By Chris Roach
As they say it’s never too early to start looking towards the future and cannabis connoisseurs, our day is coming closer. I think it’s important to look to the future and look at the possible options of what could happen in the UK. Please feel free to leave a comment saying which one you would like to see. Creating a conversation and making it NORML is half the battle. For those of you looking for where to travel, this will also clarify what you can do in certain countries.
Probably the most famous country known for its use of cannabis is The Netherlands. While technically cannabis is still illegal over there, it is tolerated and was decriminalised in 1976 for personal use of up to 5 grams. It’s sold in Coffeeshops and you have to be over 18 years old to enter one. Many places will ask for I.D. on the door. This could become a possibility for the UK in the future; currently Councillor Ian Driver for Thanet is proposing a plan for a Coffeeshop in Kent. The possibility of a Coffeeshop in every town in England is a marvelous one. Concentrates remain banned, though certain Coffeeshops are starting to sell small amounts, but I’ll leave it to you guys to find out which ones.
Colorado and Washington are the first states in the US to legalise cannabis. This is a huge step globally for our campaign. The country, which started the war on drugs, is ending it and although they still claim it has no medicinal value the Federal Government has said it will not interfere. So what are the rules? You can buy cannabis legally for the first time if you are over 21 and you can purchase up to an ounce (28 grams) at one time. Tourists are allowed up to a quarter ounce (7 grams) at a time. You can smoke in hotels in designated smoking areas, but cannot smoke on the street. I fully support this, lets be realistic we shouldn’t be encouraging young children to follow our actions; same as drinking alcohol is not permitted in most town centres.
I promise people, Barcelona will be the New Amsterdam. Catalonian laws are actually more liberal where possession of up to 30 grams is tolerated. It works by people either growing them selves or by joining a Cannabis Social Club who can grow cannabis on your behalf and you buy it from the club. Cannabis is cheaper than Amsterdam in most places, where a gram of high- grade weed can go for as little as 5 Euros. Barcelona is also home to Spannabis, which has just took place, this is a huge cannabis trade show – another one is taking place in Malaga between the 9th-11th of May. If you’d like to go on holiday to Spain and source some cannabis, you have to be introduced by a member of a club and then you are free to purchase what you want. I could see this policy implemented in the UK, it’s very forward thinking and this way we could have some assurances about the quality of cannabis in this county.
Uruguay’s laws are not made to encourage cannabis use in the slightest, but it is the first country in the world to legalise cannabis and for that, President José Mujica, should be applauded. You will have to be over 18 to buy cannabis and register with their government. I could envisage some people people having privacy issues with that. Citizens can purchase up to 40 grams a month and for a lot of people who use it medicinally that simply would not be enough, especially if they were making concentrates to ease pain relief.
L.A is by far the best place I have smoked in the world, every moment was perfect from the scenery to the friendly people. Southern California is known for its cannabis and there they know how to grow it to an incredibly high standard. Cannabis in California is only legal for medical purposes and for the majority of dispensaries you will need a Californian driving licence, there are a small minority which wont ask. If you’re caught in possession of a personal amount the fine is only 100 dollars. If a tourist wanted to visit, I’d suggest visiting Venice Beach.
The world is getting progressively more tolerant of the use of cannabis and even the UK government is starting to see some sense, although they’re still arresting people. Politicians and senior policeman have described it as a waste of time, but with an election coming up don’t expect to see any significant change until after that. Let’s hope we can see change in the near future though.