The use of drugs matter to the whole of society, as all of us feel the impact. From crime in local neighbourhoods through to families forced apart by dependency and to the corrupting effect of international organised crime, drugs have a profound and negative effect on communities, families and individuals.

Thank you in particular for writing to me with your views on the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. This is where I stand;

I believe there may be a place for the use of cannabis, for giving relief to some conditions such as MS, However this should be available only where the medical evidence is clear, and only under prescription, for e.g. in a form such as Sativex which is normally available as a mouth spray. This product has been available for a few months in what I believe was a major step forward. I am pleased to note that my position is consistent a number of major charities. This view is based on conversations with GPs and charity workers in relevant charities within my constituency, as well as my own personal observations. I do not believe individuals should be authorised to grow cannabis in their own property as that crosses a line, and whilst the majority of people would not abuse this, the potential is clearly there for abuse.

So it remains my opinion that cannabis should not be downgraded as this would set a dangerous precedent, and there are uncertainties about its’ medicinal benefits relative to its side effects.