PM under pressure to review laws on recreational cannabis use

Billy Caldwell with his mum Charlotte Caldwell

Billy Caldwell with his mother Charlotte.

"The idea that this can be driven off the streets and out of people's lives by the state is nothing short of deluded", Hague wrote in the Telegraph.

Labour MP Tonia Antoniazza told the Chamber that two children in her constituency, Gower, could "benefit hugely" from the treatment, while six-year-old epileptic Alfie Dingley has been waiting three months for the Home Office to process a licence application.

A spokesman for the prime minister denied that the government had lost the war on drugs and the government department responsible for crime and policing said it had no intention of reviewing the law. "This battle is effectively over".

Challenging the government to emulate the ruling Liberal Party government in Canada which is on the "verge of agreeing something much more radical: a legal, regulated market for cannabis for recreational use", Hague appealed to the Tory's claim of being the party of pragmatism.

However, he cautioned 'this is in no way a first step to the legalisation of cannabis.

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Speaking on Monday, Mr Hunt said: "We know that there is strong clinical evidence that in certain situations, cannabis oil can be very beneficial and so I don't think anyone who followed that story [Billy Caldwell] can have felt anything other than a massive amount of sympathy for the family, and I think as a Government minister it's very clear to me that we're not getting that right and that's why we're having that review".

This issue has come to the fore after it emerged that home secretary Sajid Javid had repeatedly attempted to raise the issue of medicinal cannabis during Cabinet yesterday, following the case of Billy Caldwell, the young boy with severe epilepsy, who was hospitalised after his cannabis oil was confiscated. The child's MP, Conservative Mike Penning, says he will go overseas himself to get his constituent's medical cannabis if the Home Office doesn't address the situation by tomorrow.

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"Cannabis is a drug which can harm people's mental and physical health", he said.

William Hague, a former Conservative Party leader of four years, has suggested the law on cannabis use should be liberalised in line with facts that have changed "very seriously and clearly". Classification is completely separate to scheduling regulations.

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