, Mr Speaker. The theatres, festivals and live events that are such an important part of our tourist offer have all been hit by the uncertainty around plan B, and Government support is not working. The live events reinsurance scheme was meant to protect the music, theatre and live events sector from the impact of covid, but it has been a total flop. It does not cover...

Medical Cannabis (Access) Bill (10 Dec 2021)

Jeff Smith: rose—

Medical Cannabis (Access) Bill (10 Dec 2021)

Jeff Smith: The hon. Gentleman is right, and I respect his view. He is very knowledgeable in these areas. The point, as I tried to outline earlier, is that there are very many experts who think the process we have at the moment is not appropriate for the cannabis plant and the full plant cannabis extract. All I am asking is for the wider evidence base to be looked at. That is also what the NHS asked for...

Medical Cannabis (Access) Bill (10 Dec 2021)

Jeff Smith: I think the hon. Gentleman might have inadvertently misrepresented things. I have not proposed the Bill to try to have unlicensed medicines—as I think he said—put forward. What I am trying to do is to introduce a Bill that will enable clinicians to look at a wider evidence base in order to get those medicines licensed. That is what I am trying to do. I want to listen to the hon. Gentleman...

Medical Cannabis (Access) Bill (10 Dec 2021)

Jeff Smith: Immediately before the last few interventions, the hon. Lady said that we all know that people would try to use medical cannabis as recreational cannabis. I have to ask her where the evidence is for that. The fact is that these medicines are not the same as recreational cannabis. Look at Epidiolex or Bedrolite: people do not use them to get high. We are talking about completely different...

Medical Cannabis (Access) Bill (10 Dec 2021)

Jeff Smith: The hon. Lady is making a thoughtful and important speech. May I go back to the mention of thalidomide, which I think is an unfair comparison? Thalidomide went through all the randomised controlled trials. People have used cannabis for thousands of years and nobody has ever found any evidence of any resulting foetal abnormalities, although there have not been randomised controlled trials. The...

Medical Cannabis (Access) Bill (10 Dec 2021)

Jeff Smith: I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time. Before I begin, I want to thank briefly a number of people who have advised me and helped bring this Bill forward today. Among others, particular thanks go to Professor Mike Barnes and Professor David Nutt; to Rudi Fortson; to the parents of children with treatment-resistant epilepsy who have talked to me—Hannah Deacon, Matt Hughes and...

Medical Cannabis (Access) Bill (10 Dec 2021)

Jeff Smith: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his intervention. That is one example of a significant number where lives have been transformed by this medicine. There is frustration that people cannot get it as they should. When the Government passed the Misuse of Drugs (Amendments) (Cannabis and Licence Fees) (England, Wales and Scotland) Regulations 2018, which moved cannabis from schedule 1 to schedule 2,...

Medical Cannabis (Access) Bill (10 Dec 2021)

Jeff Smith: My hon. Friend makes a really important point. It is about not just medicines and health, but a life sciences opportunity that we ought to take up. The problem is that, if people cannot get the product, which, as he says, is well manufactured and safe, easily on prescription, the risk is that they will go to the illicit market and get products that perhaps should not be trusted as much as a...

Medical Cannabis (Access) Bill (10 Dec 2021)

Jeff Smith: The hon. Gentleman makes a really important point, and I agree. I do not agree with everything that the devolved Administration in Scotland do, but they do have an approach to these sorts of issues that is more focused on harm reduction and evidence than perhaps we have in England. Cannabis-based medicines are already approved as a treatment for a small number of medical conditions....

Medical Cannabis (Access) Bill (10 Dec 2021)

Jeff Smith: My hon. Friend makes a really important point. They have nothing to lose. The problem is that we have to balance benefit and risk and, for this cohort of children and lots of medical cannabis patients across the country, the benefit is far greater than the risk. That is the frustration, and the problem with access to medicine is that lots of patients with different conditions would benefit...

Medical Cannabis (Access) Bill (10 Dec 2021)

Jeff Smith: That is an important point. No one is claiming that every product is absolutely safe, and products often have side-effects, as Alfie’s case demonstrated. He had been pumped full of steroids which affected him badly and would eventually have killed him. That was a medication that was recommended until he started taking medical cannabis. There is lots of evidence from around the world....

Medical Cannabis (Access) Bill (10 Dec 2021)

Jeff Smith: The hon. Gentleman makes an important point. Trials are happening, but there are two problems. The first is the cost, because RCTs are extremely expensive. As I mentioned earlier, the problem with RCTs is that they are not really suitable for some of these medicines, such as whole-plant cannabis extract medicines, which is the essential problem. We can isolate compounds and put them through...

Medical Cannabis (Access) Bill (10 Dec 2021)

Jeff Smith: The matter is not being resolved in the current processes, and that is part of the problem. I emphasise that I am not proposing a new permanent body; this would be a bit like a royal commission, although I would want it to be much shorter and more focused. It would be a commission of experts to look at the problem and propose a new framework for assessment of the evidence. That would, I hope,...

Medical Cannabis (Access) Bill (10 Dec 2021)

Jeff Smith: My sympathy to my hon. Friend’s constituent; chronic pain is one of the conditions for which cannabis can be very beneficial, and I hope he can find a way forward. I will talk briefly about GPs. My hon. Friend is right that they specialise, but part of the problem with GP training and medical training in general is that there is very little training on the cannabinoid system, so I would...

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Floor Risk Management: Inner Cities (9 Dec 2021)

Jeff Smith: What recent discussions he has had with the Environment Agency on the adequacy of flood risk management in inner cities.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Floor Risk Management: Inner Cities (9 Dec 2021)

Jeff Smith: That is welcome, because in my constituency we found out that this is a growing problem this time last year, when we narrowly—by 2 cm—averted a disastrous flooding incident in Chorlton and Didsbury when the Mersey flooded. What is the Department’s assessment of the state of readiness in general of flood defences and flood response services as we go into the peak winter storm season?

Ten-Year Drugs Strategy (6 Dec 2021)

Jeff Smith: I welcome the focus in the strategy on treatment and recovery; £780 million is a significant investment, and I commend the Government for that. On supply and demand, I fear we are being offered an enhanced version of the same general approach that has failed for the last 50 years, and I am sad to say that it will fail for the next 10 years. On drug consumption rooms, the Minister said that...

Levelling Up, Housing and Communities: Integrated Rail Plan (29 Nov 2021)

Jeff Smith: HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail were never just about train lines and journey speeds; they are about regeneration opportunities. In the case of the cancelled eastern leg, 38,000 homes were planned on the back of that line, which now will not happen. Some £38 billion of economic growth in Bradford, reliant on Northern Powerhouse Rail, has been cancelled. Local government leaders in the north...

Health and Social Care: Topical Questions (23 Nov 2021)

Jeff Smith: My 90-year-old constituent, Jimmy, fell in his garden recently and broke his hip. When his family rang 999, they were told that it would be up to 14 hours before an ambulance could attend. The family got the fire brigade out after two and a half hours to sort him out. When the Government going to get a grip on the crisis in our ambulance services?


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