Article by David Nutt, iNews
Cannabis is generally thought to be the oldest medicine in the world, with evidence of use from Egypt and China dating back four millennia.
It was a medicine in the UK until 1971 and was found useful by many in society – including Queen Victoria! Then an act of parliament, the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, declared that medical use was illegal.
This was an odd decision, in that was driven by pressure from the USA to conform with their ban. It was little-opposed by the medical profession, perhaps as the cannabis products were not being marketed by any major pharmaceutical company. Since then millions of people have broken the law to obtain relief that only cannabis can bring to their pain and suffering, and thousands have been prosecuted for it.
The absurdity and injustice of this ban was apparent from the outset and in many countries – most notably the USA – where local pressure leading to referenda in individual states has put cannabis back into the pharmacopeia.
They have it – why don’t we?
Now over 200 million US citizens have access to this medicine as do the populations of 11 other countries. But the UK holds firm in its ban despite having one of the highest proportions of recreational cannabis users in the world – even higher than that in countries where it is legal, like Holland.