Scotland Is Looking To Decriminalise Cannabis After Majority Vote

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

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Scotland has now joined the legions of countries looking to decriminalise cannabis after a historic motion at the Scottish National Party (SNP) 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."

SNP members, however, voted for a motion to decriminalise the drug for medicinal purposes at the party's national conference in Glasgow. The gathering heard from multiple sclerosis sufferer Laura Brennan-Whitefield who backed the lawful use of cannabis for pain relief, pleading with members to show "compassion and common sense".

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. 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.

However, one member of the party, Councillor Audrey Doig, voiced her disapproval.

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. 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.

Her take on things was that there are better alternatives to pain medication, including taking up keep-fit programmes.

The resolution to decriminalise the drug was backed by the vast majority of delegates at the conference.

At present, possession and supply of cannabis in Scotland can lead to a jail term.

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