The UK to Vote on Cannabis… Delayed. Will Marijuana Stocks Benefit?

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The legalization of marijuana has found its place as a topic of mainstream conversation in Canada and increasingly the U.S. But, now attention turns to the United Kingdom, where politicians, experts, citizens and even celebrities are calling for decriminalization of marijuana. Is it a topic the United Kingdom is ready to engage in serious conversation, let alone legislation? We may not find out for a few more months, as the hot debate that finally reached the U.K. Parliament last week ended in a filibuster.

Those seeking marijuana stocks to buy may ask where marijuana currently stands in the United Kingdom?

It is prohibited in the U.K., categorized as a Class B drug, meaning those caught in possession may be looking at up to 5 years in prison, possibly with unlimited fines. The risk is even higher for those who are found guilty of either selling or growing marijuana, facing up to 14 years in prison.

Although a growing body of research recognizes both the therapeutic and medicinal value of cannabis, the United Kingdom continues to prohibit medical marijuana throughout the nation. The issue was first debated – and closed – in October of 2015, with the government concluding, “Substantial scientific evidence shows cannabis is a harmful drug that can damage human health.”

Even certain celebrities – Sting, Paloma Faith, Russell Brand and Sir Richard Branson – are paying attention to the revolutionary nature of the debates in Parliament, and all of them are in favor of its decriminalization and legalization. Singer Paloma Faith went so far as to assert that citizens of the UK ought to have the right to grow their own marijuana at home. Her words to Metro reporters reflected this openness: “I think people should be able to smoke weed. Grow it in the garden, then it’s much nicer and not laced with anything. You won’t end up in the hospital because you smoked something dodgy.”

The weed stocks buzz is, even though medical marijuana is illegal in the U.K., its citizens have still sought and used it for therapeutic remedies.

People in North America and people in the United Kingdom are afflicted with the same disorders and diseases, so, some would say they should all have access to the same remedies. Those dealing with chronic pain and illness in the U.K. are turning to cannabis for relief; this issue is receiving attention in a Parliamentary debate this week.

One case has recently stirred British lawmakers and the press, causing the issue of medical cannabis to rise to prominence. A U.K. family, in an effort to best treat their six-year old son, had to make the hard decision to move to the Netherlands so this would be this possible. The boy, Alfie Dingley, experiences as many as thirty seizures each day, due to a severe form of epilepsy. Once the family relocated, however, Alfie went 24 hours without a seizure thanks to the aid of cannabis oil.
But, the move was not sustainable long term. Once the family’s resources ran out, they were forced to move back to the UK and grapple with the illegality of this treatment – which had been the one thing to improve Alphie’s quality of life – in their own country. Their one hope was a petition filed with the National Health Service, requesting permission to continue using cannabis oil to treat their son in the UK, but, this, too, was denied. Prime Minister Theresa May, a member of the Conservative party, dismissed the family’s appeal on 16 February, moving other Parliament members to press further on the issue.

Citizens and weed stocks 2018 investors alike watched as a series of questions heated the floor of the House of Commons where members of different parties reacted to the news of the Prime Minister’s decision.

Nick Hurd, Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service, found himself in the crossfire as questions came at him, tearing into the government’s decision and demanding to know why officials would not allow a child to find relief from suffering through access to effective medicine.
So, with all this build up, the Parliamentary debates among UK lawmakers began last Friday. The legislative proposal – undertaken by MP Paul Flynn (Labour) – was anticipated, even in draft form, to have an expansive scope and push for a rescheduling of marijuana under British law. It could be that this one family’s struggle becomes the impetus for legislation changes surrounding marijuana in the United Kingdom.
In the meantime, Flynn himself advised Dingley’s family, in remarks from the House floor last Tuesday, to disregard legislation and continue providing their son with his cannabis treatment.

He remarked, “I would urge them to break the law, because the law in this case is an ass.”

According to the weed stocks buzz, Flynn was disheartened to witness members of his own party, the Labour Party, cause what he called out as a filibuster and delay to his bill.

One of his party members, Sandy Martin, reportedly went to great lengths to prevent discussion of the bill by monopolizing floor time with other unrelated topics – and succeeded. Martin is faulted for Flynn’s inability to present the bill on Friday and, now, lawmakers will have to wait until July 6 for it to return to the House for discussion.

Until then, marijuana stock investors will also have to wait to see what the future holds for a medical marijuana industry in the United Kingdom and how this potential legalization would affect weed stocks and broader industr-y growth in 2018.

(For news on other industry delays, read Pump the Brakes! Canada Delays Recreational Sales, What’s That Mean for Marijuana Stocks?)

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