Today in Parliament, I asked the Health Secretary to clarify the laws surrounding medical cannabis as a matter of urgency.
This weekend, Emma Appleby was stopped at Stansted Airport and had medicinal cannabis that she had procured from the Netherlands for her severely epileptic daughter confiscated.
This incident highlights the uncertainty around the use of medical cannabis. Emma’s experience is one of a number of recent high-profile cases where the government’s lack of clarity about the legality of the use of medicinal cannabis has caused problems for patients and their families.
As a founder member of the Labour Campaign for Drug Policy Reform it is incidents like these that underscore the need for reform of our drug laws. Not least, as I pointed out today, because if we are to establish whether cannabis oil is a clinically effective treatment for certain conditions, it is essential that medical researchers are able to conduct clinical trials under a robust legal framework that protects everyone. It was therefore disappointing that the Health Secretary could not be more specific when I asked him how long it would take for the government to reform the legislation around medicinal cannabis or whether he would take into account the results of international clinical trials to inform government policy.