UK MPs Call For Legal Medical Cannabis
It is quite an exciting time for the marijuana industry all around the world, and now the UK is looking to legalize for themselves. The All Party Parliamentary Group is pushing Home Office to reclassify cannabis from schedule one to schedule four; this would put marijuana in the same category as steroids and sedatives. It could even allow patients to grow a limited amount of cannabis for themselves. The current law holds that medical marijuana has no medicinal value, and anyone caught with the substance could be charged with possession, meaning a potential maximum sentence of five years jail time and unlimited fines. Even worse, those supplying or producing cannabis could be penalized up to fourteen years in jail.
The All Party Parliamentary Group asked Professor Mike Barnes to help report the potential benefits of medical marijuana. He wrote a paper called “Cannabis: The Evidence for Medical Use” in May 2016 and found there was good evidence that marijuana alleviates symptoms of:
- Chronic pain; occurs in about 11% of adults and 8% of children. It can have adverse effects on life including employment, daily activities, relationships, mood, sleep and general health.
- Spasticity; a disabling symptom in a number of neurological disorders, including multiple sclerosis, stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, motor neurone disease and other neurological disorders. It is characterised by muscle spasms, particularly in the legs but can also occur in other parts of the body.
- Nausea and vomiting; usually associated with chemotherapy.
- Anxiety; CBD reduces anxiety whereas THC usually has the opposite effect.
He also found moderate evidence to support helping:
- Sleep disorders; promotes somnolence, fatigue and sleep.
- Poor appetite; stimulates appetite for conditions where medication may decrease the desire to eat.
- Fibromyalgia; occurs in 2-8% of the population and dominated by women 8:1. It is characterised by heightened pain response to pressure. Other common symptoms are fatigue, difficulty sleeping and cognitive problems, particularly trouble with memory.
- PTSD; reduces the strength of traumatic memories, making it easier to sleep and feel less anxious when experiencing flashback memories
- Parkinson’s symptoms; there are about 125,000 people with Parkinson’s in the UK. Motor symptoms improved, including tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia (slowness of movement) and also helped with sleep and pain.
There are approximately twenty-four U.S. states, Canada and around eleven European countries that allow cannabis to be used for medicinal reasons. End Our Pain, a pro-medicinal cannabis group, found that 68 percent of people supported doctors being allowed to prescribe cannabis. Peter Carroll, the director of the organization, said, “We estimate that over one million people in the UK take cannabis for medical reasons”. It has been reported that more than half of the MPs want to see the legalization of marijuana for patients needing medical care. Both the Green Party and Liberal Democrats have called for medicinal use of cannabis for some time, and earlier this year the Liberal Democrats have taken it further, requesting the legalization of recreational use as well.
The report drafted calls for the UK to adopt policies from the United States. They are requesting that only individuals 18 and older could purchase from licensed dispensaries. Home cultivation would be legal for personal use or small scale licensed social clubs, but branding, promoting or advertising cannabis products would be banned. The price, potency and packaging of sold cannabis would be controlled by the government.The proposal calls for the establishment of new regulators to oversee the market; it is suggested to be modelled after Ofgem (regulates gas and electricity) and Ofwat (regulates water and sewage).
The report also mentioned the price and potency of cannabis would be regulated in a fashion to have the more potent products be more expensive; they wish to help cannabis users moderate their habits. They hope legalizing the drug would also generate upwards of one billion British pounds in tax revenue and reduce the harm done to users in society.
Written by: Guest Writer
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