In similar fashion to the budding relationship between medical cannabis and social acceptance in the United States, the United Kingdom also seems to be on the brink of legalizing the medicinal use of marijuana on a national level.
The much-needed discussion has been reinvigorated in Parliament after members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Reform released a report claiming that the current refusal to acknowledge the medicinal value of cannabis is “irrational”. The report also called for an end to the unjust criminalization of hundreds of thousands citizens that use cannabis for pain relief.
The chair of this progressive group, Lady Meacher, used the recent medical legalization efforts in the US and throughout the world as evidence that the time has come to do the same in the UK. “The findings of our inquiry and review of evidence from across the world are clear. 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,” she said.
The group’s inquiry examined evidence from 623 patients, medical professionals, and leaders who have spearheaded legal regulation of medical marijuana in other countries. Additionally, they also commissioned the expertise of neurologist Professor Mike Barnes, who concluded in his own report that cannabis helps alleviate a wide range medical conditions, and that list will likely grow once medical cannabis research becomes unchained by the government.
“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,” said Professor Barnes.
It’s about time that the UK Parliament caught up to the wishes of the public they represent. According to a survey conducted by the pro-medical cannabis campaign group End Our Pain, 68% of UK citizens support doctors being allowed to prescribe cannabis to patients. Now, with Parliament Members claiming that the current restrictions over cannabis are “irrational”, the UK seems bound to legalize the medical use of cannabis any day now.