Responding to the narrow defeat of his Cannabis (Legalisation and Regulation) Bill yesterday, in which Labour MPs were whipped against supporting the legislation, former Health Minister Norman Lamb said:

“While it was sadly predictable that the Conservatives would block reform of our harmful and outdated drugs laws, it was deeply depressing to see the vast majority of Labour MPs sit on their hands and abstain.
 
“It underlines the hypocrisy of Labour’s claim to offer a radical, progressive alternative to the Conservatives. The truth is that Labour remains a deeply small-c conservative party in many respects, driven by tough rhetoric and a tendency to ban what it doesn’t like rather than following the evidence. I applaud those MPs who voted in support of the Bill and strongly encourage others to reconsider.  
 
“The war on drugs has been an unmitigated failure, leaving young people vulnerable to dangerous strains of cannabis sold by dealers who have absolutely no interest in their welfare.
 
“The Liberal Democrats are the only party calling for a pragmatic, evidence-based approach to cannabis which focuses on protecting public health. Only by legalising and regulating cannabis can we minimise the harms of this drug and protect the well-being of our children and young people.”

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