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Due to BREXIT, the argument surrounding the legal status of hard drugs like cannabis have arguably been ignored. However, the debate still manages to show in present news outlets. This has highly risen due to the constant change in drug laws worldwide.
After Canada’s legalization of cannabis, Prime Minister Trudeau stated that the current laws regulating cannabis use were insufficient. He also stated that legalizing the use and trade of cannabis will destroy the black market.
In 1928, cannabis was banned in the UK. Since it was illegal. But reports from the Home Office show something different. It shows that the number of people using cannabis has increased.
A 2016 report stated that an estimated 2.1 million people used cannabis in the UK. Poll results show that about three-quarters of British people are in favor of medical cannabis. While about 50% of the public support its recreational use.
Current situation in the UK
So, what is the current situation? And how close is the UK to legalizing cannabis?
Cannabis falls under the list of Class B drug. It means individuals are not allowed to possess, use and distribute the drug. Currently, individuals caught with cannabis can receive a maximum sentence of 5 years or an unlimited fine. Sellers can also face prison time of 14 years.
During the era of Tony Blair, cannabis was reclassified as a Class C substance. On the other hand, Brown reclassified the drug to schedule b. Because of its damaging mental health effects. The main reason why marijuana is illegal in the UK is due to its risks to mental health.
Although the number of cannabis users decreased between 2006 and 2014. The needs for mental health-related treatment rose by a halve.
Many blame a marijuana strain called ‘Skunk,’ due to its high amount of THC. THC is the primary psychoactive substance in cannabis.
CBD, the non-psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant. Scientists are currently researching for its medicinal properties. Following the confiscation of Billy Caldwell’s medicine at an airport, from November 1st. The home secretary has now made medical cannabis oil will be available on prescription.
According to a 2018 report from the IEA, cannabis is to be ranked between alcohol and tobacco and the regulation, sales of cannabis products should be limited to people over the age of 18. Furthermore, researchers suggest that marijuana should be offered in authorized premises, and businesses. But they will need a license to grow and import cannabis.
Will cannabis ever be legalized?
There is a need for alternative drug policies in the UK that will help them in following in Canada’s footsteps. The UK will likely have a regulated cannabis market soon, you can already find the odd legal cannabis dispensary to buy cannabis online UK, but before the UK legalizes THC prominent cannabis, the public will need to be educated on the benefits of cannabis.
In conclusion, cannabis can legally be obtained in the UK via a prescription for medicinal use. However, the government has no plans on changing the legislation on cannabis.
In 2018, a representative for the Prime Minister’s office stated that the UK has no plans on legalizing or decriminalizing cannabis because they consider it as being harmful. However, people should not lose hope because with a different government, under a different constitution, it is still very much possible.