The whole subject of cannabis in the UK right now is rather embarrassing.  Cannabis culture is alive and well, but remains confined to the underground.  All forms of cannabis in the UK are 100% illegal and are destined to remain as such for some time to come.

Meanwhile, tens of millions of stoners in the United States are living the dream.  Some of whom are already taking things for granted, not realising how lucky they are. We’re gradually heading for an era where cannabis legalization will extend to all four corners of the US. This includes both medicinal and recreational cannabis, which are already easily accessible for most Americans.

By contrast, the legalisation of cannabis in the UK is still a far flung concept at best. We’re yet to see the legalization of medicinal cannabis in the UK, let alone recreational pot. A scant handful of patients have finally got their hands on medical cannabis products, but only after extensive and painful legal battles.

In any case, the UK continues to trail behind much of the developed world with its archaic approach to cannabis legislation. So, for those who really don’t know how good they’ve got it in North America, here are seven reasons why being a cannabis user in the UK sucks:

1. You Support Drug Dealers

The only way to purchase cannabis in the UK is to do so from illegal drug dealers. In doing so, you line their pockets and support their illegal trade.  Hence, whichever way you look at it, you’re fuelling organised crime. Not just this, but you’re also dealing with decidedly dodgy individuals. Perhaps even putting yourself in a dangerous situation. 

Buying cannabis on the black market can be awkward and uncomfortable at the best of times. Even if things go to plan, you don’t know what you’re getting and could get yourself in a lot of trouble. Not quite the same as heading out to a friendly dispensary and chatting to the knowledgeable staff.

2. You Could Get Arrested

Some police forces are starting to turn a blind eye to the casual use of cannabis in the UK. However, most are still willing to throw the book at those who flout the rules. Whether you’re buying, selling, carrying or using the stuff, you run the risk of being busted. You could land with a fine, or find yourself appearing before the courts.

It’s widely agreed that prosecuting petty crimes involving cannabis in the UK is a waste of time and money. Nevertheless, it continues to happen on a daily basis. Simply by doing what you love to do and posing zero threat to anyone else, you could find yourself with a criminal record for life.

3. You’ve No Idea What You’re Smoking

When you buy cannabis on the black market, there are no guarantees as to what’s actually in the bag. For one thing, you could be handed a batch of low-grade bud with next to no THC and tons of redundant plant matter. You could also be told it’s high-quality White Widow, when it’s actually nothing of the sort. It’s often impossible even to tell whether it’s an indica or sativa stash you’re looking at.

Of course, beggars can’t be choosers. If this is the only way of buying cannabis in the UK, it’s how it’s got to be done. It’s just that you’ve no control over the quality of what’s in the bag, or even the strains you smoke.

4. Little To No Variety

Getting hold of basic (if completely unidentifiable) weed isn’t difficult across much of the UK. However, getting your hands on something a little different isn’t quite as simple. Cannabis buds and hash are accessible enough, but that’s pretty much where it ends.

When it comes to things like high quality cannabis edibles, cannabis concentrates, tinctures and so on, they’re more or less non-existent. It’s not that being restricted to bud alone is the end of the world, but variety really is the spice of life. And given the eye-watering costs of cannabis in the UK, there’s little room for experimentation with the bud you can afford to buy.

5. It’s Way Too Expensive

On that note, the fact that cannabis is only available on the black market makes it a seriously expensive commodity. Not to mention, a commodity that often runs out entirely, leaving you high and dry.

Worse still, there’s absolutely no correlation whatsoever between price and quality. Irrespective of how much you’re charged, you could still be handed a bag of absolute garbage. After all, it’s not as if you can take it back with proof of purchase and request a refund.

6. Growing Is No Fun

Cannabis seeds are readily available in the UK, but it’s completely illegal to germinate them. Growing cannabis in the UK in any form could land you a lengthy spell behind bars. As you’d expect, this takes all of the fun and enjoyment out of growing cannabis. 

What’s supposed to be an exciting and rewarding experience becomes a wall-to-wall tale of paranoia, secrecy and the ever-present risk of being busted.  Needless to say, the fact that quality cannabis seeds are both legal and readily available is simply salt in the wound.

7. Medical Uses Are Royally Screwed

Last up, it’s one thing to restrict cannabis in the UK on the recreational side of things. However, it’s something else entirely to turn your back on those who could benefit from medical cannabis. Without fail, authorities in the UK continue to completely ignore the overwhelming evidence supporting the benefits of medical cannabis products.

Even in cases where conventional treatment and medication have failed, medical cannabis in the UK simply isn’t an option. There have even been high-profile cases of people being arrested and charged, simply for using the products they need to live a normal life. So, while being an everyday stoner in the UK sucks, it’s worse for those who simply want to get well.