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British House of Lords to Make Cannabis Inquiry


February 1998

On February 10, the United Kingdom House of Lords announced an investigation into the recreational and medical use of marijuana (Anthony Bevins, "Lords Cannabis Inquiry," The Independent (UK), February 11, 1998).

The investigation will be conducted by the Lords Select Committee, to be chaired by Liberal Democrat Lord Perry of Walton, a former professor of pharmacology. Terms of the investigation include making inquiry into "the scientific case for and against relaxing the prohibition on the medical and recreational use of cannabis." A report is expected by the end of the year.

Announcement of the inquiry follows a campaign by the Independent on Sunday to decriminalize marijuana; a report from the British Medical Association urging Ministers to consider allowing the medical use of cannabinoids; and a plea from Lord Chief Justice Lord Bingham of Cornhill, who said marijuana decriminalization deserves "detached, objective, [and] independent consideration." (see "United Kingdom Appoints First "Drug Tsar," While Marijuana Decriminalization Debate Grows," NewsBriefs, November-December 1997; "Medical Use of Marijuana Ingredients Backed by British Medical Association," NewsBriefs, August 1997.)

Lord Perry of Walton - 10 Drumsheugh Gardens, Open University, Scotland, Edinborough EH37QJ, Tel: (011) (44) (131) 226-3851.

British Medical Association - BMA House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JP, ENGLAND, Tel: (011) (44) (171) 387-4499, Fax: (011) (44) (171) 383-6400.

Independent on Sunday - 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL, ENGLAND, E-mail: <>. The Independent on Sunday Cannabis Campaign has web pages at: <>.

Lord Bingham of Cornhill - Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London WC2A 2LL, ENGLAND.