How Billy Caldwell Changed the UK's Views on Cannabis

Australians support the legalisation of cannabis for medical purposes

Miraculous benefits of the drug came into the limelight due to Billy’s condition

Economics drives the recreational cannabis debate

Cannabis has been in the spotlight recently due to a high-profile proposal to legalise the drug. Interested parties from Australia and the UK are engaged in serious conversation regarding the legalisation of cannabis and its place in modern society. The speculation around the drug is likely to open fresh possibilities for different sectors and boost the economy of the countries involved.

According to surveys, 91% of Australians support the legalisation of cannabis for medical purposes, with only 32% in favor of legalisation for recreational purposes.  In the eyes of the general public, one of the strongest reasons in support of cannabis legalisation is the potential to advance and contribute to the economic interest of the country.

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How a 12 year changed the UK’s mind

Thanks to a young boy named Billy Caldwell, the UK is considering lifting their total ban on cannabis use. The emotional story of the 12-year boy who suffers from life-threatening epileptic seizures is changing the perception of the public towards the potential benefits of the drug.

Billy’s mother Charlotte flew to Canada to buy the latest supply of cannabis oil for her son. On her return, she was stopped by customs officers. She was forced to leave the cannabis oil, and within a few days Billy’s health deteriorated. He was admitted to the hospital with life-threatening seizures, forcing the home office to provide an exceptional license for the use of cannabis oil as a medicine.

The near-miraculous benefits of the drug came into the limelight due to Billy’s condition. Since this case became public, general support for legalising cannabis for medicinal purposes has grown exponentially. Even the UK government has been moved by Billy’s case, saying it provides an illuminating moment proving that a longstanding policy is ineffective, out-of-date and inappropriate in modern society.


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What’s next?

The government is planning to remove cannabis from the list of Schedule 1 drugs to facilitate the best possible treatment for patients like Billy Caldwell. In addition, legal access to medicinal cannabis-based products is being given to those who have a particular need which is not met by licensed products.

Though the future is unclear, the government is taking steps in the right direction. More patients will be able to get cannabis through legal channels, through a prescription from their doctor. However, it’s still unclear whether the government is planning to extend this opportunity to all individuals or if it will be limited to only a few high profile cases similar to Billy Caldwell.

Removing cannabis from classification as a Schedule 1 drug will allow scientists and researchers to develop effective cannabinoid-based medicines for a range of life-threatening diseases. The issues confronting UK lawmakers have instigated policy changes elsewhere in the world, and countries around the globe are planning to legalise the drug for medicinal purposes.

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Mexico and Thailand also on track to legalise cannabis

Mexico recently made a groundbreaking declaration that prohibiting the use of marijuana is a violation of the rights of citizens. In another recent change in national policy, Thailand’s legislature allowed the licensed medical use of the drug. However, the changes will not allow the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use.

Public opinion across both countries showed tremendous support for the changes. Due to high profile cases such as that of Billy Caldwell, countries across the world are considering the possibility of allowing the legal use of cannabis for medical purposes.

Billy’s case has brought into the spotlight many issues faced by children who need access to medicines that the government prevents for various reasons.  Soon after Billy’s case, as many as 20,000 families submitted their pleas to get access to medicinal cannabis. The future of the cannabis market looks positive with the shift to legalise cannabis being discussed in many nations around the world.

Cannabis is a medicine with a huge range of benefits, and with a lot of scope for further research. When legalisation is passed on a national level, it will provide further options for many patients suffering from chronic ailments and life-threatening diseases who are waiting for relief.