ON Thursday there was a debate at Westminster on the economic contribution of medical cannabis.

This both encouraged and outraged me. I have been campaigning for the research and production of medical cannabis for years.

I am a trustee of a charity ‘intractable epilepsy’ which raises money for children with epilepsy that benefit from Bedrocan which is a medical cannabis product available privately.

I have pleaded with the UK Government to engage in the debate around the provision of medical cannabis on the NHS but time and time again they have turned a deaf ear.

Whenever I have appealed to their ethics, morals or compassion to provide medicine for kids with epilepsy they have knocked me back.

Their fixation with cannabis as a recreational drug and not as a medicine has hindered their capacity to separate the two. Until now that is.

When the debate was positioned as the ‘economic contribution’ their interest peaked. The fact that the provision of medical cannabis to children can stop epileptic seizures and that the Conservative and Unionist Secretary of State for Health promised it would be provided free on the NHS in 2019 has meant nothing to them.

But introduce the concept of the economic benefit and everything is on the table. I am more than happy to take whatever path is required to provide a better outcome but I am outraged that the Conservative and Unionist government are only interested now once it has been explained to them that money can be made.

They should be putting patients before profits and their moral obligation to provide medicine on the NHS which is already available privately should be enough motivation. I shall watch this closely as there are many more examples of niche medicines not being researched properly, especially those deemed as psychoactive substances.

Maybe I should bypass the health department and go straight to the treasury.