Is Cannabis Going to be Legalized in the U.K.?

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The cannabis market has grown with a large amount of potential over the course of the past few years. With new updates to legislation and the changing public perception of cannabis, it seems as though the future of cannabis will continue to be bright. One of the recent additions to legislation in the market has been the potential of Britain to legalize the use of cannabis in the coming years.

After a massive controversy surrounding children being denied access to medicinal marijuana, some strains may be now accepted for use by the government. The decision to do so comes after a series of cases showing that children who need cannabis to control their epileptic seizures, were not allowed to treat themselves. According to the home secretary, Said Javid, “recent cases involving sick children made it clear to me that our position on cannabis-related medicinal products was not satisfactory. Following advice from two sets of independent advisers, I have taken the decision to reschedule cannabis-derived medicinal products, meaning they will be available.”

Cannabis still remains similarly scheduled to the U.S. in terms of it being a schedule I narcotic in the UK which means that there is no therapeutic value as far as the government is concerned. The hopes are that in the near future, this scheduling can be moved to a Schedule 2 narcotic which means that it does, in fact, have a potential for medicinal use. This is the similar case in the U.S. as many states have fought the federal law due to its outdated and simply untrue backing. The fact is that cannabis has been proven by various scientific and medical journals to have a large amount of medicinal value, but many governments are in fact too bureaucratic to be able to change this policy around.

Some have stated though that the move by the U.K. is simply not going far enough as it is very much lagging in terms of the legislation in other countries of the drug. The scheduling of it moving down would simply not be enough to make a huge difference, and still most likely would make it extremely difficult for patients to have access to the treatment that they need. The scheduling would effectively make treatment with cannabis only accessible by certain doctors who can only allow certain parts of the plant to be used in treatment for conditions.

Ian Hamilton, a lecturer in Mental Health and the University of York stated that “This appears to be a very conservative decision by the Home Secretary as he could have opted for a lower schedule. Unfortunately, this adds to the lack of credibility in the approach to cannabis policy as everyone knows that opiates and cannabis pose different risks yet they are now both schedule 2 drugs.” The issue is as stated prior, similar to that of the U.S., as the scheduling of cannabis if moved would still put it on the same level as many drugs that are much more dangerous and not as effective as these other drugs.

This does, however, present a win for the cannabis market as legalization, of course, cannot happen overnight. The hopes are high that the U.K. could potentially begin to move forward with more steps like this to ensure that the cannabis patients need can be attained in an easier fashion. Only time will tell how well these steps toward legalization continue to work for those who need access to cannabis as a medicinal treatment for a wide variety of ailments.

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