House Of Commons Narrowly Defeats Norman Lamb Bill For Legalisation And Regulation of Cannabis As Labour Whips MPs To Abstain

Politics

MPs blocked by a narrow margin an attempt by Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb to bring in a Bill on legalising and regulating cannabis on Tuesday, by 66 votes to 52.

The vote was to bring in a Bill that would later progress to a vote on changing the law, not to change the law itself at this stage. Led by Steve Double MP, who called for a ramping up of the “war on cannabis”, the vast majority of those opposed were, predictably, Tory MPs – but seven Labour MPs, one SNP MP and, of course, several DUP MPs helped tip the balance in their favour.

In fact, according to Transform’s Steve Rolles, Labour shamefully whipped its MPs to abstain. Eight Labour MPs rebelled to vote in favour. (Scroll to the end for the list of MPs who voted.)

Lamb moved “that leave be given to bring in a Bill to legalise the possession and consumption of cannabis; to provide for the regulation of the production, distribution and sale of cannabis; and for connected purposes.”

Lamb, North Norfolk MP and a former health minister, told the House of three of his constituents who had been forced to break the law in order to treat conditions that could only be helped by by using cannabis, including one who has fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and IBS.

“He had been prescribed Fentanyl, which we know is highly addictive and potentially fatal,” said Lamb. “He stopped taking it out of fear of the consequences. Cannabis offers him essential pain relief, but he has no option but to buy it illegally. He knows that, at any time, he could face arrest and prosecution. Following the Government’s reforms allowing for the prescribing of cannabis-based products for medicinal use, he went to see his GP to get a prescription. He was told that they – the GPs – were all under instructions not to refer patients to the pain clinic because there is no evidence of therapeutic value. Yet something as dangerous as Fentanyl remains available.”

Lamb said that the Government’s recent reforms had “raised expectations but have dashed hopes” because the approach taken is “so restrictive that the numbers who will benefit are minuscule”. He championed the approach of the likes of Chief Constable Mike Barton in Durham for having “effectively decriminalised cannabis for personal use” but said this amounted to a “postcode lottery” whereby most people lived in areas where the police were not so enlightened.

Lamb pointed out some of the key principles that have guided reform in Canada, including:

  • protecting young people by keeping cannabis out of the hands of children and youth;
  • keeping profits out of the hands of criminals; preventing people from receiving criminal records for simple cannabis possession offences, which reduces the burden on police and the justice system;
  • protecting public health and safety by strengthening the law with respect to serious offences such as selling cannabis to minors and driving under influence;
  • providing support for addiction treatment, mental health support and education programmes to inform people about the risks;
  • and access to quality-controlled cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Lamb said prohibition has worked nowhere because “cannabis is available everywhere” and that a regulated system would disempower the black market, make consumption safer and take teenagers out of harm’s way.

He added: “We still criminalise thousands of people every year, taking up precious police time that could be used to fight serious crime. Careers are blighted for using a substance that no doubt many Members on the Government Benches have used at some stage of their lives. Meanwhile, the most harmful drug of all is consumed in large quantities right here in this building. Alcohol leads to violence on our streets and behind closed doors in people’s homes. It destroys families up and down our country, yet we tax it, and the Exchequer benefits enormously from it. Is there not a dreadful hypocrisy in the fact that we allow our drug of choice, while criminalising people who use another, less dangerous drug, many for the relief of pain?

“My Bill offers a more rational alternative to this mess. With strict regulation of the growing, sale and marketing of cannabis, with an age limit of 18 for the purchase and consumption of cannabis and with clear controls over potency of what is sold in licensed outlets, we can at last start to protect children and teenagers. We can at last treat with dignity and respect all those who suffer acute pain or who have conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and epilepsy. We can end the shameful treatment of these people as criminals.

“We can at last end the extraordinary practice of handing billions of pounds every year to organised crime. We can instead start to tax the sale of cannabis, so that revenues can be used for good purpose—public health education, the NHS, schools and the police. We can start to take some of the violence and intimidation off our streets and restore order in our poorest communities, and we can free up police time to focus on serious crime. This is rational, evidence-based policy making. It is time for this country to act on the evidence and to protect children and young people from harm.”

Lamb’s bill was opposed by Steve Double, Conservative MP for St Austell and Newquay, who agreed that “something had to be done” but that that something needed to be a ramping up of the “war on cannabis”, claiming wrongly that it is a “gateway drug” to more dangerous substances and causes psychosis. He defended the 1 November law change and said it needed more time for the changes to come into effect.

Lamb said afterwards that the outcome of the vote was “depressing” and “hypocritical” but added in a tweet that this had been the closest vote on such a bill so far.

The 52 MPs who voted in favour were:

The 66 MPs who voted against were:

Write to your MP if they were opposed the Bill and demand that they vote differently next time! Sharing your personal experience can make a much bigger impact than sharing your opinion, so tell them what effect prohibition has on your life and that something needs to change!

1 thought on “House Of Commons Narrowly Defeats Norman Lamb Bill For Legalisation And Regulation of Cannabis As Labour Whips MPs To Abstain

  1. CHECK ALL THE CONSERVATIVES WHO VOTED AGAINST, I WONDER WHY????
    I CAN ANSWER THAT BUT IT WOULD TAKE A LONG TIME SO CUT IT SHORT BY SAYING MR AN MRS MAY, AN THE WORDS EVIL GW PHARMA, JUST RECENTLY PATENTED ANOTHER ISOLATED CANNABINOID, CBDV FOR TREATING AUTISM, AMAZING TREATING THE SICK AN ILL, ITS THE WAY GW PHARMA IS DOING IT, ALL I AM GOING TO SAY IS FULL SPECTRUM WILL ALWAYS WORK BETTER, CANT PATENT A PLANT BUT CAN ISOLATE COMPOUNDS FROM THE PLANT AN PATENT IT TOO MAKE MILLIONS OF POUNDS IS SICK AN TWISTED WAY TO MAKE MONEY FROM PEOPLES ILLNESSES, OUR GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO START GIVING PEOPLE WHO SICK FREE WITH OUT CHARGING A PENNY, LEGALISE IT THEN PUT THE PROFITS BACK INTO THE NHS, WOULD MAKE A ROUND ABOUT OF PROFITS, LEGALISATION WOULD STOP CLASS A DRUG USE BY HALF, AINT NOBODY GOING TO CARE ABOUT SMACK WHEN THEY GOT SOME STRONG EDIBLES, PLUS IT HELPS WITH WITHDRAWALS FROM OPIATES, PEOPLE WOULD STOP USING METHADONE, LOOK UP NEIL MAGNUSUN FROM CANNABIS CULTURE AN WHAT HE IS DOING WITH OPIATE USE IN VANCOUVER I WOULD LIKE TOO AD IN CANADA AN THE THEN TELL ME CANNABIS IS THE PROBLEM, THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TOO STOP WITH MISS-INFORMATION, PEOPLE ARE SICK WHO NEEDS CANNABIS TOO LIVE A NORMAL LIFE, PLUS PEOPLE ARE STILL WAITING FOR CANNABIS PRESCRIPTIONS INCLUDING MYSELF, I SUFFER FROM CHRONIC PTSD AS A RESULT OF BEING ATTACKED FROM TRYING TO GET CANNABIS, SO THIS SO CALLED WAR ON CANNABIS IS WHAT HAVE MADE MY LIFE LIKE A WAR TRYING TOO USE CANNABIS, I DONT LIKE DEVILS PISS ALCOHOL THAT KILLS YOU AFTER A FEW YEARS OF ABUSE, 20 POUND CAN GET ME BOTTLE OF WHISKEY THAT WILL KILL ME IF I DRANK IT IN ONE, AN 20 POUND CAN GET ME A LITTLE BIT OF WEED I CAN EAT AN JUST FALL ASLEEP, IF THATS PUBLIC HEALTH THEN I AM SANTA CLAUS, LOL, SELL DRUGS THAT KILLS BUT DENY PEOPLE THE DRUGS THAT DOES NOT, I REPEAT DOES NOT KILL AT ALL, SEE I SEEN PEOPLE VAPING ALCOHOL RECENTLY ON YOU TUBE, NOW THATS A PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERN VAPING ALCOHOL CAN KILL VERY EASY BUT I AM NOT ALLOWED TOO VAPE ON THC OILS, IT AGAINST THE LAW, BUT I CAN KILL MYSELF IN MINUTES VAPING ALCOHOL, IS BEYOND A JOKE, HOW DUMB IS OUR GOVERNMENT, CANNABIS SHOULD BE FREE OR IF YOU LIKE TOO GROW BE ALLOWED TOO, GOVERNMENT DRUG DEALERS HAVE TURNED A PLANT THAT COMBINES WITH OUR BODY TOO MAKE US EQUAL INSIDE, LOOK UP WHAT THE ENDO-CANNABINOID SYSTEM IS, DO THE RESEARCH AN IT ALL POINTS TOO CANNABIS IS GOOD FOR YOU, ACTUALLY AMAZING FOR THE HUMAN BODY, THATS WHY IT IS A WAR ON CANNABIS, SCARES OUR GOVERNMENT WHEN SOMEBODY GOT THE ABILITY TOO TREAT THERE OWN ILLNESS WITH OUT GETTING HELP FROM THEM, I SEE IT THE OPPOSITE, LESS OF A BURDEN ON DR’S (WHO WOULD LOVE TOO GIVE PEOPLE CANNABIS) LESS BURDEN ON NHS, TREATING YOUR OWN ILLNESS IS A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT, IF IT WORKS FOR YOU THEN NOBODY WHAT SO EVER CAN TELL YOU TOO STOP DOING IT COZ ITS AGAINST THE LAW, ROBERT PEEL CREATED MET POLICE TOO PROTECT PEOPLE FROM OTHER PEOPLE LIKE MURDERERS AN PICK POCKETS, AN TOO PROTECT AN TOO SERVE THE PUBLIC, HE SAID THE POLICE IS FOR THE PUBLIC AN THE PUBLIC IS FOR THE POLICE, WHAT SOME ONE DOES TO THERE OWN BODY NEVER COME INTO ANY OF HIS LEGISLATION I LOOKED, LOL, BORIS COULD DO HIMSELF JUSTICE BY JUST LEGALISING THIS PLANT, TAXING IT, ECT, WE LEAVING EU, THE UK COULD START DOMINATING THE CANNABIS MARKET, THE UK GOT SOME TOP ASS GROWERS, ITS 2020 ALMOST AN CANNABIS IS STILL BEING TREATED LIKE IT HAVE SINCE 1971 A CRIMINAL OFFENCE TO USE CANNABIS, ITS NO LONGER THE 1970S ANYMORE, YOU WOULD THINK IT WAS, LOL, 26 OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE LEGALISED CANNABIS, EVEN AUSTRALIA LEGALISED IT, NO OFFENCE TO AUSTRALIA, LOL, BUT THE UK IS STUCK UP ITSELF ON THE CANNABIS LAWS 20 YEARS BEHIND COZ OF GW PHARMA, CRISTINA SANCHEZ (AMAZING WORK FOR THOSE WHO KNOW) BEEN USING GW PHARMAS CANNABIS TO STUDY IT IN MADRID AN HAVE BEEN DOING SO SINCE LATE 90S, SO FOR OUR OWN GOVERNMENT TOO SAY NOT ENOUGH RESEARCH IS DONE IS A BIG PHAT LIE, AN IT IS NOTHING SHORT OF EVIL HOLDING BACK ON EVIDENCE ALL THIS TIME IS WRONG, ALL I AN THE PEOPLE WHO USE CANNABIS WANTS IS TOO BE LEFT ALONE IN OUR OWN HOMES HIGH AN HAPPY, AN TOO DENY (THE POOR) SICK DYING PEOPLE A LIFE SAVING MEDICINE OVER PROFIT IS INHUMAN, MORE PEOPLE NEEDS TOO VOICE THERE OPINION ON CANNABIS LAWS, FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS A CIVIL RIGHT, ANYWAYS IT ONLY VOICING AN OPINION ABOUT EVIDENCE THAT IS ALL OVER YOU TUBE AN THE CANNABIS SITES, JODY EMERY SAID TO ME CANNABIS IS THE TREE OF LIFE AN SHE IS BANG ON RIGHT, THAT IS WHY IT IS ILLEGAL, NOT BECAUSE IT IS A DRUG, IT IS SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT, HEMP PLASTICS THAT IS BIO-DEGRADABLE, ROPE, CLOTHES, THE LIST IS MASSIVE, AN HEMP SEEDS IS AMAZING FOR THE BIRDS, SO CANNABIS IS NOT JUST THIS PLANT THAT HELPS AGAINST A NUMBER OF ILLNESSES, DARE I SAY IT, CANCER YES, JUST LOOK AT RUN FROM THE CURE, RICK SIMPSON, CANNABIS NEEDS TO BE FREED FROM THIS JAIL THIS PLANT IS SITTING IN, IT CANT HELP PEOPLE LOCKED UP, FREE THE WEED AN FREE THE GREED……………….

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