Patients are unnecessarily suffering due to the stringent law around marijuana in the U.K. This is the argument of Britain’s leading experts on cannabis according on their latest report. They urged the British government to loosen up on the substance so that patients can benefit from its pain-reducing effects.
The path suggested by the experts is to transfer marijuana from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2. By doing this the U.K government will recognize the substance has a potential for abuse but has an accepted medical use in the treatment of patients, patients who are taking great lengths to travel abroad to have cannabis to ease their pain.
It also opens up research on cannabis. Studies can freely explore other areas that will further solidify that the substance does indeed has a lot of positive benefits that it can offer people that has varying ailments.
The report stated that the stringent law is denying patients effective treatment which included individuals suffering from spinal cord injury, epilepsy, chronic neuropathic pain, chemotherapy side-effects of cancer treatment, and other ailments which include an overwhelming and long-term pain.
Additionally, the experts have outlined in their report that the British government is missing out on fiscal benefits of marijuana.
One of the main contentions of people against legalization of the substance is that it may encourage younger people to smoke-pot at an early age.
This notion has been dismissed by Deborah Hasin, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, based on their published journal the Lancet Psychiatry.
A study called Monitoring the Future which annually gathers data from 50,000 pupils between the ages of 13 to 18 was analyzed by Hasin and her colleagues and found out there had been no rise in marijuana usage of the age group at all.
She added that states in the U.S. which hasn’t legalized the substance yet has a higher number of adolescents smoking pot compare to those that did.
Chair research body of Drug Science and professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College of London, David Nutt, ranks tobacco and alcohol to be far more threatening than cannabis. This statement is backed by their 2007 research where they examined the relative damage done by different drugs.
He cited that in the U.S. cannabis has actually done a good thing. It has saved lives by giving people harmless alternative to other pain-killers such as opiates.
Nutt went on to say that the criminalization of marijuana is far more harmful than any effects the substance have. The government is spending billions of pounds to enforce the law around cannabis; funding that could be used elsewhere such as hospitals and other government programs.
It also creates a group of underclass people who had their records mark with criminal history, a mark that prevents them from working civil services, teaching, and joined the armed forces.
It’s also worth noting that the U.K’s stance on cannabis is quite antiquated. Countries such as Australia, America, Canada, and Holland are already exploring the medical benefits of cannabis, while Germany and Switzerland allows it to be imported from Netherlands for medicinal purposes.
And looking at things at the moment, this stance isn’t likely to change any time soon.