My campaigns on medicinal cannabis have continued for more than 25 years. The arguments for are overwhelming. The resistence from Governments is evidence-free and cowardly. Wales is taking a lead. There are great reforms taking place elsewhere in the world. The cliff of prejudice is crumbling.
This is the answer I had from a Government minister in 2010. Carry on suffering.
Paul Flynn: In Canada, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Italy, Israel, Spain, Portugal and parts of the United States, patients can take medicinal cannabis in its natural form safely and legally. Why are seriously ill patients in our country, particularly those suffering the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, forced to break the law when they want to use their medicine of choice?
James Brokenshire: The advice we have received from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs confirms that cannabis is a significant public health issue. I certainly sympathise with anyone suffering from a debilitating illness, but we do not condone any illicit drug taking, for whatever reason.
From the BBC
The NHS in Wales will be the first in the UK to fund a cannabis-based medicine for people with multiple sclerosis.
Sativex is taken as an oral spray and has been approved by the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG).
It will be available on prescription to treat muscle spasms for MS patients who have not responded to other medicine.
The MS Society said Wales was leading the way in the treatment.
Its programme director for policy, Sally Hughes, added: "Muscle spasms and stiffness in MS can be painful and distressing and so the availability of a treatment that can potentially alleviate these symptoms is good news.
"We particularly welcome this decision considering the draft NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) clinical guideline, published in April, rejected this treatment for use on the NHS in Wales and England based on a flawed assessment of the drug's cost effectiveness.
"For some time we've been aware of people in Wales paying privately for this licensed treatment; this decision should make life a lot easier for them."
Sativex is the first cannabis-based medicine to be licensed in the UK.