One of Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet ministers has approved a report calling for cannabis to be legalised for medical use.
Paul Flynn, the shadow leader of the House of Commons, is one of a cross-party group of MPs and peers who have recommended the change following a major inquiry.
It comes after a recent survey found more than half of MPs want to see the legalisation of medical marijuana.
The group’s chairman Baroness Meacher said the refusal to recognise the drug’s medicinal value was “irrational” .
Crossbench peer Lady Meacher said: “The findings of our inquiry and review of evidence from across the world are clear. Cannabis works as a medicine for a number of medical conditions.”
The group commissioned neurologist Professor Mike Barnes to review evidence from the around the world.
His report concludes there is good evidence that medical cannabis helps alleviate the symptoms of chronic pain, nausea and vomiting, particularly in the context of chemotherapy.
Mr Flynn told the Telegraph that the report was completed when he was a backbencher and does not represent the views of the Labour party. Currently neither the Conservative nor Labour Party officially supports legalising cannabis for medical use.
Mr Flynn said: “Jeremy Corbyn has no knowledge of my involvement in this report.
My work on the APPG is part of a lifelong belief that prohibition of drugs, like prohibition of alcohol, increases use and harm. “The report does not form any part of my front bench responsibilities and my views on this do not form party policy.”
Both the Green Party and Liberal Democrats have called for legalisation for medical use for some time.
An estimated one million people in the UK use cannabis for medical reasons, risking arrest and prosecution by buying cannabis from drug-dealers or growing it themselves.
Caroline Lucas, who co-chairs the group, said: “Many hundreds of thousands of people in the UK are already taking cannabis for primarily medical reasons.
“It is totally unacceptable that they should face the added stress of having to break the law to access their medicine.
“This a matter of compassion and human rights. The Government should have the political courage to view the issue of medical cannabis separately from any wider drugs reform and act urgently.”
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