A Swansea MP has accused the Government of being “scared” of the word cannabis, adding the country is “light years behind” on the issue.
Gower MP Tonia Antoniazzi spoke at the House of Commons addressing the class B drug, and the need to legalise it for medicinal use, referencing the case of six-year-old Alfie Dingley, of Kenilworth in Warwickshire, who has up to 30 violent seizures a day.
The Home Office had denied the family’s request for a licence to use the drug as it is illegal, but health minister Baroness Williams has since said “every option is being considered” by ministers.
‘Stop making excuses’
Addressing the Commons, Mrs Antoniazzi said: “As a Welsh MP I’m very proud of the Welsh Assembly who recognise the need to legalise cannabis for medicinal use.
“We, as a country, are light years behind other countries in the world.
“The excuses are not valid. Why does the word cannabis scare this government so much? We need to stop hiding and stop making excuses.
“Can the Minister provide parents of children like Alfie and all other children who need access to medicinal cannabis legally across the UK. When is it going to happen?”
A maximum of five years in prison, an unlimited fine or both punishments under United Kingdom legislation can be given to someone found possessing cannabis at present.
Supplying or producing the class B drug can land people in prison for a maximum of 14 years an unlimited fine, or both.
Home Office Minister Nick Hurd pledged to help Alfie, but said cannabis did not have proven “medicinal benefits”.
He said: “What the Government does do is listen to the advice of Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs and as I said they are very clear that the misuse of cannabis is a significant public health issue and can unquestionably cause trouble or harm for individuals. We can’t just ignore that advice from experts.
“As I’ve said, we have got precedence of where medicines that include controlled drugs such as cannabis have been issued with a licence, to enable trials.”