Today, the House of Commons in the United Kingdom debated the newly re-elected Conservative Government’s drug strategy. The policy paper released last week was met with the usual back-and-forth banter between party lines, with no real dramatic highlights to speak of except one.
— Paul Flynn (@PaulFlynnMP) July 18, 2017
“Come here [to Parliament] and use cannabis here and see what happens. To challenge the government and the authorities to arrest them and take them in. That’s the only way it will get to the common mind of the government, which is set in concrete. The laws are evidence-free and prejudice-rich.”
These bold comments made by Minister Flynn caught the attention of many, including Jason Reed of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).
“Paul has been a long supporter of full drug policy reform and is often seen at the forefront of any parliamentary debate on the issue,” said Reed in an interview with Marijuana.com. “He advocates full regulated systems for cannabis.”
Reed added that the frustrations felt by Flynn and other ministers came from a clear ignorance shown by the Conservatives surrounding their drug policy. “The debate was about as far away from evidence-based as it can get, with alcohol discussed as a ‘not so harmful drug.’”
MP Flynn’s comments did not receive raucous applause but rather silence in the shared frustration from the opposition over the archaic drug enforcement approach on behalf of Theresa May and her party.
“There was a solidarity in silence in fellow MPs fully understanding the frustration at this specific and uncaring dynamic to our drug laws,” Said Reed. “The UK drug strategy actually made no mention of medical cannabis, so this may account for the increased levels of advocacy from those who have met constituents who find relief from their symptoms by using cannabis.”
Although it’s clear that the United Kingdom has a long way to go before they catch up to other countries that permit access to medical marijuana, the fact that it is being debated at the highest levels of government is a sign of change to come.
Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett