Changing attitudes towards cannabis and its medicinal uses
The legalisation of cannabis has long been a contentious issue in the UK, but it seems attitudes among some politicians are softening. In 2013, the Lib Dem leader, Nick Clegg, expressed his frustration at Conservative attitudes towards drug laws, and his former drugs minister, Norman Baker, was quoted as saying cannabis is “no more dangerous than alcohol”.
As the drug laws stand in the UK, anyone caught in possession of the drug could be faced with a five year jail term and/or an unlimited fine, or if they are convicted of the supply and production of cannabis, they could face a fourteen year sentence and/or unlimited fine.
However, Nick Clegg has advocated softening some of the drugs laws, and In September 2014, Clegg stated he was “open-minded” about licensed cannabis shops opening up in the UK, although he was clear that he was not advocating complete legalisation.
Clegg’s recent comments do suggest that there is a change in attitudes towards cannabis legalisation, at least for medicinal uses, and this could eventually lead to changes in the laws as it has in the United States, where cannabis has been approved for medicinal purposes in 24 different states.
Cannabis for medicinal uses
Campaigners have urged the government to change the laws so that it is legal to use medical cannabis in the UK for the treatment and management of certain conditions. Doctors, too, are calling on changes in the law regarding legalisation of cannabis.
At a meeting of the British Medical Association in June 2014, a motion was tabled by former consultant Geoffrey Lewis. He described the drugs laws in the UK as “contradictory and inefficient”, and told the Huffington Post that “public health shouldn’t suffer because politicians were too frightened to have very honest debate.”
There is a growing body of research that supports the use of cannabis for the treatment of a number of illnesses, most notably Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a neurological disease that can cause problems with walking, pain and spams. Studies have confirmed that cannabis can indeed reduce some of the symptoms of MS, and help improve the quality of life.
Moreover, cannabinoids, a compound found in cannabis, have been shown to have antioxidative properties. Antioxidants are known to prevent heart disease and cancer; they play an important role in reducing inflammatory diseases. Cannabinoids have also been show on to act as neuroprotectors, raising the possibility that cannabis could one day be used as a treatment to manage diseases like Parkinson’s, dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases
Numerous studies have shown that cannabis can have many medical benefits, especially when it comes to pain relief. There are millions of people that could benefit from elusive cannabis., Patients with multiple sclerosis report a reduction in payments thousands when they use the drug, is been shown to be an effective treatment for glaucoma, is antispasmodic properties eggs with a valuable aid for patients with seizures and migraine patients also find relief from using the drug.