THE “tide of world opinion” is moving towards the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal purposes, Newport West MP Paul Flynn told the House of Commons yesterday.

He told fellow MPs that such a move would reduce the drug’s side effects, as he made made a speech during a fresh attempt to change the law.

Mr Flynn described the class B drug substance as the “oldest medicine in the world”. He acknowledged that side effects exist but said there had been “no problems” that have arisen in countries which have legalised the drug for medicinal purposes.

“If we do legalise drugs, we reduce the side effects by taking the market out of the hands of the criminals and the scammers, and put it into a legal market that can be run by doctors on medical priorities,” he said.

Moving his Legalisation of Cannabis (Medicinal Purposes) during a 10-minute rule motion, Mr Flynn added: “It’s a very minor change – moving the cannabis from schedule one to schedule two – because at the moment the law says that cannabis has no beneficial effects, and we all know it does.”

He gained permission to bring in his Bill and asked for it to be given a second reading next February. It is unlikely to become law in its current form without Government support or enough parliamentary time.