CALLS for the legalisation of cannabis have been cautiously welcomed by a Bolton MP who has been supporting legalisation for medicinal use.

Yasmin Quereshi, Labour MP for Bolton South East said there was “no argument” that cannabis should be used medicinally, but thought a debate without “histrionics” was needed to look at the wider issue of recreational use of the Class B drug.

Ms Qureshi was speaking in response to an article published in the Daily Telegraph by Lord Hague, the former leader of the Conservative party.

In the article Lord Hague said Britain’s cannabis laws were “failed (and) unsustainable” he called for a review of the law to license medicinal use of the drug and consider creating a legal, regulated market for recreational users.

Ms Qureshi said: “I think there’s no argument about cannabis oil and medicinal use, that should be brought in as soon as possible.”

However, Ms Qureshi said big pharmaceutical companies are often resistant to medicinal cannabis. In April 2017 the Guardian reported an American pharmaceutical company donated $500,000 to an anti-legalisation lobby in Arizona. The state did not legalise the drug and the company later got approval for its own synthetic marijuana.

She added: “On recreational use I think it’s a more difficult debate, I kind of agree with William Hague.

“We have alcohol and cigarettes which cause untold damage.”

She said both legal drugs caused plenty of damage, cigarettes causing cancer and alcohol related crimes.

She said: “I know from my career as a prosecutor the majority of cases for violent disorder were for people under the influence of alcohol. There are just as many problems with alcohol which we allow to be regulated.”

Ms Qureshi added: “I believe we should have a comprehensive debate without histrionics looking a the arguments for and against.”

Ms Qureshi spoke about legalising cannabis medicinally in Parliament in February. She came to her conclusion after a constituent, who used cannabis-based products to help his multiple sclerosis, came to her a couple of years ago saying he often had trouble finding the products or had to travel abroad to places like Holland for his medication.

Cannabis is in the spotlight at the moment because 12-year-old epilepsy sufferer Billy Caldwell had his delivery of cannabis oil seized by customs.