A petition to legalise marijuana picks up more than 150,000 signatures - meaning a parliamentary debate on the subject is highly likely. What do UK women think?
A petition to legalise marijuana in the UK has picked up hundreds of thousands of signatures in a matter of days – meaning that parliament is ‘highly likely’ to debate the subject in upcoming months. But is this a long overdue move that could boost the economy and transform many individuals’ lives? Or is it a sliding slope that could trigger mental illness and crime? We spoke to the women campaigning for and against it…
Jennifer Battersby believes the UK should legalise marijuana sooner rather than later…
‘I have never experienced any adverse or unwanted side-effects from my medical use of cannabis, but I have found that it alleviates a lot of the physical and psychological symptoms associated with my physical and mental health problems.
I suffer from horrendous menstrual cramps, and unless I use cannabis I can’t get on with my day. But I also suffer from from a condition commonly known as Clicky Hips (CDH/DDH). Basically, your hip is a ball and socket joint, and if the ball doesn’t lie properly in the socket, it can be displaced – resulting in joint problems and agonising pain. When this happens, I’m left unable to walk. Most of the time I can’t even get out of bed.
That’s why I believe it’s time cannabis was reclassified for medicinal purposes, so that more people can discover its benefits. And that’s why I’ll keep talking about my experiences until it is. The UK lacks a great deal in education relating to marijuana – we need to change that. If people knew more about it, then they’d be able to make more informed decisions about the particular strains available, and they’d be able to find a safe way of consuming it (and other medicinal cannabis products) to benefit their health.
But it’s not just a medical matter. We can’t underestimate the benefit to the economy that legalising cannabis would bring, including £900 million in revenue and millions more in savings to the justice system and street policing forces – allowing officers to carry out life saving duties and to protect the public.’
Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity SANE, believes marijuana should be illegal…
‘We are not as a charity generally in favour of prohibitions, but in the case of cannabis we have to make an exception. We believe the debate about its legal position must take account of the growing body of evidence linking its regular use with a range of cognitive and mental health problems.
Many young people smoke cannabis and in particular its stronger version, ‘skunk’, which has a particular chemical make-up and can trigger frightening psychotic episodes, cause mental health relapse and may even bring about severe conditions such as schizophrenia.
Any message which risks diluting these dangers to the roughly ten per cent of people who are genetically or otherwise vulnerable, risks causing widespread suffering for them and their families.’
What do you think? Tweet your opinions to @marieclaireuk.