Medical Use of Cannabis
'Could Soon be Legal'

by Michael Kallenbach
Daily Telegraph (London), 2000-05-11, page 14

THE USE of cannabis for medical reasons could soon be legalised, a [British parliament] minister said yesterday.

Mo Mowlam, the Cabinet Office Minister, was responding to calls from several MPs for the Government to be more specific on when this might happen.

Although she could not provide a date, she said: "I hope it is soon. We are looking at this. We've got scientific research which is very close to completion. There is also room for discussion and debate."

The Daily Telegraph recently suggested that cannabis be legalised for an experimental period.

But Jim Murphy (Lab, Eastwood) said the decision on legalising cannabis should not be decided by the "cosy confines" of the leader writers of the paper, but rather by people throughout the country.

Paul Flynn (Lab, Newport W) said 20 years after decriminalisation of cannabis in Holland, less of the drug was used there than in Britain and it was used in safer forms.

Nigel Evans (C, Ribble Valley) criticised some rock musicians for sending the wrong signals on the subject. He said they should set an example that young people could enjoy themselves without drugs.

But Miss Mowlam declined to criticise pop stars. "They are individuals. They make their own choices in life and I am not about to start dictating to them what they should say in public."

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