MP Norman Baker calls for new take on cannabis

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A call for the Department of Health to consider broadening the range of medical conditions cannabis can be used for has been made by Lewes MP Norman Baker.

The Minister for Crime Prevention said in legal terms cannabis has no recognised medicinal use and is subject to the strictest controls.

Norman said: “I have seen more and more evidence cannabis can provide genuine medical benefits to treat a number of conditions.

“There is a growing body of research that shows the medical properties of chemical components of cannabis. We should seriously consider whether it is valuable to treat conditions such as MS, glaucoma, chronic and neurogenic pain and the side effects from chemotherapy and HIV/AIDS treatments.

“I am uncomfortable that there are credible people I have met who tell me cannabis is the only substance that helps relieve their condition but not only are they stopped from accessing it officially but have to break the law to help their health.

“Other countries recognise cannabis does have medicinal benefit and we need to look again at this to help people who are ill.

“We already prescribe cannabinoid treatments for some of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. I have written to Jeremy Hunt asking him to review the benefits of cannabis, so we can lower the restrictions on the development of cannabis-based medicines.

“This could help many people suffering from a range of conditions. Obviously we need to ensure the proper medical processes are applied. But I have always said we should follow the evidence.”