Graphic: reads #CannabisForMS and shows illustration of Sativex spray and molecular structure for cannabis

Celebrities, MPs and neurologists call for cannabis for MS review

Leading neurologists have come together with nurses,  MPs from all parties, and celebrities like explorer Ranulph Fiennes and actor Alun Armstrong, to send a message to Government: their review into medicinal cannabis must include MS.

Last week Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, announced the Government will hold a review into the use of medicinal cannabis. Today we’ve sent him an open letter, asking him to make sure it includes MS.

How far the debate on cannabis and MS has come

Genevieve Edwards, our Director of External Affairs, said: “The diversity of voices that have put their name to this letter shows just how far the political and public debate on cannabis for medicinal use has come. We welcome the Government’s upcoming review into this and we’re really excited about what it could mean for people with MS.

Cannabis for medicinal use could transform lives

This is what we sent:

Dear Secretary of State

Evidence shows that cannabis for medicinal use could help people with multiple sclerosis (MS) to manage pain and spasticity, when other treatments have not worked for them. It is estimated that 10,000 people with MS could benefit from cannabis for medicinal use.
 
Many people with MS could benefit from taking Sativex, a cannabis based medicine that helps manage spasticity. The medicine is however not widely available, with the exception of Wales, and is not available for pain. Many people with MS turn to illegal forms of cannabis as an alternative. It’s simply not right that some people are being driven to break the law to relieve their pain and spasticity. It’s also really risky when you’re not sure about the quality or dosage of what you’re buying.
 
We therefore welcome the UK Government’s decision to hold a review into cannabis for medicinal use and call on you to ensure evidence on MS and cannabis for medicinal use will be included in the review.

Signed

Alex Deakin (Meteorologist)
Alun Armstrong (Actor)
Beccy Huxtable (MS Society Supporter)
Bill Grant MP (Conservative MP)
Bob Blackman MP (Conservative MP)
Caroline Lucas MP (Green MP, Co-Leader of the Green Party)
Christine Jardine MP (Liberal Democrat MP, Spokesperson for Scotland)
Claire King (Actress)
Colin Charvis (Former Wales Rugby Captain)
Crispin Blunt MP (Conservative MP, Co-Chair Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform)
Dr David Hunt (Consultant Neurologist)
David Martin (CEO MS Trust)
Diane Abbott MP (Labour MP, Shadow Home Secretary)
Sir Ed Davey MP (Liberal Democrat MP, Spokesperson for Home Affairs)
Dr Eli Silber (Consultant Neurologist)
Felix White (Musician and Broadcaster)
Genevieve Edwards (Director of External Affairs MS Society)
Hannah Bardell MP (SNP MP, Spokesperson for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Hugo White (Musician and Broadcaster)
Ian Murray MP (Labour MP)
Jack Frimston (Musician)
Jackie Llewelyn-Bowen (MS Society Supporter)
Janis Winehouse (Living with MS and mother of singer Amy Winehouse)
Jeff Smith MP (Labour MP, Co-Chair APPG for Drug Policy Reform)
Baroness Joan Walmsley (Liberal Democrat Peer, Vice-Chair APPG for Drug Policy Reform)
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen (Interior Designer and Broadcaster)
Matt Western MP (Labour MP)
Dr Matthew Craner (Consultant Neurologist)
Professor Mike Barnes (Consultant Neurologist)
Sir Mike Penning MP (Conservative MP, Co-Chair APPG for Medical Cannabis)
Baroness Molly Meacher (Crossbench Peer, Co-Chair APPG for Drug Policy Reform)
Norman Lamb MP (Liberal Democrat MP, Former Minister of State for Health)
Sir Ranulph Fiennes (Explorer)
Richard Hawley (Actor)
Dr Richard Nicholas (Consultant Neurologist)
Ronnie Cowan MP (SNP MP, Vice-Chair APPG for Drug Policy Reform)
Stuart Nixon MBE (MS Society Ambassador)
Tonia Antoniazzi MP (Labour MP)
Trishna Bharadia (MS Society Ambassador)
UK Multiple Sclerosis Specialist Nurse Association Committee
Sir Vince Cable MP (Liberal Democrat MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats)
Wayne David MP (Labour MP)
Dr Waqar Rashid (Consultant Neurologist)