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Cannabis Sense

July 2008

Only twelve 10-minute rule bills have got onto the statute book in the past 25 years. So there is not a lot to worry about except that these bills often set the future agendas for Government.

LibDem Tom Brake had a superficially appealing bill today to make the sale of cannabis seeds illegal. Not for months has a ten-minute rule bill been opposed. But the facility is there to make a ten-minute speech in opposition.


Because there will be untended consequences I spoke for the thousands of seriously ill people who now use this loophole in the law to get their medicine of choice. For MS patients and others who suffer chronic pain cannabis is their only balm. I have met many of them who passionately say that cannabis gives them relief from spasm and pain which chemical drugs do not cure.

Most buy their seeds abroad and from the Internet. They are outside of the illegal drugs market and can adjust the purity and strength of their own medicine. If the law is changed, they will have no choice but to use the illegal market with all risks.

Cannabis is far less hazardous than many prescription drugs. The prescribed drug for arthritic pain up until two years ago was Vioxx. It was withdrawn when it was found to cause 144, 000 heart attacks and strokes in America. Cannabis has been used by millions of people for more than five thousand years in very continent on the planet. It has risks and side effects but they are far less than many prescribed drugs.

Ten of thousands of sick people will be exposed to the savage new drug categories that could put in cocaine and heroin infested prisons for five years.
The House rules insist that your voice follows your speech, so I had to shout a quiet ‘No’ to the bill but I did not force a vote. But the point was made


‘Today in Parliament’ used a long quote from my intervention on the cannabis debate. This is very surprising because this was a minor debate on the day of PM’s Questions.

Supportive comments have come in. Many times, I and others have pressed the case for this effective benign medicine. A tiny change in the law would give legal relief from spasm and pain to tens of thousands.

The ignorance and cowardice of politicians has blocked progress in the past. It still rules Westminster in spite of the voices of sanity on the Advisory Committee. So much could be achieved, especially if a change in the law is followed by advice of less harmful ways of using the drug.

I understand that there is another alternative to smoking now in Amsterdam cafes. In additional to cannabis cake or drinks, the drug can be inhaled by using a balloon full of cannabis gas. That sounds healthy.

I must dig up the bill on medicinal cannabis I moved several years ago. One day sense will prevail.