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19 July 2017

Labour MP urges people to smoke cannabis at Parliament – Starr Fm

An MP has urged people to “break the law” and use cannabis in Parliament in a drastic bid to change the law.

Labour veteran Paul Flynn demanded direct action to allow the drug for medicinal use – telling how he himself helped someone use it on the highly-guarded Westminster estate.

The campaigning MP told a Commons debate on drugs policy: “I would call on people, and I know we aren’t supposed to do this as members, to break the law. To come here and use cannabis here and see what happens and challenge the government, the authorities to arrest them and take them in.

“That’s the only way it’ll get through the common mind of the government which is set in concrete and the whole law is evidence-free and prejudice-rich.”

Mr Flynn recalled how he helped make a cup of cannabis tea on the House of Commons terrace – a bar overlooking the Thames flanked by doorkeepers and police.

He told MPs he “committed a terrible crime” with Elizabeth Brice, a multiple sclerosis sufferer who campaigned for medicinal cannabis before her death in 2011.

He said Ms Brice, who used the pseudonym Claire Hodges, was a “wonderful, vibrant” woman

He told MPs: “She came to this House and together, collaborating with her, we committed a terrible crime on the terrace of this House.

“Because I supplied her with a cup of hot water into which she put cannabis and she drank cannabis tea.

“Now according to the rules of this House, the policy approved by the government and sadly by the Opposition as well, she was liable to go to prison for seven years for that.

“I mean, I probably would be accompanying her.

“I think we have to say to those who put up with the barbaric stupidity and cruelty of government policy that denies seriously ill people their medicine of choice. We’ve got to call on those who are in this position to act in a way of civil disobedience.”

He added: “Most of the countries in the world allow this most ancient of medicines, it’s been used for 5,000 years, in every continent in the world.”

During the same debate, a Home Office minister was accused of downplaying the risks of alcohol.

Lib Dem health spokesman Norman Lamb asked Tory minister Sarah Newton to explain the difference in approach to cannabis and alcohol, which he described as “the most dangerous drug.”

Ms Newton replied: “I wouldn’t agree with you that alcohol is the most dangerous drug, if you look at the substances which we are restricting.

“Of course there are those people who take alcohol to such a harmful degree that it is devastating for them and devastating to their family members and wider community.

“I fully accept, as we do in the modern crime prevention strategy, that misuse of alcohol does have very dramatically harmful effects and does contribute to crime.

 

“But actually alcohol taken in moderation is not a harmful drug and the Department of Health constantly keeps under review and is doing research all the time to understand the health impact of alcohol and revisits what they consider to be safe drinking guidance.”

Labour’s Thangam Debbonaire (Bristol West) later challenged Ms Newton, noting: “You said a moment ago that there is such a thing as safe levels of alcohol. That’s not what the Nice guidelines say.”

“The Nice guidelines are clear and accurate – there is no safe level of consumption of alcohol, we allow it to be consumed legally, we provide information, we provide treatment and recovery, but we don’t criminalise people who are consuming alcohol.”

Ms Debbonaire said there is evidence available which shows “just how much more harmful alcohol is than any other drug”.

 

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