Socialist Worker

As Tories split over spliffs - we say legalise cannabis

Issue No. 2609

Cannabis has caused yet another row in the Tories

Cannabis has caused yet another row in the Tories (Pic: Mario Antonio Pena Zapatería/Flickr)


Former Conservative leader William Hague is the latest high profile Tory to call for cannabis law reform.

The Tories are split on the issue following the case of a 12 year old whose medicinal cannabis oil was confiscated at Heathrow Airport.

The Home Office returned some of the medicine to Billy Caldwell after medics confirmed he needed it to deal with severe epileptic seizures.

Hague called for a “decisive change” in the law. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said the law wasn’t working properly. Yet Theresa May has played down the prospect of change.

Labour is divided too. Jeremy Corbyn said he backs legalisation of cannabis oil for medicinal purposes. But the party said last year that it remains opposed to wider legalisation.

Now Labour says it may have a review.

Cannabis is a Class B drug— after being reclassified by Labour from Class C in 2009. That means possession can lead to five years in jail. Police in England and Wales recorded over 83,000 offences for cannabis possession in 2016-17.

Yet it’s generally safer than legal drugs such as tobacco and alcohol. And many people use it to alleviate chronic pain and anxiety.

Socialist Worker believes that cannabis should be legalised for recreational and medicinal purposes. The “war on drugs” has failed and is a mechanism for hounding and harassing working class, poor and black people.


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