change language     -        

Will Cannabis be legalised in the UK?

29 July 2019, 11:21


  • Facebook
  • Tweet
  • Whatsapp

  • news_image

    A group of MPs predicts cannabis will be legalised in the UK within the next five years after they went on a research trip to Canada.


    Tory Jonathan Djanogly, Lib Dem Sir Norman Lamb and Labour's David Lammy travelled to Canada, which legalised the drug last year, on the trip organised by UK pro-legalisation group Volte Face.

    Cannabis is illegal for recreational use in the UK, although it can be prescribed for medicinal purposes.

    Jonathan Djanogly, Norman Lamb, David Lammy are posing for a picture: Jonathan Djanogly, Sir Norman Lamb and David Lammy (PA)

    © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited Jonathan Djanogly,

    Sir Norman Lamb and David Lammy (PA) But Mr Lammy and Sir Norman both said they believed the drug would be fully legalised in about five years.

    Tottenham MP Mr Lammy shifted his stance on the drug, moving away from his party's official position to backing legalisation.

    a close up of a hand holding a knife

    © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited He said: "I want the market legalised, regulated and taken away from crime gangs.

    © Getty

    "I want to see the strength of the stuff reduced, labelled and properly organised in this country."

    Related: 25 most dangerous drugs (24/7 Wall St)

    Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. More Americans die of drug overdoses than in car accidents, which are also frequently the result of substance abuse -- nearly half of fatal car accidents involve alcohol or other substances.To better understand the likelihood of Americans dying from using a specific substance, it is important to also get a better understanding of the substance itself -- its properties, interactions with other drugs and alcohol, and how often it is used.The vast majority of people who drink in the United States -- more than half of Americans -- do so responsibly. Millions of people also use pain medication every day and do not stray from their prescribed dosage regimens. And while overdoses from prescription opioids are a major factor in the opioid epidemic, they are essential to many Americans who rely on them to work and take care of their families.The double-edged sword of risk and reward of prescribing opiates is common to many other drugs as well. Approximately half of all people in the United States use at least one prescription drug on a regular basis.Issues related to substance use -- substances that may as easily be fatal as vital -- tend to be over-simplified. According to Sidney Schnoll, vice president of pharmaceutical risk management at the public health consulting firm Penney Associates, “It’s a little complicated.”In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Schnoll explained that the harm from both illicit and prescribed substances is rooted in “the interaction between the person and the chemical.” Both beneficial and deadly outcomes can occur whether the substance is an opioid, an antihypertensive medication, a laxative, or any other drug. “There are people who have adverse reactions to all these things,” he said.The reactions, behaviors, and adverse health outcomes associated with drug use often reach the level of substance use disorders -- acknowledged diseases in the health community that are often treated as criminal problems.The likelihood of adverse reactions and death increases considerably when substances are mixed with other drugs. “The safety of a drug [also] depends on its interactions with other substances,” Schnoll added.24/7 Wall St. reviewed 25 of the most dangerous drugs and drug mixtures based on side effect and death rates tracked by the federal government, as well as potential risk of drug combinations measured by medical information organizations and web sources such as MedScape, WebMD, and the American Medical Association. These substances span well-known and enjoyed controlled substances, infamous street drugs produced in unsafe conditions, and lethal combinations of otherwise safe medications. Many of these drugs when taken on their own and under the correct conditions are considered to be widely safe, and is only seriously deadly when combined inappropriately with other drugs.However, no drug is perfectly safe, and some widely-prescribed and popular over-the-counter medication is more likely to pose a risk to more Americans than rare drugs with a higher rate of dangerous side effects. Some of the drugs on this list are a broad category of medication with similar effects and risks, while others are a single formula.

    Sir Norman had previously led the Lib Dems’ decision to back the legalisation of cannabis, and recently wrote in the Standard how "our current laws on cannabis are not working".

    Mr Djanogly, meanwhile, told BBC's Newsbeat: "I think we have got a lot to learn before the legalisation of recreational cannabis, which I think will happen at some point.”

    He added he thought legalisation would occur between 10 and 15 years in the future.

    Related: Incredible facts about the booming US marijuana industry (BI)

    © Getty

    The MPs’ trip was partly sponsored by cannabis company MPX.

    Sir Norman and Mr Lammy funded their own flights and accommodation.

    Earlier this month, the Standard ran "The Cannabis Debate" series investigating whether selling the drug in a regulated way could encourage safe use.

    Additional reporting by Press Association.

  • Facebook
  • Tweet
  • Whatsapp