The state of cannabis legalisation in the UK is not good
‘Maybe in 5 years’. It’s what my friendship group have been telling each other since we were old enough to smoke. Maybe in five years, maybe with the next government or maybe we just need the Americans to legalise one more state before everyone here takes notice.
It never happens though. I think it’s time that cannabis advocates in the UK finally looked at each other and said that it’s not working. What we’ve done so far, hasn’t got us anywhere. We’re in the exact same position that we were in 15 years ago. In fact, we’re in a worse position, because back then cannabis was a Class C drug, and now it’s back up to Class B.
Even worse than not going anywhere, is the de facto decriminalisation that we have in the UK today. Depending on where you live in the UK, your police force might arrest you for possession, give you a warning, or ignore you altogether. It’s a postcode lottery that means that the people deciding your fate aren’t judges or juries, or even politicians, it’s the local police officer and how he’s feeling that day.
We have a few pro-legalisation groups in the UK. NORML UK, CLEAR and others. Unfortunately, they all hate each other. They all have decided that their particular view of the way to move forward is the correct one, so they all fell out and stopped talking to each other years ago. These groups are small, insular, and care more about the amount of likes they have on Facebook than obtaining reasonable change. Some are pushing for medical access, which is great, but we all know it will end up with no real change, even if the law changes in 10 years time.
I wish I had a suggestion for the way to move forward here. I’m exasperated though. At the moment, there is no way to bring all the legalisation movements together to produce something that might actually help push what we want forward. The best we can hope for is a politician led movement similar to in Canada, but that could take a long, long time.
If anything, we’ve failed ourselves.