Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Friday, July 23, 1999 Published at 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK


Special Report

Flynn's medicinal cannabis call thrown out

Cannabis decriminalise attempt follows court case

A further attempt by Newport West MP Paul Flynn to decriminalise cannabis for medical use has been blocked.

A shout of "object" by Government Whip Jim Dowd was enough to kill-off the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Bill, piloted by Mr Flynn, a former chemist, without debate or a vote.

His bill cames before the Commons the day after a jury at Manchester Crown Court cleared a man who admitted growing cannabis.

Colin Davies, 42, who started cultivating the drug in his council flat after suffering severe spinal injuries in a fall, was acquitted at Manchester Crown Court of cultivating, possessing and supplying the drug after a three-day trial.

He said he had used the drug to relieve the pain of a spinal injury.

Groundbreaking decision

Mr Flynn, a long-term campaigner for the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use, said he was "delighted" by the outcome.

"It's a ground-breaking decision," he said. "It shows the common sense of the jury in overcoming an outdated law.


[ image: Long-tmer campaigner for medicinal cannabis use Paul Flynn MP]
Long-tmer campaigner for medicinal cannabis use Paul Flynn MP
"What we are doing at the moment is unfair and cruel - putting the fear of imprisonment into people who are commiting no greater crime than taking their medicine of choice for their ailment."

Mr Flynn had tried several times to persuade Parliament to allow doctors to prescribe cannabis for medical use but had always failed because of a lack of Parliamentary time.

And while the MP claims to have the backing of 102 MPs, the House of Lords science committee and the Townswomen's Guild, another block had been expected.

Arthritis sufferer jailed

Mr Flynn has been campaigning on behalf of Eric Mann, a grandfather from Swansea, who was jailed for a year after taking cannabis to alleviate pain from arthritis.

A retired oil refinery worker, Mr Mann suffers from crippling arthritis and says he had became suicidal.

Conventional drugs, he had told Swansea Crown Court, failed to work and he turned to cannabis, which slowly made him virtually pain free.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©



Relevant Stories

22 Jul 99 | Health
Medicinal cannabis grower acquitted

09 Jul 99 | Health
Cannabis therapy man escapes jail

08 Jul 99 | Health
British Medical Association conference '99

07 Jul 99 | Health
BMA rejects legalisation of cannabis

21 Jun 99 | Health
New call for cannabis reform

10 Jun 99 | Health
Townswomen support cannabis use

04 Jun 99 | Health
International interest in marijuana inhaler





Internet Links


British Medical Association

Cannabis information (pro-use)

Medical Cannabis

Townswomen's Guild

House of Lords report on cannabis, November 1998


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Released hostage returns home to Wales

Puma is 'definitely' on the loose

Stereophonics earn their rock stripes

Drug arrests mar jazz festival

Internet sex doctor banned

Welsh leader supports cannabis call

MP seeks solution to asylum tensions

Welsh Tories elect new Assembly leader

'Make way for Welsh Tories' - analyst

Inquest opens into tent fire death

Welsh pit stop for Formula Three

Church tackles genetic engineering

'Poverty pilgrims' begin march

Fear of threat to river pollution fight

Tories seek place in new Wales

From UK Politics
Welsh Tory attacks 'gagging attempt'