Drug laws are never far from the global headlines, particularly with more than 30 US states now relaxing their laws on the use of marijuana⁵. This change in attitude has led to some debate on whether the UK needs to amend its existing drug laws, too.
Currently in the UK, cannabis is categorised as Class B, meaning that users can face up to five years in prison and 14 years if they are supplying or producing cannabis – with both offences holding an unlimited fine⁶.
There have already been recent changes to UK drug laws on cannabis, after parents led successful campaigns to allow children with debilitating illnesses to be prescribed cannabis-based medicine on the NHS.
Overall, the nation’s attitude is changing towards the medical use of illegal drugs, especially cannabis, following the recent changes in law thanks to the cases of Billy Caldwell and Alfie Dingley⁷.
The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs has already concluded that cannabis should be declassified. As the public chatter around the use and misuse of illegal drugs continues, this topic will not be leaving the spotlight any time soon.
What’s more, with a number of MPs supporting potential changes such as adjusting the criminalisation, legalising or making drugs available for medicinal use – a change appears to be on the horizon.