§ 32. Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will propose amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 to make lawful the medicinal use of cannabis. 
§ Mr. Charles Clarke
The Government believe that it would be premature to amend the misuse of drugs legislation to allow the prescribing of cannabis before the quality, safety aid efficacy of a medicinal form of the drug has been scientifically established and a marketing authorisation issued by the Medicines Control Agency. This is the procedure that all prospective new medicines have to go through in order to protect public health.
The Government welcome and have encouraged research into the possible medicinal uses of cannabis. The Home Office has licensed a number of laboratory and medical research in this area, including a large-scale research project aimed at producing a cannabis-based 493W medicine with applications for multiple sclerosis and intractable pain conditions. Early clinical trial studies are now being conducted.
If the clinical trials into cannabis are successful and lead to a medical preparation which is approved by the Medicines Control Agency. the Government have made it clear that they would be willing to amend the misuse of drugs regulations to allow the prescribing of such a medicine.
§ Mr. Flynn
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will prepare an assessment of the impact of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 on illegal drug use. 
§ Mr. Mike O'Brien
No. Such an exercise would serve little useful purpose and would not inform the development of anti-drugs policies. However, the Government do have a broad research programme designed to track the progress of the national drugs strategy. This will assist our understanding of what the drug problems are and what works best against them.