It’s been hard to shift opinion at the top about cannabis use for medical purposes. Now police forces, the very people who are enforcing the war on drugs, are beginning to change that. And the cause is further aided by the growing evidence supporting the rationale of those who don’t think cannabis should be banned altogether.
More and more police officers are beginning to de-prioritise low-level drug offences as the Police and Crime Commissioner of Gloucestershire has just outlined their constabulary’s stance on the drug. They will now not be arresting those who are using cannabis for personal use only. Though not the first constabulary to do this – this is a major step.
Use of CBD cannabis seeds has become increasingly popular in the Western world since the nineties. This, however, is expensive and costly to those who want to be prescribed it in pharmacies, and the restrictions imposed by governments mean there is very limited choice. As a result, many people have resorted to growing their own, in their own homes.
Medical marijuana is associated with combating a number of ills including the spread of HIV, the progression of alzheimer’s disease, aggressive cancer pain after surgery, tourettes, multiple sclerosis, migraines, posttraumatic stress disorder. In the UK alone, tens of thousands of people are using marijuana medicinally. Sadly, too many people do not have access to CBD.
This video tells the not-uncommon story of a seven year old girl who, from the age of one, has suffered uncontrolled epilepsy which all prescribed medications and surgery have failed to successfully treat, throughout a traumatic journey for Sophia and her parents. Sophia cannot access the drug she needs though, despite parents whose children have similar conditions reporting that medical marijuana has helped them.
Here, a working paper finds that cannabis is being used by people to ease pain and shows that when use of medical marijuana use is legalised, the use of prescription medication reduces, as does the cost of healthcare. This tries to address a major question which is important to answer before we press ahead with legalisation: is medical marijuana being used clinically to any significant degree?
They measured the impact of legalisation on Medicare in the States between 2010 and 2013 and the savings were estimated to be worth $153.6 million per year by 2013. Studies like this have been conducted in a variety of ways since the 1980s and are consistently finding that the drug has positive effects for people with ailments.
Unfortunately, it’s the Controlled Substances Act, prescribing to the public a law making medical uses for marijuana illegal, which makes 23 States, where medical use is illegal, in contradiction of federal law.
Meanwhile, in the UK, we see PCCs like Mr Surl quoted below taking it upon themselves to stand up for what’s reasonable as politicians, it has been claimed for years by voices speaking against the war on drugs, keep dodging the issue and not entering into any kind of meaningful debate about it.
Anyone suspected of possessing the drug will be dealt with proportionately, which means action taken against them may range from a warning to an arrest depending on the circumstances. This flexibility is intended to reflect the world of difference between a teenager caught experimenting – where a parent might be grateful for a tip-off without having to pay a visit to the cells – and a hardened user who commits crime to fund a habit.
It also recognises that cannabis can have medical benefits for some while for others it can be the gateway to mental illness and dependence on harder drugs. We also know that in some cases those who supply or produce cannabis can go on to deal in more harmful substances. In those cases, more serious action is warranted.
Protecting the public comes first, yet in most cases those using marijuana are not harming anyone or acting in a destructive fashion to society or those around them. Drug policing is the single most expensive part of UK drug policing making it happen as a result of sheer necessity.
So while the law prohibiting cannabis for any purpose still has to be enforced, the mere recognition and change of tack by constabularies across the country is a small victory as we are witnessing change happening from the bottom up.