Questions about MS? Call us on 0808 800 8000
Parliament from bridge

Cannabis and MS in Parliament

Jonathan Blades

On Tuesday, the House of Commons debated a Private Member’s Bill to legalise the prescription of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Paul Flynn, MP for Newport, introduced the Private Member’s Bill, (sometimes known as a Ten Minute Bill). During the debate, he highlighted the experiences of people with MS who've taken cannabis to manage their symptoms. People like the late Elizabeth Brice, who campaigned for the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use and access to Sativex.

Kindness, courage and a system that works for people with MS

Mr Flynn talked about our position on cannabis for medical use and called for his colleagues to act with “kindness and courage to pass this bill”.

Earlier this year, we worked with people with MS to update our position on cannabis. Our new position supports the development of a safe system that legalises cannabis for medicinal use to treat pain and spasticity in MS, when other treatments have failed.

Ahead of Tuesday's debate, we wrote to MPs to ask them to support the bill.

What next for cannabis and MS?

No MP spoke against the Bill and it was approved and supported by MPs from across the political parties. That means the Bill will continue in the legislative process. The next stage of the bill will take place on Friday 23 February 2018.

It's unlikely it will go much further this time, as Ten Minute Rule Bills rarely become law without the government of the day supporting them. But whatever happens, we'll continue to raise this important issue to make sure people with MS get the right treatment at the right time.

> Find out more about cannabis and MS