BOLTON South-East MP Yasmin Qureshi is urging the government to review the classification of illegal drugs, particularly in relation to cannabis.

The Labour justice spokeswoman recently questioned Home Secretary Priti Patel on the issue in Parliament.

Ms Qureshi wants a 'root and branch' review of the current system, possibly by a Royal Commission.

The former Crown Prosecutor wants it examine fully legalising the medical use of the Class B drug,and its possible decriminalisation or lowering it to Class C where the maximum prison sentence for possession is two years than five.

Medical experts believe cannabis and its derivatives can be valuable in treating chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, and severe epilepsy.

Ms Qureshi asked Ms Patel: “Whether yo plan to review the classification of drugs following the June 2019 recommendations of the Global Commission on Drug Policy?"

The Cabinet minister replied: “The government has considered the recommendations of the commission.

"We keep drug control under constant review and work in consultation with our independent experts, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), to consider any new evidence of misuse and harms.

"Following any advice or recommendation from the ACMD, the Government will act to classify substances in the appropriate way, based on an assessment of harm or potential harms”.

Ms Qureshi yesterday: "In the political world, drug classification is an issue that is highly contested with many differing opinions. Unfortunately, this is often determined by cowardly politicians not wanting to look ‘soft’ on drugs.

"It is very disappointing the government is continuing its inaction on drug classification, with the process remaining politically rather than scientifically motivated. We need a root and branch review of the whole issue, particularly in relation to cannabis.

"I think were need to look at its decriminalisation or reclassifying as Class so there can be further use of it and research into it for medical purposes.

"I would like to see the government pursue a science-based approach so that our society can properly safeguard individuals from dangerous drugs whilst reaping the benefits of drugs which are currently off-limits for political purposes."