With the news that Walsall Manor Hospital is one of a small number of hospitals in the UK which have been selected for trials by the Medical Research Council on the use of cannabis for the relief of certain conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Michael Fabricant now says again "I personally believe that no drugs, including Class B drugs like cannabis, should be withheld from anyone if prescribed by a doctor and a qualified consultant". He made this point over a year ago in the House of Commons in a debate on the use of drugs.
"I strongly believe that if a suitable qualified medical consultant makes a professional judgment that any drug would be helpful to cure or alleviate the effects of any medical condition – except for drug addiction itself – and provided the patient and his personal G.P. agree, no drug should be withheld from any patient whether it be a restricted drug or not", says Michael Fabricant. "I am pleased that the Medical Research Council has initiated this £500,000 project into the effects of cannabis on certain medical conditions.
"Some years ago, a constituent suffering with MS contacted me because the police had discovered he was using small doses of cannabis to alleviate his condition. The police wisely chose not to pursue the matter. But it does seem a nonsense to me that my otherwise law abiding and respectable constituent had to fear prosecution as if he were a criminal: simply for taking what was, for him, a medicine.
"I do not condone the taking of any illegal drugs for recreational use: this can lead to permanent injury and addiction. But the use of drugs prescribed as a medicine by qualified practitioners is a very different matter altogether and no drug should be out of bounds if it can help a patient. We have to get real about this", says Michael Fabricant.