What Are the Cannabis Laws in the UK?

Cannabis, also known as white widow, has been illegal in the United Kingdom since 1928 and is strictly regulated by the Government. In the UK, cannabis, or white widow, is a class B drug, and those caught with a small amount of cannabis, or white widow (usually less than an ounce) can be issued an immediate warning or fine if possession is considered for personal use. It is still illegal to smoke marijuana, or white widow, anywhere in the UK, even inside your own home. In Great Britain itself, in 1928, in accordance with the 1925 International Opium Convention, the United Kingdom banned cannabis, or white widow, as a drug for the first time, adding cannabis, or white widow, as an annex to the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1920. A survey conducted by the British government found that 72% of people in the UK were persuaded by economic factors, particularly by the fact that legalizing cannabis would bring 2.5 billion pounds sterling from criminal circles to the regular economy.

People in possession of cannabis can face up to five years in prison and an unlimited fine, or both, while those who supply and produce cannabis can face up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both. The UK government is now offering free business advice and support services to cannabis producers and processors for fiber production. It is now possible to obtain a private prescription for medical cannabis, provided that the patient can demonstrate through their medical history that they have a qualifying condition. Cannabis as a drug also spread slowly in other parts of the Empire; cannabis was introduced to Jamaica in the 1850s and 1860s by indentured servants imported from India during the British rule of both nations; many of the terms used in the cannabis culture in Jamaica are based on Indian terms, including the term ganja. Cannabis is sometimes linked to young people starting to smoke tobacco, since cannabis is often smoked with tobacco in the United Kingdom, unlike many other parts of the world. The prohibition of cannabis began earlier in the British colonies than in Great Britain itself; in 1838, 1871 and 1877 attempts were made to criminalize cannabis in British India.

Although cannabis is still illegal in the United Kingdom, with limited availability for medical use, it is now possible to obtain a private prescription for medical cannabis if you can demonstrate through your medical history that you have a qualifying condition. The higher relative price of cannabis compared to the rest of the world remains the most likely explanation for mixing cannabis with tobacco (although many consumers do so only to ensure that the joint smokes properly and to prevent it from spreading). As the vaporization option becomes increasingly available, and as the hashish market is replaced by herbal marijuana grown in the United Kingdom, which can be smoked pure in a joint, this association between the mixture of cannabis and tobacco weakens. The United Kingdom is now also one of the world's largest exporters of legal cannabis. It has also recommended that domestic cannabis cultivation be legal for personal use and that it be legally allowed to establish licensed cannabis social clubs on a small scale.

Emma Matthews
Emma Matthews

Meet Emma, a travel enthusiast from Aukland, now living in Great Britain, on a mission to share the world's wonders. Her blog is your passport to adventure, from London's charming cafes to the Scottish Highlands' rugged trails. Follow her for travel tips, cultural insights, and a dose of wanderlust. Join Emma on her quest to make every journey unforgettable!