Legalising Cannabis Not High On May’s Priority List

Photo of author
Written By Mohsen Salami

British Prime Minster Theresa May is staunchly against the recreational use of cannabis – but she is standing against a growing tide of liberalism supporting the drug.

The row between pro-cannabis users and the government has come to a head over the treatment of 12-year-old Billy Caldwell, whose mother is fighting for doctors to treat his condition with the drug.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has announced a review of the law that bans the medical use of cannabis and signed an order allowing the drug to be prescribed to the boy.

Elsewhere, some politicians have a more relaxed view about recreational cannabis.

Canada passed a law lifting a ban on the drug this week.

Where cannabis is legal

Canadians will have access to the drug through shops and online from September.

The new law allows them to carry one ounce of the dried drug and to grow up to four plants at home.

Doctors have had the right to prescribe cannabis for medical use since 2001.

Canada is the second country to make cannabis legal.

Uruguay was the first in July 2017. Users can buy 10 grams of dried marijuana each week for $30. Other options are growing up to six cannabis plants at home or joining a cannabis club, where up to 45 members can grow their own plants and take up to 40 grams of the dried drug each week.

The country has almost 18,000 registered users out of a population of 3.6 million.

What is medical cannabis?

The main issue with legalising the drug is too few pharmacies have agreed to sell cannabis – just 12 out of 1,100.

The problem is banks have threatened to close the accounts of pharmacies linked with selling the drug.

Retailers in some US states which have legalised cannabis have the same problem.

The difference between medical and recreational cannabis is the component THC, the chemical that gives users a ‘high’.

THC is removed from medical marijuana, so patients do not get a high but still benefit from the pain-relieving effects of the drug.

Although cannabis use is illegal in most countries, the arguments against recreational use of the drug are slowly being eroded by contrary evidence from countries where cannabis is legal.