Major breakthrough for cannabis law reform

Mick Meaney |

The British people are finally waking up to the draconian laws surrounding the use of cannabis. A new poll conducted by the BBC has revealed that an astounding 69% of people now support decriminalisation.

Image credit: NORML UK

The Sunday Morning Live Show examined the issues, presenting a fair and balanced view by giving a platform to campaigners on both sides of the debate.

The show was joined by Peter Hitchens, an anti-cannabis journalist for the Mail on Sunday, who claimed that cannabis use can lead to mental illness – a direct contraction to what current scientific research has revealed.

He also showed himself to be uncredible by incorrectly stating that cannabis has already been decriminalised.

James O’brien, Germaine Greer and former government drugs advisor Prof. David Nutt, who was famously fired for speaking the truth, also joined the debate.

Drugs rehab worker, Gary Parker and Multiple Sclerosis sufferer and member of NORML UK, Clark French, were also given a platform to share their views.

Speaking on the NORML UK website, Clark French said:

 “I was incredibly pleased and excited to be invited on BBC1 this morning for a live debate, I had so much to say and so little time to say it, but I am pleased with the points I managed to convey. I hope to build on the current momentum and reach out to more television shows to share my story and campaign for our right to use cannabis as a safer form of medicine and recreation.

“Germaine Greer said ‘the people have spoken’ I hope the government will take note of this poll and change these unjust laws on cannabis, so people like me can get access to the medicine I need.”

The on-air poll asked viewers whether cannabis should be decriminalised or not. The yes vote received a landslide 69% victory with the no vote  and only receiving 31%.

The programme follows on from the announcement made last week that a 6 year study from the UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC) found that cannabis should be likened to “moderately risky” gambling or junk food.

However, there is still much confusion in the UK over the legal status of the herb.

In 2004, cannabis had been reclassified from a Class B drug to a Class C, but in 2009 the government reversed its decision.

Cannabis was originally outlawed in 1928, despite being used a medicine for over 4000 years. In fact, while big pharma prescription drugs kill around 100,000 people globally each year, cannabis has no toxicity level.

Research shows that the plant is beneficial to patients with a wide range of medical problems including; Alzheimer’s, Arthritis, Multiple sclerosis and Glaucoma.

Scientific research mainly focuses on 2 components of cannabis, THC and CBD, although it is thought that there are around 70 active ingredients, and the medicinal benefits that are being uncovered from just these two components are astonishing.

THC is the main psychoactive component and relieves pain.

The lesser known CBD has been shown to increase alertness, and is an anti-psychotic – which possibly reduces schizophrenia. It has also been suggested that it may prevent, or completely stop, cancer growth.

This wonder-plant also provides uses far beyond the medicinal. For centuries Hemp has been used as food, paper, fabric, building materials and even as an  environmentally friendly fuel.

When you look at cannabis from this rational point of view, isn’t it obvious how outdated our laws have become?

If you want to do something about this, take a look at the NORML websites:

The campaign is working to reform cannabis laws and is our best hope of change.

You can watch Sunday Morning Live Show here.