Today, Crispin Blunt wrote to the Letters Editor of the Telegraph following the opinion piece "Cannabis may be political poison, but its medical use should be legalised”. You can read this here:
Your leader column (10th October 2018) calling for a debate on wider Cannabis legalisation is very welcome, as is supporting the change in the law to finally find a way for UK patients to benefit from medicines derived from Cannabis. This follows both your reported reconsideration of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and the recent call for wider legalisation by William Hague in your columns on 19th June 2018. On Cannabis legalisation, we are about to start getting the evidence from a national case study as Canada takes this industry legal and controls, regulates, and taxes it. This is likely to protect children and significantly reduce public harm. Let us see where the evidence takes us.
However, this debate needs to go further to include all narcotic drugs, as the only universal point of agreement is the current drugs policy doesn’t work. A sensible evidence based reassessment of our policy is currently frozen as I found out as the Minister for Prisons and Probation and Youth Justice (2010 – 12) when my efforts to even have a closed conversation between Ministers was closed down by Home Office Ministers for fear of undermining the Government’s central message that “drugs are bad, they are banned.”
The major societal harms are coming from all the narcotic drugs other than Cannabis. A Royal Commission to consider the costs and benefits of the prohibition of narcotic drugs and to make recommendations could enable this wider debate and consideration to take place outside the political paralysis that currently obstructs sound policy making on this issue.
Calm, expert British reassessment of our policy would also inform the global reassessment of drugs policy that is occurring around us. It would be an opportunity for Britain to lead policy that reduces harm to society globally, not meekly follow others because we have been incapable of having this debate but rather relied on keeping politicians safe on the moral high ground whilst carnage ensues around us.
Crispin Blunt MP
Co-Chair All Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform
House of Commons