Petition Allow the British public to vote on the legalisation of cannabis
During the covid19 lockdown, up to 90% of the British public followed the UK governments instructions to self isolate and to practise social distancing. We did as you asked, so now allow the people to vote on the full legalisation of cannabis, medicinally and recreationally. It should be our choice.
The British public has followed the UK governments instructions during the covid19 outbreak with outstanding results.
We have pulled together in an unimaginable way during these challenging times.
We believe the British public has proven themselves to be some what responsible enough to make decisions for ourselves.
Therefore we are asking that the British government allows the British public to hold a national vote on the full legislation of cannabis, medicinally and recreationally. Thank you
This response was given on 29 September 2020
The Government has no plans to change
cannabis policy or allow a public vote on the issue of legalisation.
The Government has no intention of legalising cannabis. Cannabis is controlled as a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 as there is clear scientific and medical evidence that cannabis is a harmful drug which can damage people’s mental and physical health, and harms individuals and communities.
The legalisation of drugs in the UK would not eliminate the crime committed by the illicit trade, nor would it address the harms associated with drug dependence and the misery that this can cause to families and communities. Legalisation would send the wrong message to the vast majority of people who do not take drugs, especially young and vulnerable people. As such, the Government would not establish a system for the production and distribution of cannabis for recreational use.
There is an established legal provision for the production of cannabis-based products for medicinal use (CBPM) under a Home Office licence and a licence from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). There is also an established legitimate system to allow importation and distribution of these products. For access to unlicensed CBPMs, patients can only access these with a valid prescription from a specialist clinician on the GMC’s specialist register.
In relation to low level cannabis offences and associated convictions, the police have a range of powers at their disposal to deal with drug-related offences in a way that is proportionate to the circumstances of the offender and the public interest.
We have confidence in our police officers to assess as appropriate any necessary enforcement action, whether it is a public order or protection or local drug issue that needs addressing.
This is a revised response. The Petitions Committee requested a response which more directly addressed the request of the petition. You can find the original response towards the bottom of the petition page (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/318654)
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Original Government response
The Government has no plans to change cannabis policy or allow a public vote on the issue of legalisation.
The Government has no intention of legalising cannabis or to allow a public vote on the issue. Cannabis is controlled as a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 as there is clear scientific and medical evidence that cannabis is a harmful drug which can damage people’s mental and physical health, and harms individuals and communities.
This response was given on 16 September 2020. The Petitions Committee then requested a revised response, that more directly addressed the request of the petition.