- Chris Morris
- Sep 16, 2016
- 4295 Views
A group of British politicians has floated the idea that consuming marijuana for medical reasons should be legalised.
This is already common practice in several American states, and has also been implemented in numerous European nations.
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform believes that there is clear evidence that this policy would benefit to British society as well, with cannabis thought to be effective in treating conditions such as chronic pain and anxiety.
Indeed, it is well known that thousands of people in the UK already utilise the drug in order to relieve the symptoms of often debilitating conditions, but are forced to do this illegally in the present legislative framework.
The All Party Parliamentary Group hopes that the Home Office will consider reclassifying herbal cannabis under existing drug laws, from schedule one to schedule four.
Yet despite the opinions of the All Party Parliamentary Group, the Home Office has stated that there are currently no plans to legalise a drug which it considers to be harmful.
Despite many considering marijuana to be a relatively mild substance, the Home Office continues to emphasise several psychological problems associated with cannabis.
A Home Office spokesman commented: “There is a substantial body of scientific and medical evidence to show that cannabis is a harmful drug which can damage people’s mental and physical health. It is important that medicines are thoroughly trialled to ensure they meet rigorous standards before being placed on the market. There is a clear regime in place, administered by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, to enable medicines, including those containing controlled drugs, to be developed.”
Nonetheless, the co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group, Baroness Molly Meacher, is adamant that the legalisation of cannabis would be a positive move.
“Cannabis works as a medicine for a number of medical conditions. The evidence has been strong enough to persuade a growing number of countries and US states to legalise access to medical cannabis. Against this background, the UK scheduling of cannabis as a substance that has no medical value is irrational”.
In order to support that assertion, the group commissioned a report by an expert in rehabilitation medicine, Prof Mike Barnes, which found good evidence that medical cannabis helps alleviate numerous physical ailments.
Nonetheless, the report also conceded that mental difficulties can result from consumption of the drug.
“There is probably a link in those who start using cannabis at an early age and also if the individual has a genetic predisposition to psychosis. There should be caution with regard to prescription of cannabis for such individuals”.
However, Prof Barnes was emphatic in his support for the legalisation of marijuana.
“We analysed over 20,000 scientific and medical reports. The results are clear. Cannabis has a medical benefit for a wide range of conditions. I believe that with greater research, it has the potential to help with an even greater number of conditions. But this research is being stifled by the government’s current classification of cannabis as having no medical benefit.”
24 US states, Canada, Israel and eleven European countries already allow access to cannabis for medical use.