A Labour veteran is launching a new bid to legalise medicinal cannabis after more than a decade of campaigning.
Paul Flynn will attempt to put forward a formal Private Member’s Bill in October after saying it is people’s “duty” to break the law and use the drug in parliament.
He is pushing the slim chance to change the law even though he’s against smoking and says he’s never used weed once in his “long, boring life”.
The MP for Newport, South Wales, insists views have softened in recent years – with the Lib Dems now in favour of full legalisation.
He even claims ‘cannabis clubs’ are already operating around the UK “with the blessing of police”.
Mr Flynn believes the Class B drug, possession of which can carry a 5-year prison term, is a “medicine that’s been found to have unique properties” for multiple sclerosis suffers and chemotherapy patients.
He branded the government’s approach “profound gaping bottomless stupidity” and said licensing the drug could raise “huge amounts” of tax.
He told the Mirror: “There’s a huge amount of money to be raised if you have a legal market.
“You’ve got money now that’s pouring into the black market for people who almost certainly don’t pay taxes on it.”
Mr Flynn said the government had found evidence that illegal drugs had been found in every prison in the country
“It’s bloody crazy,” he said.
“They’re hiding their heads in the sand and ignoring the fact that if we can’t keep drugs out of any of the prisons in the country, how do we keep them out of clubs or schools or anywhere else?
“They’re ignoring a mountain of evidence before their eyes that the drug laws are doing more harm than the drugs themselves.”
Despite his long campaign 82-year-old Mr Flynn claims he has never once taken cannabis.
“In my long, boring life I’ve never used an illegal drug”, he said.
He also insists he’s vehemently against the “killer drug tobacco” and smoking of any kind, saying cannabis should be taken in a vapour or tea.
But he has tried at least twice, unsuccessfully, to change cannabis law and once helped a campaigner take the drug in her tea on the House of Commons terrace.
And earlier this month he urged people to take direct action, “break the law” and use cannabis in Parliament.
Mr Flynn says he is not pushing to legalise cannabis for recreational use “at the moment” but said: “I think it’ll come.”
He added: “This is the law at its most absurd. And the duty of citizens when you have a law that’s cruel, unfair, unenforceable, is to challenge that law. You can challenge it by a token breaking of the law.”
Unfortunately for Mr Flynn, his ‘Ten Minute Rule’ Bill has a very, very, very slim chance of becoming law – and it may not even be debated in the House of Commons.
It is only due to be given a day for debate in October – after around 100 Private Member’s Bills have already been given a date. Yet there are only 13 debating days available between now and November 2018.
Twenty Private Member’s Bills that won a ballot have already been given a day for debate, and 73 Bills put forward by just two Tory MPs are due to be offered time on September 5.
Even when a Bill is given time for debate, it fails if an MP is still debating it in the Commons chamber at a cut-off point of 2.30pm on a Friday.
That loophole has seen Tory MPs accused of filibustering to stop laws including free hospital parking for carers and first aid training for school children.
But some PMBs do still become law – 295 out of 2,824 proposed between 1983 and 2010.
Of that number, 186 won the ballot, 41 were Presentation Bills, 12 were under the separate Ten Minute Rule system and 56 began in the House of Lords.
Nearly 250,000 people signed a petition to make the production, sale and use of cannabis legal but it was dismissed by the government last year.
At the time the government said: “Substantial scientific evidence shows cannabis is a harmful drug that can damage human health.
“There are no plans to legalise cannabis as it would not address the harm to individuals and communities.”
Original article via TheMirror