Wisbech pensioner thanks MP Steve Barclay for his help
Here are the letters from this week's Fenland Citizen...
Thanks to our MP and his team
I’m writing to praise a politician, namely Stephen Barclay MP, my local representative.
After a very painful recent bereavement, delays getting related paperwork and financial matters processed (including through my GP) were adding to my stress and becoming overwhelming as winter approached.
Turning to Mr Barclay’s team for advice, we found them immediately engaged and helpful, and very straightforward and understanding.
That in itself gave us a huge lift, and the fact the matter is now completely resolved has really restored our faith in people and systems at a time when so much of the outside world, including politics, seems confusing, out-of-touch and ineffective.
I feel I should congratulate Mr Barclay on his recent reappointment to Government, but more importantly thank him, his assistant Katy Lipscomb, and his whole team for being willing and able to help one person when they needed it. I shan’t forget.
It is not the time to make cannabis legal to use
With reference to last week’s paper, with the juxtaposition of two stories, concerning the seizure of illegally grown cannabis, at the former Prams and Toys shop (£634,200) and John Smithee’s letter “UK should legalise cannabis”, repeating his letters from August 2020 and October 2018.
I feel I should have the right to re-address the points I made in my letters from October 2018 and August 2020.
Regarding research and medical use, in 2014 in the US , the National Academies of Sciences , Engineering and Medicine(NASEM) reported on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids .
Their conclusion was that for the majority of conditions there was inadequate evidence to asses the effects of cannabis.
However, they did find sufficient evidence that adults with chronic pain were more likely to experience a clinically significant reduction in pain symptons and may improve short-term sleep, including those with MS.
Despite evidence that cannabis may have some medical benefits, it has been linked to mental health problems such as anxiety, memory loss, panic attacks and psychotic episodes.
I recommend that all parents of teenagers read the ‘The Effects of Cannabis on the Adolescent Brain’ ( this is on NHS public access and peer-reviewed and accepted for publication).
Smoking cannabis as a teenager increases the risk of depression by 37%. It not only raises the risk of depression in adults but also triples the risk of suicidality plans, thoughts and attempts to commit suicide.
Heavy users are four times as likely to develop a psychotic condition than non-users.
There is also the risk of addiction and that cannabis is a gate-way drug.
A number of countries have legalised access to medicinal cannabis. However, in the UK cannabis is a class B drug and other than its use in medical trials, it is illegal to posses, cultivate or supply.
The maximum penalty for possession is five years in prison plus an unlimited fine. The maximum penalty for supplying cannabis is 14 years in prison and an unlimited fine.
It is not “time to legalise all drugs”
Thanks to Mark for helping me keep licence
I would like to say a great thank you to letter writer Mark Burton of Chatteris for helping me retain my full driving licence as a disabled person with two disabilities – musculoskeletal and neurological.
Fortunately the person who anonymously reported their concerns over my ability to drive were misled.
However, it did cause unnecessary turmoil – I wouldn’t wish it on my enemies.
After 12 months of turmoil with the DVLA, I have still retained my licence without it being temporarily suspended, through no faults of my own.
I avoided having to take a driver medical assessment and retaking my driving test.