Former health minister Norman Lamb has called for the complete legalisation of cannabis – after alleging that “probably half the Cabinet” have used the class B drug.
The Liberal Democrat MP said the Government’s policy towards cannabis represented a “dreadful hypocrisy” and echoed calls from former Tory leader Lord Hague to bring in a regulated market for the drug.
Mr Lamb, speaking after Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced a review into medicinal cannabis use, said: “Isn’t there a dreadful hypocrisy in Government policy in drugs more generally.
“Probably most of the Cabinet drink alcohol, the most dangerous drug of all, probably half of the cabinet has used cannabis, possibly even the Home Secretary — unless they’re a group of very odd people.
“Shouldn’t the Home Secretary actually follow the advice of the former Conservative leader Lord Hague, who makes the case for a regulated legalised market and that that is the best way to protect people from harm who at the moment buy from criminals who have no interest in their welfare at all.”
Mr Javid responded, saying that on this occasion he did not agree with Lord Hague.
He said: “This is about making sure that we have the best possible medical treatment available for everyone in the UK, but especially our children.
“That’s what this is about, it’s about medial treatment, it is not about the recreational use of drugs which can cause severe damage to people.
“I’m afraid I don’t agree with him on that point, and on this occasion I do not agree with Lord Hague.”
Following the debate, Tory former minister Sir Desmond Swayne used a point of order to ask: “Where is everybody? I hope in the light of the extraordinary accusations of (Mr Lamb) they are not behind the bike sheds having a spliff.”
Speaker John Bercow replied: “That is a most unworthy thought,” and added: “I think that he errs on the side of pessimism in his assessment of the character of his colleagues.”