Public support for legalizing weed is growing in the UK

Twice as many adults in the UK are now in full support of legalising cannabis, compared to those that oppose it. A new poll, via YouGov and commissioned by the Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group, highlights the “clear and growing appetite” for liberalising drug laws in the UK, according to the group.

According to YouGov, 77 per cent of survey participants would like to see medicinal cannabis legalised. 48 per cent of voters are in favour of legalising the recreational use of weed, compared to 24 per cent who oppose it. That number is up by 5 per cent from 2018.

22 per cent also believe anyone should be able to grow their own marijuana plants, with a higher number supporting that medical marijuana users should be able to grow.

18-24 year-olds make up the highest proportion of supporters at 54 per cent.

Medicinal cannabis was legalised in the UK last year, and specialist doctors have had the ability to prescribe some cannabis products since November 2018. However, there have been, according to the Independent, virtually no NHS prescriptions in the last year. Private prescriptions are available but disproportionately expensive.

79 per cent of participants said the government was struggling with drug issues in the UK. 53 per cent believe drug use should be treated like any other health issue, and that harm reduction was the best course of action over criminalization. Seven out of 10 people surveyed disagreed with the UK’s prohibition tactics.

The CDPRG believes the poll results reflect the “widening gulf” between public opinion and the UK’s outdated drug laws.

According to Rob Wilson of the CDPRG in an article for The Sunday Times, it “illustrates the widening gulf between the stubborn, decades-old policies of blanket prohibition and the developing attitude of millions of voters.”

Earlier this year, it was reported that the National Police Chiefs’ Council had given officers the go ahead to stop arresting cannabis users. Instead of immediate prosecution, police will advise users to seek treatment – but there is no pressure on them to do so.

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