§ Peter Bradley
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will announce his decision on the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. 
§ Caroline Flint
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has yet to complete its evaluation of the safety, quality and effectiveness of the medical preparation of a cannabis-based drug developed and tested by GW Pharmaceuticals.
Once marketing approval has been received, we will move without delay to seek Parliament's agreement to any necessary changes to the misuse of drugs legislation. Our aim is to ensure ready and early availability of the drug as a prescribed medicine.
§ John Healey
I have been asked to reply.
Current assessments of the source of cannabis entering the EU and UK are contained in 'The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) Annual Report 2003';'Tackling 709W Drugs Communications and Campaign Pack' published by the Home Office and 'Cannabis—An Update 1999–2002' by Professor D. J. Nutt and Dr. J. R. Nash. Copies of these are published at
www.emcdda.eu.int and www.drugs.gov.uk.
Customs enforce the import prohibition which applies to cannabis and seizure data is published annually in their Annual Report. In 2001–02 Customs seized over 67 tonnes of cannabis.
§ Caroline Flint
The Government believe that all controlled drugs, including cannabis, are harmful and that no one should take them. But our drug laws and our educational messages to young people must reflect the relative harms of drugs, in accordance with the available scientific and medical advice, if they are to be credible, convincing and, ultimately, effective.
The Government's proposal to reclassify cannabis to Class C—in line with the recommendation of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs and of the Home Affairs Select Committee—will help us to convey a more open, honest and balanced educational message—to young people in particular—about the dangers of misusing illegal drugs.
Reclassification of cannabis is also designed to continue to deter use of the drug, because of its continued illegality, while enabling the police to put in place a consistent regime for policing cannabis, in line with the Association of Chief Police Officers' cannabis enforcement guidance. This will allow the police to redeploy resources to tackling more serious offences, including dealing in Class A drugs, like heroin and crack cocaine, which do the most harm.
The Government will seek to make an impact on the current level of cannabis use by launching an educational and advertising campaign in January aimed at young people, making it clear how the law will operate in practice and seeking to dissuade them from experimenting with cannabis. We are also taking a tough line with dealers.