Will Cannabis Be Legalized In the UK?
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23rd April 2020

Will Cannabis Be Legalized In the UK?

Isai Allison
UK classifies cannabis as a Class-B drug meaning that if you are found with it, you will be imprisoned for a minimum of five. However, the UK government has changed its approach to medicinal marijuana products that can be administered to patients. If the government allows the medical use of cannabis, it may be forced to also legalize the recreational use of marijuana. However, there isn't a procedure for approving a drug that has been banned for a while. There is no obvious border separating cannabis for pleasure and cannabis for medical use.

The Current Law on Cannabis

At least 50% of the UK citizens endorse the use of marijuana for pleasure. According to a survey by YouGov, almost 76% endorse the medicinal use of cannabis. Cannabis was temporarily categorized as Class C under Tony Blair, but it was returned to Class B under the leadership of Gordon Brown. This resulted from fears about the likely effects of cannabis on mental health. Between 2005 and 2015, the number of marijuana users shrank but, demand for medicinal cannabis rose by 50%.

The mental health fears over marijuana

There is growing fear about the possible effects of cannabis on mental health. Therefore, possession, use, and distribution of cannabis are unlawful, and you can be fined for growing cannabis. For instance, if you are found with illegal possession of marijuana, you will either be imprisoned for at least five years or be fined. Besides, you will be detained for up to fourteen years if you are caught supplying cannabis illegally.

Benefits and Dangers of Cannabis Use

The mental health fears over marijuana arise from a chemical substance found in cannabis called "THC". This is a mind-altering substance that can be experienced by addicted users. Also, some people argue that Increasing marijuana usage can lead to dependence and mental health challenges. Cannabis comes in diverse forms with each having distinct levels of THC. For example, Skunk, one of the types of cannabis is known for its effectiveness. But, an NHS study showed that cannabis is less addictive when compared with tobacco and alcohol.

Will Cannabis Be Legalized In the UK?

In the recent past, the cannabidiol (CBD) substance in marijuana was being used for medical purposes. Although studies are in their early stages, cannabis has been used to treat anxiety, to relieve pain, and to treat epilepsy.

Effect of Legalization

In a 2018 study, the IEA suggested that marijuana should be categorized under tobacco and alcohol. According to IEA, eighteen years is the ideal age for cannabis users. Also, people will need to be authorized to deal in cannabis including importation, cultivation, or sale. Presently, cannabis may be recommended for medicinal use, however, in 2018, the UK government issued a statement indicating that cannabis will not be legalized or decriminalized. But, given the uncertainty of the political scene in the UK, it is hard to tell what will happen tomorrow.

Some studies have revealed that there is widespread fear about the legalization of marijuana in the UK. Therefore, it is wise to control the large-scale use of marijuana. Marijuana-based drugs are legal, but doctors rarely prescribe them. It is illegal to sell cannabis but it can be used for recreation. That means cannabis control exists in the UK and it works.

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