British Prime Minister Theresa May, yesterday said that she will not be legalizing cannabis in the UK because she believes that cannabis can lead to mental health problems and acts as a gateway to Heroin use. This comes hot on the heels of the Liberal Democrats pledge to legalise cannabis if elected. Yesterday on a Facebook live Question and Answer with ITV’s Robert Peston a viewer called Emma asked why she would not support cannabis legalisation. Emma asked because it helps with her debilitating anxiety and she doesn’t think she should be criminalised for getting the only thing that helps. What followed was a blow to anyone in the UK who has taken a common sense, evidence based approach to cannabis legalisation when the Prime Minister gave answers closer to those of the Reefer Madness propaganda of the 1930s.
Cannabis Causes Mental Health Problems
Emma’s question shows that she self medicates using cannabis because it benefits her mental health, however Theresa May is quick to bat this off by denying the benefits by saying that evidence is to the contrary.
“There have obviously been some studies into the use of cannabis or derivatives for medical use,” she said. “The reason I don’t believe in making cannabis use legal is because of the impact I see it having on too many people in terms of the drug use. What we’ve seen is stronger forms now being used – I think it can have a real impact on people in terms of their mental health.”
There is one thing we agree on, cannabis can have an impact on mental health, for many this is a positive impact. An impact that changes lives and allows them to function and take an active part in society. Maybe it’s time that Theresa May listened to these people and all the others that are benefiting around the world where cannabis is now being given medical status.
Cannabis is a Gateway to Heroin Use
After brushing off the medical benefits Theresa May went a step further and stated that she still believes cannabis is a gateway to hard drug use.
She said “But it can also of course lead to people going on to harder drugs. There’s a wonderful woman in my constituency, Elizabeth Burton Phillips who runs something called DrugFAM, which supports families. One of her twin sons – they both started on cannabis when they were at school and went on to heroin and one of her twin sons committed suicide. This has a huge impact on families.”
Where as we all no doubt have great sympathy for Elizabeth’s loss but there is no way that you can blame cannabis use for this tragic loss of life. This argument can even be used against her because if cannabis was legalised and regulated then the young man in question may have never even had the opportunity to access stronger more dangerous substances. Similarly when she says that cannabis is stronger than ever regulation would reverse this trend. Increasing the CBD content is a key tenement of the Liberal Democrat pledge as it is widely proven that higher levels of CBD can protect the consumer from the side effects of cannabis use.