Cannabis has a dirty name in the UK, viewed as a street drug that people use before inevitably hopping onto something stronger. This stereotype is a load of tosh, and you only need to look at the US to see why.
At the time of writing, 18 states have legalised cannabis, decriminalising its use. In return, enormous tax dollars have been earned.
Closer to home, Malta, an independent island and member of the EU, legalised the growing and use of marijuana on 14 December 2021 for recreational purposes, making them the first country in the European Union to do so.
Meanwhile, Germany is becoming the second country to legalise cannabis for personal use. Medical marijuana is already legal in Germany, but the Government wants to control recreational use and tax it.
It’s important to note that rules in both countries state adults can carry up to seven grams of cannabis on their person and grow up to four plants at home, but they cannot smoke it in public, which will remain illegal.
How about the UK?
Then we have the UK.
The UK’s stance on recreational cannabis has been draconian for decades, and there are no signs at all that it will become legal soon.
While cannabis is authorised for medicinal use in the UK, creating a legal, regulated market around it appears to be a non-priority. It means if people don’t have a medicinal purpose for cannabis, they have to turn to criminality.
The argument for cannabis legalisation is that more people would have access to a known product to alleviate pain. People would also have access to quality products rather than black market products with questionable origins.
Other positive arguments include that it would free up law enforcement, give people freedom of choice, provide a source of tax revenue, and make the product safer. These are all good arguments. Personally, we think it makes sense!
The big argument against legalisation is it would increase the number of violent crimes, mental health cases, and poverty-related to cannabis use. More people would smoke it, and therefore bad cases would only increase.
Another argument against cannabis legalisation is that poor execution of legalisation could fuel the black market. For example, not providing the product will send people to the black market with lower-quality products.
Cannabis is no closer to being legalised in the UK than it was a year ago or even a decade ago. In some ways, attitudes have regressed, with major political parties hunkering down on the idea that cannabis is a parasite in society.
Sadly, as with most things in life, change will only be possible if there is change at the top, and this means a new majority political party that supports cannabis legalisation.
Whatever happens, we’ll just have to wait and watch the world enjoy it legally while we smoke things illegally. What a time to be alive.