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Cameron backs cannabis for medicinal use

David Cameron is backing the use of cannabis for medicinal use. He is taking a brave stand knowing his liberal views could alienate some of his own MPs, as well as his right wing members.

But he insists he is against decriminalising the drug for personal use as this would increase its availability and make it harder for parents who want to stop their children from taking drugs.

Today’s Sunday Mirror picked up on this story from David Cameron’s Webcameron when he responded to an “Ask David” question about his views on cannabis, with the plea: “Can we have a straight answer unlike other politicians.”

And he certainly gave a direct response. He said that if scientific evidence proved cannabis had real medicinal benefits, then politicians should be guided by that and licence its use solely for that purpose.

This must be music to the ears for a local epileptic man who was recently convicted by a court for supplying cannabis-laced chocolate bars for medicinal purposes, and says he was treated him like a common drug dealer.

Marcus Davies, of St Ives in Cambridgeshire, was convicted of conspiracy of supplying cannabis after helping supply the chocolate to MS sufferers, taking orders and passing them to friends who made the bars. However, the 37-year-old claims the enterprise was not for profit, and insists the courts should not be treating him like the “scumbag drug dealers” he despises.

Davies, who has not worked for 15 years because of his own ill health, said the cannabis they used would have been worth a fortune if sold on the street, but he and his co-defendants had not been motivated by greed.

“Each bar of chocolate, and remember we sent out 36,000 of them, had 3.5 grams of cannabis in it, which scumbag drug dealers would sell on the street for £15. That is about half a million pounds worth of cannabis we gave away, and if we were doing this for money we would be somewhere nice and tropical now, not freezing to death in England. We received £40,000 in donations over the three years from people who used the product, but that was ploughed back in.”

Has any medical or scientific research been carried out about the effects of taking cannabis for medicinal use? Has it led to these users going to to take harder drugs? Aren’t many of the medical drugs people take today equally harmful? Do they not also have side effects and carry the risk of addiction? Should we accept scientific evidence supporting the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes? Will this allow drug sellers to abuse the law? And should David Cameron be applauded for his brave stand on this, knowing in particular the relentless press coverage he had about his past use of illegal drugs? Do you support his views?


13 Comments

  1. Newmania, I agree with your points. Unlike some of the other comments here, I suspect you actually know what you are talking about.
    It is about the right of people to make choices themselves and not have them made for them by a nanny state.
    Many people here seem to base their opinions on the subject on media horror stories.
    Very little of the Cannabis consumed in the UK is Skunk, for example, it’s a media myth.
    Also, as Newmania says, many younger people under 40 use cannabis from time to time- and find it more socially acceptable than alcohol. Many of these are Tory voters also.

  2. So many people use the tired phrase ‘using cannabis for medicinal use’ when they are just on the first level to far worse things.

  3. David Allen

    N _ your libertarian instincts are admirable! BUT… the kind of cannabis that today’s legislators smoked in their youth is probably very unlike the cannabis their kids/ grandkids are smoking today. Skunk and other varieties have been bred in labs to have vastly greater psycho-active effects than comoon garden cannabis. Heroin (diamorphine) is a far cleaner drug _ and safer to give to your kids _ if it were a measured, small dose of the pure stuff _ than street-bought cannabis. Most adults in Britain have probably had it at one time or another without even realising it.

  4. david -paranoid/ schizo/ lose all motivation thru chronic/ heavy use of this drug….

    Oh come on David its been safely used by millions for about 30 years now . It doesn`t play badly with people who know users it plays badly with old buffers and aunties who do not know one drug from another and have never seen such a thing , as well you know .I have some concerns but all recreational drugs have risks including those we accept as part of our lives.

    Whats the point of further expert analysis such things are not neutral they will say what they are paid to say . This is a political descision about Liberty and Risk not a medical one .

    I `m suprised you are so wound up man; chill !There are also dangers in continuing to criminalise the majority of the law abiding population under 40.I would advocate a careful Liberalisation over time which seems a good middle way . Gosh you are right wing aren`t you.On this occassion I `m the Liberal…eeeek

  5. I agree about the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, but don’t want to see it legalised for personal use. I do applaud David Cameron’s approach to this, the way he says he is relaxed about it.

  6. For medicinal purposes, fine. The people to ask about this are the patients, suffering from very painful illnesses, who have been helped by the drug. I think Cameron has been wise and courageous to give a straight answer on this, yes. There is so much hypocrisy about it in general, though. It seems to me that in Britain, if you are of a certain class, you can get away with using cannabis for other purposes and your kids are less likely to be drawn into the world of harder drugs because they will not have to go to pushers to get it. But if you are not monied and of a certain class, you are doomed. I still wonder if all the deaths in their early to mid-fifties of those of my own generation are not somehow linked to the widespread use of “recreational” drugs in our youth. Yet, hypocrisy again… Didn’t bored Victorian women retire to their beds on a dose of opium?

  7. David Allen

    I haven’t read Cameron’s remarks in full, so, I may be talking out of turn. But, as reported, this looks like a shameless appeal to yoof/ superrannuated hippies and the small minority of people with MS or close friends/ relatives with it. The fact is that cannabis, like tobacco, when smoked, produces a combination of thousands of chemicals, many of them highly toxic, carcinogenic, psychosis-indusing etc. The fact that some of those chemicals may have beneficial effects is not an argument to ‘legalise cannabis for medicinal use’. Instead it is an argument to lobby government and pharma industry to put (more) money into research into the chemical compounds within cannabis which can do good _ and to create targeted, ‘clean’ drugs out of these compound folowing rigorous, peer-reviewed clinical trials as you would for any other medicinal drug. EVER to talk of ‘legalising cannabis’ as such is foolish and will play badly with the thousands of families who have seen their loved ones turn paranoid/ schizo/ lose all motivation thru chronic/ heavy use of this drug….

  8. I used to use cannabis regularly for medicinal purposes. That’s what I told myself anyway.

  9. Tom it is of course only the start and a good thing to . We are in an absurd situation in this country when drugs have become an honourary poltical unsayable word. I would say the majority of people I know use cannabis from time to time and there is a growing awareness of what can or cannot be taken. Naturally the state must move in line with sensible freedoms reflecting the wishes of the electorate.

    I am not a religious Libertarian on the subject . there is a place for the state to protect the weak from the predations of unscupuous vendors of addictive substances. There is on the other hand an irreducible Liberty issue and it cannot be ignored forever. A wise gesture in the right direction and sensibly it must be a slow and careful process .

  10. I know, I know. He will legalise it only for medical use, but that’s a start.

  11. Tom, David Cameron has no plans to legalise cannabis for personal use, he only endorses its for medicinal purposes is supported by scientific evidence.

    Bartok, The post mentions there are no plans to decriminalise cannabis, which is the same as legalising it. I did not know that medicinal use of cannabis involves using a spray, David Cameron did not mention this subsitute form, thank you for that clarification.

  12. I think the whole debate on this is missing 1 point. He said he would not legalise cannabis but would be for it if used for medicinal use – which is normally given in a spray form and has none of the THC “side-effects” that come from smoking.

    This is NOT advocating taking cannabis, but a highly controlled medically produced substitute.

    This is just a storm over nothing.

  13. Ellee, I wish we could all stop using “right wing” and “left wing” like this. It makes no sense any more, if it ever did. New Labour is theoretically “Centre Left”, but it’s the most authoritarian government (and perhaps the least respectful of the rule of law) since King John defenestrated Arthur of Brittany.

    I am an ex-Conservative disgusted with Cameron, but I am not “right wing”, I am a classical liberal, as the Americans would have it (having soiled the perfectly good word “liberal” by unsavoury association with all kinds of intellectual degeneracy).

    The BNP, on the other hand, is constantly described as right wing despite clearly being a Statist authoritarian party, just like Labour.

    These labels are deceptive. “Authoritarian” and “liberal” are a better way to label the arrows pointing to opposite ends of our political spectrum. I have far less in common with the BNP than Gordon Brown does, so how can “right wing” reasonably cover both them and me?

    As it happens, the boy David has said two things I agree with in the past couple of days; “If you don’t like Big Brother, turn it off” and “legalise cannabis”. Not much, but I live in hope that he will yet turn out notto be the effete, unprincipled spinmeister he appears.

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