Denying it has lost war on drugs, United Kingdom rules out legalizing cannabis

Billy Caldwell with his mum Charlotte Caldwell

Billy Caldwell with his mum Charlotte Caldwell

"This government has absolutely no plans to legalize cannabis and the penalties for unauthorized supply and possession will remain unchanged", Home Secretary (interior minister) Sajid Javid told parliament, echoing words from the prime minister's spokesman who denied the government had lost the war on drugs. A campaign led by parents, whose children benefit from the currently-illegal medical cannabis products, has gained nationwide media traction.

May's government said on Monday it would look into possible changes to rules on the use of cannabis-based medicines after a 12-year-old boy, Billy Caldwell, was admitted to hospital when officials confiscated his medication.

Ms Caldwell credits the oil with keeping Billy's seizures at bay, saying he was seizure-free for more than 300 days while using it, but it contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is restricted in the UK.

As Mrs May faces pressure to review the law on cannabis, Hague has joined the chorus of MPs clamouring for reform, imploring his party to abandon the "indefensible" legislation.

Jeremy Hunt's announcement comes amid calls for the drug to be legalised in medicinal circumstances.

Hague argued the case of Billy illustrates why the law on cannabis in the United Kingdom is "inappropriate, ineffective and utterly out of date". "This battle is effectively over".

Adding that many police forces in the United Kingdom had already turned their focus off implementing cannabis law in favor of more serious crimes, Hague said: "Issuing orders to the police to defeat its use is about as up-to-date and relevant as asking the army to recover the Empire".

Cannabis is now a Class B drug, meaning anyone caught in possession could be handed up to a five-year prison sentence.

Hague was staunchly anti-cannabis legalisation during his tenure as Conservative Party leader from 1997 to 2001.

"We are pragmatists, who change with society and revise our opinions when the facts change".

"As far as marijuana, or cannabis, is concerned, any war has been comprehensively and irreversibly lost".

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