Cannabis and the Misuse of Drugs Act
The inclusion of cannabis in the Misuse of Drugs Act raises several questions:
First consider cannabis itself.
Cannabis itself is neither legal nor illegal. It is human activities that are prohibited, limited or licensed, not the substance itself. That is the possession, cultivation and supply, by certain people. Universities, pharmaceutical companies, research establishment and indeed some farmers are permitted under license to cultivate cannabis for specific reasons; police, forensic scientists, court officials and other authorities are permitted to possess in or pass it to others (supply) as part of their jobs.
Legislation was created by Parliament and can be changed by Parliament. Its application is a matter of policy and is often left to the discretion of the police which varies around the country. Prosecution is at the discretion of the Crown Prosecution Service and the Courts. The matter of “guilt”in the trial of supposed or alleged offender is a matter for magistrates, juries and judges
Cannabis is a natural plant, not a substance manufactured rf synthesized in a laboratory or even a kitchen, like most substances included in the Misuse of Drugs Act. It grows naturally, with or without help from humans (cultivation) – it will grow almost anywhere. It exists in nature and existed before human beings. It is not a narcotic, a stimulant (although it may increase drowsiness or stimulate, depending on the circumstances) or cause hallucinations (different to illusions) . It is non-lethal – that is there is no amount possible to consume that will cause death. It is far safer than most plants that grow in our parks and gardens or even in the wild.
Let is consider the term “misuse”. It is different from “muse” and “abuse”.
use (something) in the wrong way or for the wrong purpose.
"he was found guilty of misusing public funds"
put to wrong use, misapply, misemploy,
the wrong or improper use of something.
EG: "drugs of such potency that their misuse can have dire consequences"
So we may ask: what is the “purpose” of cannabis? With most manufactured substances and articles that would mean why was it made? With plants we must ask why did nature or God produce it and for what reason does man cultivate or possess it. Of course the first question is largely a matter of philosophy or beliefs. The second question is a matter for the person (or persons) cultivating, possessing and using the plant.
Cannabis has been around humans and used by humans for many thousands of years. It was once a common plant used by almost everyone, commonly called, in English, Hemp..
In the work Culpeper’s Complete
Herbal of 1652, it was written:
This is so well known to every good housewife in the country, that I shall not need to write any description of it.
Time. It is sown in the very end of March, or beginning of April, and is ripe in August or September.
Government and virtues. It is a plant of Saturn, and good for something else, you see, than to make halters only. The seed of Hemp consumes wind, and by too much use thereof disperses it so much that it dries up the natural seed for procreation; yet, being boiled in milk and taken, helps such as have a hot dry cough. The Dutch make an emulsion out of the seed, and give it with good success to those that have the jaundice, especially in the beginning of the disease, if there be no ague accompanying it, for it opens obstructions of the gall, and causes digestion of choler. The emulsion or decoction of the seed stays lasks and continual fluxes, eases the cholic, and allays the troublesome humours in the bowels, and stays bleeding at the mouth, nose, or other places, some of the leaves, being fried with the blood of them that bleed, and so given them to eat. It is held very good to kill the worms in men or beasts; and the juice dropped into the ears kills worms in them; and draws forth earwigs, or other living creatures gotten into them. The decoction of the root allays inflammations of the head, or any other parts: the herb itself, or the distilled water thereof doth the like. The decoction of the root eases the pains of the gout, the hard humours of knots in the joints, the pains and shrinking of the sinews, and the pains of the hips. The fresh juice mixed with a little oil and butter, is good for any place that hath been burnt with fire, being thereto applied.
Nowadays, around the world,
cannabis is widely accepted to have many medicinal uses; that is
cannabis with or without large THC: CBD ratios. Those medicinal
uses include the amelioration of many aches and pains caused by mild
or serious illnesses and injuries, reduction or cessation of muscular
spasms and epileptic fits, reduction of intraocular pressures that
cause glaucoma, easing
breathing in asthma sufferers, aiding
sleep and boosting appetite, counteracting the negative effects of
chemotherapy and not least reduction of stress, one of the biggest
causes of illness, absenteeism, violence and premature death. It is
used to treat mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and
psychosis (especially CBD extracts). Cannabis is also claimed, with
mounting evidence, to cure cancers and tumours. Cannabis is widely
used to boost inspiration and creativity by artists and musicians; to
enable and improve socialisation. It
is used simply for fun, recreation or to created good feelings and
Cannabis is now cultivated by Pharmaceutical companies such as GW Pharmaceuticals who produce Sativex sprays supplied to sufferers of, for instance, Multiple Sclerosis: Sativex is a full cannabis extract in alcohol with an added peppermint flavour; in The Netherlands it is prescribed by doctors in herbal form, granulated and standardised and produced by Bedrocan. The supply of cannabis medicinal products on prescription was “legalised” in the UK just a couple of years ago. In fact, the UK is one of the largest exporters of cannabis for “medicinal purposes” cultivated by British Sugar Corporation (BSC). Incidentally, whilst the sick and healthy are daily raided by police and dragged through the courts, the spouses of MP’s such as Theresa May (ex-Prime Minister) and Victoria Atkins (Drugs Minister) are major investors in GW and BSC.
But the use of cannabis do not stop there. It includes its use as a sacrament in many religions and beliefs, their practices, rites and rituals, including Rastafarianism, Coptic Christianity, Hinduism and Jainism, Sufism, Buddhism and many new age religious movements.
Cannabis and Hemp (cannabis with low THC content) has many industrial uses as a source of fibre and fuel. It can be used to make fuel capable of running our homes, our cars and even our planes. It can be and is used in the production of paper, building materials such as bricks and shelving, furniture, plastics, canvas for sails and artist's paintings, clothing, oils for lubrication or for paints etc, The list is almost endless.
The seed fro m the cannabis plant is one of the most nutritious seeds on earth:
The Nutritional Contents of Cannabis Seeds and Their Health Benefits
There is no real nutritional difference between hemp seeds and cannabis seeds, even if the latter ends up growing into a plant that contains high amounts of THC.
This is because cannabinoids such as THC, the compound known for its psychoactive properties, do not exist in the seed. These compounds are only present in the stem, stalk, l eaves and flower of the plant itself.
The same applies to other cannabinoids such as the popular CBD, as well as flavonoids, terpenes, etc. This is why cannabis seeds on their own aren’t used for therapeutic purposes. But what they lack in that department, they make up for in nutritional contents and general health benefits.
The nutrition contained in a cannabis seed is quite frankly incredible. Starting with protein, cannabis seeds provide a complete source of the nutrient as they contain all nine essential amino acids. Since your body cannot produce these nine acids, it needs to obtain them from external sources. Very few plants are complete sources like cannabis seeds.
On the outer shell of a cannabis seed, you’ll find most of its firer contents. Around 35% of a cannabis seed is composed of essential fatty acids, including omega 3,6,9 and GLA.
As if that wasn’t enough, cannabis seeds also contain iron, copper, potassium, zinc, magnesium, folic acid, manganese, vitamin E and a number of B vitamins, including riboflavin, folate, thiamine and vitamin B6. Furthermore, cannabis seeds are highly digestible. You can eat them cooked, raw, shelled, unshelled… the sky’s the limit.
This article could be expanded to
many pages to show the many uses of cannabis. For further reference
I think it is safe to conclude that
CANNABIS HAS VERY MANY USES, both on an individual and industrial
So to return to the original issue: what is the “Misuse” of cannabis? How is it used for reasons other than for intentional beneficial use? What are the misuses? To get high? To feel good? To harm others?
To me it us abundantly clear that the inclusion of cannabis as a scheduled classified substance of misuse in the Misuse of Drugs Act and the prohibition that goes along with that, its origins and application, are at best erroneous and smells of corruption, infringes upon Rights to a Private Life and the Choice and Practice of Belief (and other Articles), nationally and internationally, wrongly favouring big industry over the individual, unjustifiably flying in the face of evidence and fact, and
CANNABIS SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM THE ACT WITHOUT DELAY.