Is cannabis illegal in UK and where is weed legal to smoke and buy?
- 28 Dec 2019, 18:30
- Updated : 20 Apr 2020, 13:39
- Invalid Date,
MARIJUANA has been illegal in the UK since 1928 – but will laws around the Class B drug be relaxed?
Here’s everything you need to know about drug laws on cannabis as they currently stand.
Is marijuana illegal in the UK?
Cannabis remains illegal to possess, grow, distribute, sell or grow in the UK.
Being caught with cannabis comes with a maximum of five years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both.
While being convicted of producing and supplying the Class B drug carries up to 14 years behind bars, an unlimited fine, or both.
Police can issue a warning or on-the-spot fine if you’re caught with a small amount – generally less than one ounce – if it is deemed for personal use.
Is it illegal to smoke cannabis in your own home?
Like all drugs in Britain, weed is regulated extremely stringently by the Government.
As the punishments suggest, it’s completely illegal to smoke weed anywhere in Britain – including on your own property.
However, some police forces have taken a more laid-back attitude to the recreational drug, which is believed to be the most popular in the UK.
Prosecution rates for cannabis possession are as low as 15 per cent in Cornwall and Devon, while Durham Police have said they will no longer target recreational users at all.
Is medical marijuana legal in the UK?
Medical forms of marijuana are available over the counter or by prescription in the UK – but it is heavily monitored and regulated.
Doctors were given the go-ahead to prescribe cannabis products to patients from November 1, 2018.
The new rules apply to England, Wales and Scotland, Sajid Javid said in a written statement.
It follows several high-profile cases, including young epilepsy sufferers Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell, whose conditions appeared to be helped by cannabis oil.
In order for a cannabis product to be considered medicinal it must meet three requirements: it “needs to be a preparation or product which contains cannabis, cannabis resin, cannabinol or a cannabinol derivative; it is produced for medicinal use in humans and; is a medicinal product, or a substance or preparation for use as an ingredient of, or in the production of an ingredient of, a medicinal product”, according to Mr Javid’s statement.
In July 2019, it was ruled that the NHS could prescribe cannabis-based medicine to treat Lennox Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
Trials of the drug were carried out at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital on children who were having multiple seizures a day.
Results showed the drug stopped the seizures in many cases and significantly reduced them in others.
The decision by the European Medicines Agency has to be confirmed in two months, but that is expected to be a formality paving the way for the liquid medicine to be available on the NHS later this year for dozens of children affected by the two conditions.
Where is weed legal?
Weed has been decriminalised for personal use in a number of countries, including the Netherlands and Portugal, which decriminalised the use of all drugs in 2001.
Canada legalised cannabis for medicinal purposes in 2001. But in October 2018 Canada became the first G7 nation to legalise recreational use of the drug.
In Australia, Puerto Rico, Poland, Czech Republic, Turkey, Croatia and Macedonia it is legal for medicinal purposes.
Some US states have legalised marijuana while others allow it for medicinal use only.
New York state was the latest to decriminalise recreational use in July 2019.
Possession of small amounts of the drug will be punished with fines rather than jail time, a step short of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s goal of legalising pot.
The Liberal Democrats became the first major British political party to support the legalisation of cannabis in March 2016.
How many people in the UK smoke weed?
The use of most drugs has declined in the UK since records began in 1996, according to a 2016 Home Office survey.
It found that cannabis was by some distance the most commonly used drug, with 6.5 per cent of adults aged between 16 and 59 smoking in the previous year.
Weed was also the most popular among those aged between 16 and 24, with 15.8 per cent using it in that same time.
The next popular drug was powdered cocaine.
When did cannabis become illegal in the UK?
Cannabis was banned in 1928.
Its medical use was outlawed in 1971 and growing plants was made illegal in 1964.
Here's everything you need to know about cannabis
Marijuana united kingdom
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Medical cannabis in the United Kingdom (UK) – Statistics & Facts
- Key figures
The medical cannabis market in the UK is predicted to soar. At the end of 2019, there were less than 250 active medical cannabis users in the country; by 2024, this figure is expected to be over 337 thousand. The potential of the market in the UK is clear when the number of sufferers of medical conditions for whom medical cannabis is legal and available in other countries is taken into account. For example, there are 400 thousand sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis in the UK who could benefit from medical cannabis, and 360 thousand cancer cases a year for which medical cannabis could be available to combat the worst effects of chemotherapy. Furthermore, in 2028, the medical cannabis market in the UK is predicted to have a revenue of approximately 8.8 billion euros, which is forecast to be the second biggest in Europe, behind only France. The possible capacity of the medical cannabis market in the UK can be further seen in a survey that found over three-quarters of Brits would take medical cannabis if it was prescribed by a doctor.
In the UK, 15 percent of the population have consumed cannabis at some point in their lifetime. The prevalence of use rises among younger age groups, with almost 30 percent of those aged between 18 and 24 years admitting to having used cannabis. Although with lower support than that of legalizing medical cannabis, the legalization of cannabis for general use is supported by the majority of the British population. According to the survey carried out in 2018, 59 percent of Brits would support the legalization of cannabis, with nearly 70 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds backing legalization. Additionally, 52 percent oppose the prosecution of those using cannabis unlawfully for medical conditions.
Due to the current narrow medical cannabis legislation in the UK, there is a large amount of people in the country who turn to illegal cannabis to relieve their symptoms and side effects of health conditions. It is estimated that over 41 percent of those currently suffering from Huntingdon’s disease and schizophrenia use cannabis obtained from the ‘street’ to help with their issues. 56 percent of those taking cannabis for medical conditions are using daily to abate their symptoms, with a further 24 percent doing so weekly. Likewise, sufferers are spending substantial monthly amounts of money on cannabis, illustrating that a wider ranging medical cannabis law would benefit a great deal of people financially as well as medically.
This text provides general information. Statista assumes no liability for the information given being complete or correct. Due to varying update cycles, statistics can display more up-to-date data than referenced in the text.
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