Source: News and Star, Carlisle

Author: Chris Story

Date: 13 April 2005




MS SUFFERER David Maclean has revealed he would back the legalisation of cannabis for medical use ­ if supported by solid advice.


But the Conservative candidate for Penrith and the Border remains opposed to legalising the drug for recreational use.


The issue is likely to be a hot topic during the general election campaign with the Legalise Cannabis Alliance contesting three Cumbrian constituencies.


Mr Maclean told the News & Star he was keen to learn the findings of on-going studies into the drug’s medicinal effects. He said: “I would personally have an interest in these.


“If cannabis is proven in legitimate studies to be useful for people with multiple sclerosis, should I say, then it should be available as a drug from a doctor or chemist when prescribed whether it is in inhaler or tablet form.


“I would be in favour of making available approved drugs on doctor’s prescriptions, the same as some people get other dangerous drugs.


“But there is no justification to say smoking a cigarette of cannabis should be legalised for everybody.


“The Government is in a mess with cannabis. Their drugs policy is a disaster.”


Mr Maclean, who uses a shepherd’s crook because of his condition, spoke as the Legalise Cannabis Alliance prepared to lodge their nomination papers today.


They plan to fight the Carlisle, Workington and Penrith and the Border constituencies.


Lezley Gibson, who is standing for the party in Penrith, also suffers from MS and believes there is already a strong argument for legalised medical use.


She said: “The problem is not cannabis, it is the type of people who use it. It is no worse than alcohol.


“The majority of cannabis users are grown-ups. We’re aware of what we’re doing and we’re not hurting ourselves.”


Mrs Gibson also hit out at reports which claimed cannabis use could cause psychosis because of a gene that makes one in five people vulnerable to the

psychological condition.


“That is rubbish,” she said. “If you’re going to get that you’re going to get it.


Labour’s Workington hopeful Tony Cunningham said he was happy with the Government’s stance on cannabis use, adding: “I would not be in favour of



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