Edinburgh West MP’s Cannabis quest will continue

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Queensferry and Kirkliston’s MP Christine Jardine is once again at the forefront of a Westminster bid to legalise cannabis .

The Edinburgh West MP has asked for a ‘grown-up’ debate to be brought to Parliament to further decriminalise and regulate the cannabis market-for medical purposes.

The Liberal Democrat, who also backs the regulation of cannabis for recreational purposes, had previously been at the centre of a successful campaign to push the Government to legalise cannabis for clinical use.

She was acting on behalf of her constituent Karen Gray whose severely ill son Murray needs strong medication for seizures.

Ms Jardine believes that since the change in the law last year, clinical guidelines have meant that doctors have been reluctant to write prescriptions for the substance and that the medicine on offer is not powerful enough.

Consequently, Ms Jardine is now calling for the issue to be debated again, and last week pressed the Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, to bring it back to Parliament.

She said: “The Home Secretary’s decision on medicinal cannabis last summer was a significant step forward, but it must not end there.

“A regulated cannabis market would give patients, better access to much needed treatment and without the unnecessarily strict guidelines. Politicians should never shy away from tackling any problems, particularly when those problems relate to someone’s health.

“I was extremely disappointed with the minister’s dismissal of my request for a debate but I will not be deterred.

“We faced initial scepticism about legalising cannabis in any capacity last year and look what happened. We won then, and we can win again.”

However Mrs Leadsom said:“The Honourable Lady will be aware that the decision was taken that cannabis oil can be used for medical purposes and it is not the Government’s policy to consider the broader deregulation of the use of cannabis.”

The Scottish Government, which deals with healthcare, insisted that the interests of patients came first.

A spokesperson said: “It is a clinical decision to determine what medication is best for a patient, taking their clinical condition, the available evidence on safety and efficacy and any ongoing monitoring requirements into account.

“Patients are strongly encouraged to fully discuss their treatment options and can, of course, request a second opinion if they wish.”