Will Cannabis be legal in the U.K. in 2021?
Let's face it, after the turmoil of 2020 and the combined continued effects of Brexit & COVID, the U.K. is not in the best shape. Also, meanwhile Cannabis & CBD has been a hot topic recently across the globe, especially as the World Health Organisation reclassified Cannabis as 'less harmful' so, will the U.K. Government reconsider their stance on Marijuana in the wake of the current situation?
It's a very valid question as Cannabis legislation has gone through a multitude of changes in recent years, also America has recently passed the landmark M.O.R.E. bill which would decriminalise Cannabis. Businesses and consumers around the world are now very much aware of the medicinal benefits of the plant and perspectives are changing rapidly regarding CBD.
Laws dealing with Cannabis started cropping up as early as 1929 and growing Cannabis has been restricted since around 1971. Hemp has been used in many industries, such as Shipping and Clothing for many years. Also the U.K. in recent years has become the world's largest exporter of Cannabis, although not in its raw form, for a medical drug 'Sativex', which is used to relieve muscle spasms and stiffness for patients with multiple sclerosis. The well renowned company British Sugar is one of the main growers of Cannabis in the U.K, their Managing Director, Paul Kenward is in fact married to Drugs Minister Victoria Atkins.
In 2015 Cannabis was made legal for medicinal purposes only, patients were allowed to be granted prescriptions via the NHS. More recently Cancard has been launched, a new initiative supported by MPs, the Police and Doctors will see the introduction of a new cannabis medical card. From November 1st 2020 CanCard was made available to UK Cannabis consumers to protect them from arrest and prosecution in the UK.
Looking at the many benefits that countries such as Spain, Portugal & The Netherlands have enjoyed through decriminalising Cannabis and the U.K's stance on being 'forward thinking', failure to follow suit makes the U.K. look out of touch, a view already held by many following the whole Brexit debacle.
Boris Johnson could look to review archaic Drug policy for a number of reasons, primarily Votes. Cannabis reform is likely to have a largely positive response from younger voters, an area which the Conservatives have never faired to well. Secondly following on from the recent economic issues, such as Brexit and the Pandemic, Cannabis Legalisation could give the economy the booster shot it needs to get back on track. Thirdly Drugs policy reform would begin to repair the damage done in recent years for the U.K's 'Progressive' reputation.
This whole process will take time, that's for certain, and as there are more pressing issues surrounding the Government currently, there is not a definitive answer as to when this topic will be discussed further. With that being said the U.K. will not want to be left behind as Cannabis legalisation and decriminalisation is a very progressive step to take. It is our view that whilst it maybe will not happen this year, it's surely due to happen soon.