Getting to Know - Paul Flynn MP (RIP)
Paul Philip Flynn MP (RIP) was a British Labour Party politician, who was the longest running Member of Parliament (MP), representing Newport West since the 1987 general election, until ill-health sadly saw him lose his fight in February 2019. Paul was a much-loved Patron for United Patients alliance, helping to provide tireless advocacy for medical cannabis patients by ensuring our message was heard by his colleagues in Parliament.
In 2016, Paul briefly served as Shadow Secretary of State for Wales and Shadow Leader of the House of Commons. Aged 81, he became the oldest MP in over a century to hold a shadow cabinet position. He spoke out in favour of cannabis law reform in parliament over 120 times during his career.
Read more about his political career here: TheyWorkForYou - Paul Flynn
We asked our Trustees and Patrons some "Quick-Fire" Questions so you can get to know a little more about their involvement with United Patients Alliance and capture their thoughts on how medical cannabis policy is progressing the UK.
Why do you support patients accessing cannabis as medicine?
It’s completely rational; good value use of a safe and effective medicine.
How long have you been involved with cannabis as medicine law change/campaigning?
I have been fighting this battle for 30 years because it always was and still is a just cause.
Why did you choose to get involved with United Patients Alliance?
I was delighted to become a Patron of United Patients Alliance. They are an intelligent group motivated by the desire to relieve pain and suffering.
What is your personal background and why is this relevant to cannabis as medicine?
It was a just cause when I first became an MP and although I have been fighting this law for 35 years, now - It is still a just cause.
What are the most compelling arguments for legal access to cannabis as medicine?
To provide patients with chronic conditions, in serious pain or spasms, safe and effective relief
What are the biggest hurdles in the UK to achieving legal access to cannabis as medicine?
Laws are based on ignorance and prejudice. There is no rational basis for prohibition. The tabloid press have a deep seated and long lived prejudice against any "illegal drug".
What existing systems/policies for accessing cannabis as medicine would you support and why?
There are many from around the world that would work better than the status quo: Portugal, Netherlands, Canada for instance.
What are your biggest concerns right now for future medical cannabis legislation in the UK?
Political cowardice and the necessity to treat cannabis/cannabinoids as new medicines in spite of their ancient uses.
Do you have personal experience consuming cannabis?
Why is the 2018 UPA Medical Cannabis Patient Survey so important?
It provides a good evidence base from which, better decision can be made about policy.
Thank you Paul!
Paul Flynn MP in the News: