Sir Norman Peter Lamb is one of the tallest leaders of the British Liberal Democratic Party and has been a six-time member of Parliament. His last term ended in December 2019, and he has been one of the most successful Health Ministers in the history of Great Britain. Sir Norman Lamb’s tenure as the health minister is mainly remembered for his active role in promoting CBD products and putting forward the demands of making them legal. He advocated for the therapeutic benefits of CBD, claiming that it can have a significant impact in treating patients.
In the six terms for which he was elected, his constituency remained North Norfolk. From the year 2017 to 2019, Sir Norman Peter Lamb served as the chairperson of the Science and Technology Select Committee. In his previous terms, he had also been the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Employment Relations and Postal Affairs along with being the Parliamentary Private Secretary of the Honourable Deputy Prime Minister of England. His research and expertise in health-related matters made him one of the most prominent health spokespersons of the Liberal Democratic Party, right from his early days in 2006 till 2017.
Early Life And Entry Into Politics
Sir Norman Peter Lamb was born in 1957 in Watford, England. His association with the Liberal Democratic party has been since 1988. Norman Lamb belonged to a highly educated family, with his father, Professor Hubert Lamb, being a renowned climatologist. Even his great-grandfather, Sir Horace Lamb, was an esteemed mathematician. Norman grew up to be a lawyer. He attended the prestigious Wymondham College in Norfolk and then graduated from the University of Leicester with an LLB degree.
His first work assignment was as a solicitor at the Steele and Co. solicitors firm in England. He later got involved in research activities while working under Labour MP Greville Janner. Working on employment law under the former Labour MP brought him in contact with several other like-minded people, and this stint paved the way for his entry into the Liberal Democratic Party.
The discrepancies in drug regulation have been a cause of major concern in the United Kingdom. The therapeutic use of cannabis has been advocated by experts from all across the globe, and England in particular has been an active center for many of these discussions. Norman Lamb is a strong supporter of Cannabis legalization and has moved several motions in Parliament in favor of this demand as well.
In 2018, Lamb, the former health minister, made a statement asking all members to consider cannabis legalization (for production and consumption) and pass a resolution for it. In fact, he also introduced a 10-minute-rule bill in Parliament to support the cause. However, his bill was rejected as 66 members voted against it, while only 52 showed support for it.
Lamb’s Famous 10-minute-rule Bill
The 10-minute-rule bill which was introduced by Sir Norman Lamb was a private member’s bill that asked the members to think over the large-scale benefits of Cannabis in the healthcare industry. He sought support for cannabis legalization and granting of permission for its production and consumption as a regular drug. Norman Lamb said that Cannabis has worked like a magical drug for him, and is the only way he gets relief from the excruciating pain that he suffers from. He claimed that there are many others like him who cannot live without this cure, and have no other option but to purchase it illegally, with the fear of an arrest looming over their heads.
Key Points Of The 10-minute-rule Bill
The 10-minute-rule bill called for a “more enlightened approach” on this matter because certainly, the existing laws were not doing justice to the genuine needs of patients. Norman Lamb, in his speech that he made while presenting the bill, very alarmingly said that bans and prohibitions have never been a good solution, and will bring about a lot of suffering, especially in this case.
In his speech, he also said that many MPs who oppose the bill in the house must have consumed Cannabis at some point as well. He only wanted to point out that the product is being sold almost everywhere in England, but without any regulations. The bill, as he stated, aimed at clearing this mess and helping the ones who are in need.
Proper Cannabis Regulation
Norman Lamb always speaks on the importance of regulation and quality assurance. In many of his public meetings, he is often seen telling people that he aims to bring Cannabis as a medicine to the market and not as a recreational agent. All safety protocols that drugs have to follow should be implied upon Cannabis as well. However, most of the MPs who opposed Lamb’s bill believed that it would be extremely difficult to curtail the illegal trade of Cannabis and that it will wreak havoc in society if made legal. While Lamb has made a good proposition, the opposing view could not be disregarded, keeping the grim reality in mind.
The Infamous BBC Documentary
Norman Lamb went on to take Cannabis oil on-camera in a BBC documentary. The incident created a furor in the political circles of England. However, no action was taken against him because he consumed the oil in Canada, where it has already been legalized.
In the scene in the documentary where he is seen trying the oil, Lamb purchases a bottle of Cannabis oil, tastes it for sampling, and then drains the rest of it before getting on a flight back home. The oil contained THC, a psychoactive substance used for medical purposes.
When asked about the incident, Sir Norman said that it was quite disgusting that he had to throw away the oil just because the law in his country had turned a blind eye towards the enormous benefits of Cannabis as a drug. He said that he had taken a few drops of the oil just to relax and get some good sleep before a crucial meeting of the Science and Technology Select Committee. He wanted to show the viewers how ridiculous it was that England treats someone who takes a few drops of this oil for medical use as a criminal.
Sir Norman Lamb’s contribution towards CBD legalization has been quite significant. Although his ten-minute rule bill got rejected in Parliament, it surely did become a talking point and put forward the issue more vehemently. Lamb believes a lot needs to be done in this regard. He is still campaigning regularly to change the legal status of Cannabis consumption and production in England.