|The Lords stated that they had "Received enough anecdotal evidence to convince it that cannabis
almost certainly does have genuine medical applications, especially
in treating the painful muscular spasms and other symptoms of MS
and in the control of other forms of pain. "
2. In its conclusions and in the press release accompanying the
publication of the report, the committee makes specific reference
to the urgent need for clinical trials. The report states:
"We therefore recommend that clinical trials of cannabis for the
treatment of MS and chronic pain should be mounted as a matter of
urgency. We warmly welcome the fact that, in the course of our inquiry,
both Dr Geoffrey Guy of GW Pharmaceuticals, and the Royal Pharmaceutical
Society's working group under Sir William Asscher, have set off
down this route."
[The Asscher group has no commercial aims. Its objectives are "to
produce guidelines for pilot clinical trials for cannabinoids as
proof of principle of their effectiveness, and to assist those who
wish to conduct such trials to successfully complete them and publish
3. The House of Lords expressed particular concern for MS sufferers
and the legal dilemma they currently face in using cannabis for
"85,000 people in this country will continue to suffer the very
unpleasant symptoms of MS. Only a small proportion of these are
known to have tried cannabis illegally; but of these, significant
numbers report great relief of their symptoms. We do not believe
that this position is satisfactory."
"At present, people who use cannabis for medical reasons are caught
in the front line of the war against drug abuse. This makes criminals
of people whose intentions are innocent, it adds to the burden on
enforcement agencies, and it brings the law into disrepute... Illegal
medical use of cannabis is quite widespread; it is sometimes connived
at and even in some cases encouraged by health professionals; and
yet at present it exposes patients and in some cases their carers
to all the distress of criminal proceedings, with the possibility
of serious penalties. "
4. The Lords also summarise the UK Governments position as follows:
"The Government have said repeatedly that, if sufficient evidence
in favour of cannabis as a medicine were produced for the Medicines
Control Agency to be prepared to license it, they would amend the
Misuse of Drugs Regulations so as to permit it to be prescribed."