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UK Parliament Will Debate the Future of Marijuana Legalization

UK Parliament Legalization Marijuana Cannabis Now
Photo Gracie Malley

Politics

UK Parliament Will Debate the Future of Marijuana Legalization

Among western European nations, the UK parliament is perhaps most strident in its view that cannabis is a dangerous drug whose users should be treated like criminals.

Throughout most of Europe, sick people can access marijuana grown in controlled conditions under the authority of their governments. In Italy, for example, medical marijuana is grown in an army lab and even oft-conservative Germany legalized medical marijuana a year ago.

But in England, authorities are following the lead of the American federal government and insisting that marijuana is harmful. While penalties are far less harsh than in the United States, cannabis remains under the control of the UK’s Home Office — the arm of the government that includes antiterrorism efforts, the prison system and domestic surveillance — and consuming the plant remains illegal.

However, following the plight of Alfie Dingley, a six-year-old epileptic whose family was forced to relocate to the Netherlands to give him cannabis oil, even lawmakers from the UK’s leading Conservative Party are asking authorities in Prime Minister Theresa May’s government to relent.

A bill that would allow limited legalization of marijuana for strictly medical purposes will be read for the second time in Parliament this week, setting up for a legislative debate on the validity of medical marijuana. But here’s an unfortunate wrinkle: Without official support from Prime Minister May and her cabinet ministers, few bills can hope to become law in the UK.

And so, it appears that medical marijuana in the UK has as much chance of becoming law as the many cannabis-friendly bills in the U.S. Congress, which, year-after-year, die for want of a committee hearing.

It’s a “barbaric position,” according to Paul Flynn, the Labour MP from Wales who introduced the bill in Parliament.

Parents of epileptic children like Alfie have had to watch their children turn blue or flee the UK for kinder climes overseas, for no other reason than the “blind stupidity of the government,” Flynn added in an impassioned video posted to his Facebook.  “Cannabis is a useful medicine, the oldest medicine in the world. And there’s no denying its use.”

It’s an ironic situation, as the British bear responsibility for introducing cannabis into the western pharmacopoeia. It was William O’Shaughnessy, an Irish doctor in the service of the British East India Company, who studied the medicinal application of cannabis and published one of the very first papers in medical literature documenting its value while working in Calcutta. And, as Flynn pointed out on the floor of the House of Commons when he first introduced the bill last October, Queen Victoria is said to have used cannabis to relieve her menstrual cramps.

Cannabis is classified as a “Class B” drug in the UK, the second-most punitive category. Cannabis was very briefly moved into Class C, from 2004 until 2008, until hysteria over “super-potent” cannabis, dubbed “skunk” in the UK, convinced authorities to put the drug back in Class B.

Thus far, both the major political parties in UK parliament have proven unwilling to move much on marijuana. It was the “left-wing” Labour Party that saw the drug reclassified a decade ago, and May, the Conservative PM, last year suggested that cannabis use leads to heroin — and suicide.

TELL US, do you think the United Kingdom will legalize medical marijuana soon?

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Dave.A.

    June 19, 2018 at 8:36 am

    The government are missing out on a chance to make changes and benefit so many ppl who suffer with chronic pain and kids with epilepsy if they were to make it all legal not just for medical use but recreational as well they could make it legal for dispensaries and coffee shops to sell it but with the condition that they can only sell product supplied by government run farms that way they would be creating jobs and boosting the economy with some of the profits being funnelled into the nhs education etc , sadly I cant see it happening in my lifetime

  2. Pi

    June 19, 2018 at 4:14 am

    Legislation = Licensing = taxation = corporatization = Monsanto GM = F1 hybridization = Soma = Brave New World = Globalization = Luciferian Doctrine

    Do you really know what you’re getting into here?

  3. Daniel M

    May 28, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Yes, of course it should. stuck up pm’s, closed minded people wouldn’t understand. when everyone is consuming alcohol at the age of 18 in uk, but weed is criminlised??. stupid law that will be ignored!!! idiots…..

  4. tom

    February 23, 2018 at 11:23 pm

    yes it should it is a medicine it helps people and there are no records of anybody ever dying from smoking weed the government need get a grip but they will sell us beer and fags wich has killed millions and when the government realise how much more money America will make buy legalizing weed they will follow suit money makes there world go round

  5. Alecs

    February 23, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Of course not. There’s no profit in that for the government. What they will do is hand it over to Big Pharma then sell it tenfold its value.

  6. steven

    February 23, 2018 at 5:23 am

    I don’t think the government realise what this plant can do as a medicine.. It could save millions of lives… Then compare cannabis to other legal things like alcohol and cigarettes they are both known killers! And they kill thousands if not millions each year.. Where’s the sense in that.. I have researched deaths from cannabis and there is only 1 known death to have occurred of this drug (its a plant) is this not telling us anything? Get marijuana legalised for personal and medical use! And do something right for the country and its people! If it was a pm’s family member being diagnosed with something and cannabis could help medically I’m sure they would jump at the chance.. UK sort our heads out and get legalised

  7. Mark swain

    February 22, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    Lets face it, cannabis has more medical uses for it than alcohol, god know how many lifes are ruined through alcohol miss use. Cannabis on the other hand is totally the oppersit.
    FREE THE WEED

  8. Derek maude

    February 22, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    Legalise the weed for medical reasons. Also for personal use…

  9. Derek maude

    February 22, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    Yes it should be legalised. For medical reasons. Also for personal use.

  10. dara

    February 21, 2018 at 3:59 am

    Irish is not british

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