Scotland wants to decriminalise cannabis after historic vote 5 years ago

Scotland wants to decriminalise cannabis after historic vote

More and more countries across the world are moving to decriminalise or even legalise cannabis.

But now it seems that Scotland wants to add its name to that list after a historic motion at the Scottish National Party Conference.


The British Government kicked out a petition calling for the legalisation of cannabis last year with 200,000 signatories, saying the drug remains "a significant public health issue."

But SNP members voted for a motion to decriminalise the drug for medicinal purposes at the party's national conference in Glasgow.

Multiple sclerosis sufferer Laura Brennan-Whitefield spoke in favour of using weed for pain relief and called for "compassion and common sense" ahead of the vote.

"I have been living with multiple sclerosis for nine years and the fact that I'm standing here giving this speech means I am one of the lucky ones," she said.


"It has become very clear to me over these last nine years that many people living with MS have been using cannabis to help with the symptoms of that condition, in fact it's one of the worst kept secrets at the hospital.

"All of these people risk a criminal record, unlike in Australia, Chile, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Romania and some US states."

Votes were overwhelmingly cast backing moves to decriminalise weed for medicinal purposes at the SNP conference

Now party members want the British Government to devolve powers over the Class B drug to Scotland.


EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: The Saltire flag flies next to the Royal Standard of Scotland and the Union Flag above a gift shop in central Edinburgh on September 19, 2014 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The majority of Scottish people have today voted 'No' in the referendum and Scotland will remain within the historic union of countries that make up the United Kingdom. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Currently cannabis is a class B drug and people can face up to five years in jail for possession, while those caught supplying or cultivating the drug risk up to 14 years in prison.

While the majority of members were in support of the decriminalisation resolution, the BBC reported Councillor Audrey Doig voiced her disapproval and told how it had been a gateway drug for her cousin.

"Nowadays people are looking for quick fixes as far as pain is concerned, and they look for quick fixes when the pain medication doesn't work and they go on to stronger pain killers," she said.


"I'm afraid this would happen with this particular medication.

"How do I know this? I had a cousin who died a number of years ago in Canada. He started taking cannabis because he was having pain when he was playing ice hockey and his mates in ice hockey did the same.

"Unfortunately my cousin had an addictive personality and when the pain wasn't relieved by taking cannabis he went on to taking stronger drugs."

Although this doesn't necessarily mean the Scottish Government will adopt the policy, it demonstrates the strong support for the idea within the ruling SNP.

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