The other day my girlfriend was visiting from Boston. We were walking in SoHo and she was stunned at the cannabis truck that was posted on the street in plain vision. As it turns out, this is not a common sighting in Boston, and as a lover of the practice, she wished she lived here.
In New York, California, Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Colorado, and several other states, marijuana (both using and selling) is completely legal, and you don’t need a medical card to purchase it either. In more liberal states like New York, you can get it as easily and plainly as you can get groceries or a new pair of jeans.
Unfortunately, some states and countries don’t have the same luxuries. Take the United Kingdom for example, whose former Home Secretary, Suella Bravermen, suggested the drug should be reclassified as a Class A (it’s currently Class B), placing it alongside cocaine, heroin, and crystal meth.
She is not the first to suggest this in the United Kingdom, either. For years, English police officers have requested harsher penalties for possession and potential life sentences for anyone caught dealing it. Life sentences definitely seem really aggressive and unnecessary, but also makes you wonder how big of an issue it is across the pond if that is being suggested.
“The Home Secretary coming out strongly against cannabis reform is a means of appeasing the Tory party and social conservatives in this country through tough on drugs rhetoric,” a member of the press told Dazed. “It is a clear demonstration of how polarized the UK is on drugs, and an indication that things are unlikely to get better anytime soon.”
If Bravermen’s plan had gone into action before she resigned, the country would’ve started mandatory testing of people in possession, revoking licenses and entrance to nightclubs, removing passports and access to travel, and place them in required attendance of multiple drug awareness courses. The news comes at a time where over 50% of the population favors the legalization and regulation of the drug. “Statements like Bravermen demonstrate the amount of work that still needs to be done to shift this attitude,” the member continued.
Nothing could end up happening or severe laws could be put in place — but only time will really tell. The government wants to make sure their stance is clear: They are leaning towards tighter laws on cannabis. And considering who it is up to, that very much could happen.
If you think about it, Britain holds a record for most drug-related deaths, but policing drug production certainly won’t reduce levels of supply. Cannabis reform is a tricky and touchy subject to all governments and populations that deal with it, both in the UK and abroad. But are strict penalties really the answer to solving it?
On the other hand, other places are embracing marijuana legalization. For instance, bud and breakfast spots are popping up all over the US, right on the heels of the FDA banning the nicotine-laden Juul.
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