Legalise It: Cannabis Legislation in the U.K.
When it comes to international trade, the U.K. takes a backseat to no one. Yet, one high-demand import remains prohibited in the British Isles, even as it’s gaining wider acceptance both recreationally and medicinally in some of our former colonies. So, what are the arguments for the legalisation of pot in the United Kingdom? Is there any hope?
Will marijuana ever be legal in the U.K? With many countries around the world legalising pot for recreational and medical use, when will the United Kingdom loosen its restrictions?
Who Thought it Was a Good Idea to Make Pot Illegal and When?
As you might have guessed, cannabis hasn’t always been illegal in Great Britain. In fact, it was completely legal until 1928 and legal for medical use until 1971. There’s no clear historical accounting of who pushed for the criminalisation of marijuana in the U.K, but there are reports suggesting concerns that it was a reaction to the belief that pot and hemp were being brought into the country by ethnic seamen travelling to areas where they were more readily available. In 1971, the U.K. imposed penalties for cultivating or possessing cannabis, even for medical use in most cases.
Why We Need to Legalise Marijuana
Medical Marijuana Uses
Many doctors from countries where medical marijuana and cannabis derivatives are legal have reported success in helping treat the following conditions:
- Chemotherapy-related nausea
- Weight Loss
- Aches and Pain
- Chrohn’s Disease
- HIV / AIDS
Additionally, many athletes who participate in sports that allow cannabis use have begun incorporating marijuana and CBD oil in their training regimens to combat fatigue, soreness, and performance-related anxiety.
Cannabis is big business in the countries where it’s been legalised. During the four years that pot has been legal in Colorado, the marijuana economy has exploded. This is a double benefit to the government as both the cannabis and business profits are taxed separately. Currently, the U.K. receives little (if any at all) tax money from the limited exceptions that it makes to its tough medical marijuana laws.
It’s difficult for people to break laws that don’t exist. Because the pot economy in the U.K. is entirely underground, anyone who buys, sells, smoke, possesses, or grows marijuana is a criminal. But that’s not where it ends. There are ancillary crimes that occur in conjunction with the illegal pot trade, like theft, robbery, and tax evasion. Legalisation would allow adults to walk into a dispensary and select from a variety of cannabis products and accessories (i.e. pipes, cannabis vaporizers/vaporisers, et cetera) without fear of being arrested.
Some people might argue that they don’t want to smell weed burning in their public spaces. But it’s unlikely that anyone would be allowed to smoke marijuana in places where tobacco smoking isn’t already permitted. With the proliferation of weed vape oil and vaporizers, consuming cannabis is much less intrusive than it used to be. The marijuana vaporizers and vape pens are quiet and completely unobtrusive. Of course, even with a vaporizer, you should always observe proper etiquette.
The Future of Mary Jane in Great Britain
The reality is that cannabis use in the United Kingdom is already widespread, and many people suffering from various ailments are using it illegally. In 2015, the U.K. government responded to a petition for the legalisation of marijuana by saying, “There are no plans to legalise cannabis as it would not address the harm to individuals and communities.”
In other words, don’t hold your breath—at least, not for more than a few seconds, there is still a glimmer of hope!