On 10th October I posted a blog critical of a local Member of Parliament, Norman Baker, regarding the decriminalisation of cannabis. Today I have received a letter from Mr Baker in response to my post which I am glad to publish here:
Dear Mr Winter
I recently read your article in the Argus and on your blog “Why I strongly oppose the call by a local MP to decriminalise cannabis” and wrote to the Argus about some inaccuracies regarding the content.
You are incorrect that I am proposing to legalise cannabis. What I have called for is a relaxation on the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, under prescription. It is clear to me that for some people, cannabis has clear medicinal benefits, and indeed benefits they have been unable to secure from other prescribed drugs. After all, we regularly use opioids within the NHS and no-one seems to regard that as controversial.
It is in my view heartless to deny people treatment that will improve their health, and indeed to make them into criminals if they source the substance themselves. This is a completely separate argument as to whether cannabis should be legalised for recreational purposes.
I would appreciate it if you would add my response to your blog, to provide the correct information about what I am seeking to achieve.
Norman Baker MP