HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Cameron Calls For Legalisation Of 'Medical Marijuana'
Pubdate: Mon, 22 Jan 2007
Source: Independent  (UK)
Section: Health Medical
Copyright: 2007 Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd.
Author: Andrew Grice, Political Editor
Bookmark: (Cannabis - United Kingdom)


David Cameron has supported calls for cannabis to be legalised for 
medical use provided that clear health benefits can be shown.

The Tory leader, who has refused to answer media questions about 
whether he used drugs before entering politics, ruled out a wider 
legalisation of cannabis for recreational use.

Answering questions on his "webcameron" website, he said: "If it can 
be proved that there are real benefits, medicinal benefits and 
scientific evidence for it, I would be relaxed about that. My 
decision would be to licence it if it could be proved to have benefits."

The pledge will be welcomed by campaigners who claim that cannabis 
can ease the symptoms of illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, but it 
may worry Tory traditionalists.

Mo Mowlam, the former cabinet minister who died in 2005, fought for 
cannabis to be made legal for medical use. Although the Home Office 
set up investigations into the drug's possible benefits, the impetus 
appears to have stalled.

Mr Cameron will launch a new Tory health policy today vowing to sweep 
away many of the targets Labour has imposed on the NHS.

The Tories will call for all GPs to take control of budgets, 
currently held by primary care trusts, and be rewarded for improving 
outcomes. GP fundholding was used by the Tory government before 1997, 
but it was scrapped by Labour.

The Tories say outcomes matter more than targets and that Labour's 
regime distorts priorities. Maximum waiting times set by the 
Government are becoming minimum waits, they argue. 
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