From Daily Mirror: Jeremy Corbyn has called for cannabis to be decriminalised for medical use “as quickly as possible.”
From ITV News: Former health minister Norman Lamb has called for the complete legalisation of cannabis – after alleging that “probably half the Cabinet” have used the class B drug.
The Liberal Democrat MP said the Government’s policy towards cannabis represented a “dreadful hypocrisy” and echoed calls from former Tory leader Lord Hague to bring in a regulated market for the drug.
Mr Lamb, speaking after Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced a review into medicinal cannabis use, said: “Isn’t there a dreadful hypocrisy in Government policy in drugs more generally.
“Probably most of the Cabinet drink alcohol, the most dangerous drug of all, probably half of the cabinet has used cannabis, possibly even the Home Secretary — unless they’re a group of very odd people.
“Shouldn’t the Home Secretary actually follow the advice of the former Conservative leader Lord Hague, who makes the case for a regulated legalised market and that that is the best way to protect people from harm who at the moment buy from criminals who have no interest in their welfare at all.”
Mr Javid responded, saying that on this occasion he did not agree with Lord Hague.
From The Guardian: William Hague, the former leader of the Conservative party, has urged Theresa May to legalise cannabis, saying the UK’s drug policy is “inappropriate, ineffective and utterly out of date” and that the “battle is effectively over”.
Lord Hague said issuing orders to the police to stop people smoking cannabis were “about as up to date and relevant as asking the army to recover the empire”.
In an article in the Telegraph on Tuesday, Hague says the prime minister should be bold and lead a major policy change because it is deluded to think cannabis can be “driven off the streets”.
Downing Street dismissed the idea. “In terms of decriminalising cannabis there are no plans in that respect,” Theresa May’s spokesman said. “The evidence is very clear that cannabis can cause serious harm when it is misused.”
Separately, the Home Office reiterated that the government “has no intention of reviewing the classification of cannabis” and “it will remain a class B drug”.
Simon Jenkins writes in the Guardian: “What kind of country gets a politician rather than a doctor to prescribe medicine for a sick child? When the home secretary, Sajid Javid, decided at the weekend to allow 12-year-old Billy Caldwell “one bottle” of cannabis oil, his spokeswoman said it was an exceptional case to meet “a short-term emergency”. The only emergency was to the home secretary’s reputation. Britain is like a banana republic, in which politicians, not judges, decide who goes to jail.
“This is inhuman and absurd. The reason for Caldwell’s treatment has nothing to do with cannabis and everything to do with ministerial terror of seeming ‘soft on drugs’. This terror is now archaic. Public opinion has moved on. So-called recreational cannabis is as freely available on Britain’s streets as cigarettes and alcohol. It is available in schools and universities, clubs and festivals. Most British police forces turn a blind eye to modest possession.
Paul Kenward – who is married to the MP for Louth and Horncastle – is managing director of British Sugar, licensed to grow non-psychoactive cannabis.
The Home Office said Ms Atkins declared the fact in parliament when she was appointed minister in 2017.
She has previously spoken out against the Class B drug.
By Matthew Scott in the Daily Telegraph: Theresa May’s Home Office proudly announced last month that since 2010 it has banned more than 500 new drugs, as though this were an end and a self-evident good in itself.