Custom Search 1

MPs predict Cannabis will be legalised in the UK


LABOUR MP David Lammy, alongside Conservative Jonathon Djanogly and Lib Dem Sir Norman Lamb traveled to Canada for a Radio 1 Newsbeat documentary Legalising Cannabis: Canada’s Story.

Under Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada became the second country to fully legalise cannabis in 2018, with the first being Uruguay in 2013.

Prior to the government introducing the new legislation, Trudeau said: “Obviously the current approach – the current prohibition of marijuana – has not worked to protect our kids, to keep the money out of the pockets of organised crime and that’s why we’re bringing in a new legalised framework around marijuana.”

Canadians can now grow up to four plants in their own home and carry up to 30 grams of dried cannabis for personal use. Those caught with more than this amount, or who supply marijuana to minors will face penalties.

In the UK, cannabis is currently a class B drug. Despite the shift in approach towards medicinal cannabis products, which can now be legally prescribed, UK citizens can face up to five years for possession and 14 years for supply and production.

On return from Toronto, Tottenham MP David Lammy said: |”I want the market legalised, regulated and taken away from crime gangs. For young people not to be criminalised by use and properly educated. I want to see the strength of the stuff reduced, labelled and properly organised in this country.”

The group trip to Canada was funded by Volte Face, a UK-based campaign group advocating the full legalisation of cannabis in the UK and sponsored by North American cannabis company MPX.

CEO of MPX Scott Boyes told the BBC his company wants to make a profit from selling cannabis legally in the UK.

He said: “We've had a lot of UK investors invest in our company and we're moving into six countries.

"A lot of the money we have raised has come out of the UK, so I don't consider it interfering with other people's politics and a lot of the expenses have been born by themselves.”

Whilst the MP’s acknowledged Canada’s path to the full legalisation of cannabis was not a smooth one, they remained adamant the UK would follow Canada’s lead and legalise the drug within the next decade.

“I think we have got a lot to learn before the legalisation of recreational cannabis, which I think will happen at some point," said Tory MP Jonathan Djanogly.

In the UK “young people can access cannabis easier than they can access tobacco” said David Lammy.

He tweeted: “The UK’s prohibition of cannabis gives children easier access to high strength skunk, disproportionately criminalises working-class and minority users, and funds criminal gangs. It is high time we followed Canada’s lead with legal regulation.”

Whilst support for its legalisation has increased across the UK, there are still a distinct margin of people that question the safety of the drug.

The government told Newsbeat it “has no intention of changing the law” in regards to the legislation.

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.