Tynwald continues to drag its heels over the personal use of cannabis on the Island, according to Liberal Vannin.
Whilst welcoming the changes announced this week to the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1976 and the introduction of licensing regulations allowing the cultivation and commercial production of cannabis products, the party is concerned that the legislation doesn’t allow for the sale of the products on the Isle of Man, which means Manx residents are still unable to benefit from access to medicinal cannabis.
In light of the consultation in March 2019, which showed strong public support to allow medicinal cannabis to be prescribed on Island, Liberal Vannin is calling on the Minister for Health and Social Care, David Ashford, to bring forward legislation to make medicinal cannabis legally available on prescription, forthwith.
In a media statement the party says: “We note the changing attitudes around the world to the so-called ‘War Against Drugs’, with many jurisdictions either legalising cannabis for recreational use, or decriminalising it. Some, like Portugal, have decided to treat the use of all drugs as a medical issue, rather than a criminal one.”
In December, Tynwald unanimously supported a motion brought by Liberal Vannin Leader Lawrie Hooper MHK, which called for a review of the way the Isle of Man tackles the harm caused by illegal drugs, which the Minister for Justice is due to report on by June 2021. “In the light of this unanimous support in Tynwald Liberal Vannin also looks forward to the next Programme for Government following the House of Keys elections in September including a complete review of the Misuse of Drugs Act. In particular, we call for a formal public consultation on the recreational use of cannabis early in the next government.”
Liberal Vannin Chairman Paul Weatherall told B365: “As a party we welcome the move towards creating a vibrant new economic sector on the Isle of Man, but now we have an approved regulatory regime for commercial cultivation and export of medicinal cannabis it is illogical to continue denying access to these medicinal products to Island residents and government needs to address this disparity as soon as possible.”