Anybody who has followed the U.K. in recent years, or may have read Oscar Wilde and Shakespeare, has a little hunch about how dysfunctional the United Kingdom is and even more so since
Boris Johnson Teresa May.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m a European Citizen and I love a good dose of sarcastic wit. Sorry if you think it’s the lowest form because I find it damn funny. As such I don’t really have any issues with that Brex$hit thingamingy. I read the Guardian, so I’m guaranteed to get a whole bunch of great political cartoons by Steve Bell from it. If only there were an English word to express that feeling when you get satisfaction from the pain of others.
And, what’s not to like about a country - a large isle - which decides they want to “take back control” and close their borders to free movement, only to realize that during the by them imposed austerity they got rid of the majority of border control agents in the years before. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
But I digress.
So the U.K., Teresa May’s U.K. did it once again. And there’s probably a reason why when the U.K. allowed medical use some months ago, it wasn’t as celebrated as we tend to celebrate it when other countries do it. Because this was the U.K. and the U.K. is lead by
dimwits like Teresa May, Jeremy Hunt, and the triumvirate of Ian Duncan Smith, Boris Johnson, and Jacob Reese-Mogg in the shadows.
“Having been moved by heartbreaking cases involving sick children, it was important to me that we took swift action to help those who can benefit from medicinal cannabis”
— Sajid Javid, Home Secretary U.K. to NYT
Lo and behold, two months after the U.K. “rescheduled” cannabis and allowed doctors to prescribe it... barely anyone uses it medically. And those who do, well the few who do so far, their story is not one which puts the U.K. at the forefront of progressive evolution.
Despite being based on the human stories of suffering, the ever so charitable U.K. has managed what seems to be yet another of the great c*ckblocking stories in political history in the fight for #legalization by making medical cannabis more expensive than the cannabis available on the black market.
Yes, that’s right.
At least so goes the story of 32 years old Carly Barton, chronic pain struggler with fibromyalgia and stroke sufferer, goes the enviable honor to achieve only the opposite effect goes to Westminster.
The patient, who since little more than a month benefits from medical legal marijuana, which is imported from the Netherlands, now pays around £2,500 - or $3,000 for you yanks - for three months treatment with a daily dose of 1 gram. If you need to know how to convert that ounces, check out this how many grams in an ounce of cannabis post.
$1,000 per month or around 4 ounces of marijuana for the prize of a pound on the British black market!
The black market to which she may be obliged to return because Barton claims she can only afford the first treatment.
“ In terms of money this is going to cost me everything I have, so two and a half grand for three months' supply“
“I've been on walking sticks in dark parks, meeting strangers on my own in the winter in agony, in horrible situations and that's the reality of what's happening to people across the country who are medicating with cannabis for different conditions.“
— Carly Barton, to the Daily Mirror
All while the same product, made by Bedrocan, goes around 6 euros per gram in the Netherlands.
Carly Barton, source: Facebook via the Daily Mirror
If you thought that, and the currently apparently impossible climate for patients to procure themselves with medical cannabis - or even receive a prescription - were bad already, British MPs went one step further this month when they blocked #decriminalization of cannabis.
When Lib Dem MP Norman Lamb suggested his “10 Minute Rule Bill” which comes with viable claims such as the criminal status of marijuana fills the war chests of criminal organisations, alcohol is legal and loved by most of his peers, he found objection.
“My Bill offers a more rational alternative to this mess, with strict regulation of the growing sale and marketing of cannabis - we can at last start to protect children and teenagers.
"We can start to take some of the violence and intimidation off our streets and restore order in our poorest communities, and we can free up police time to focus on serious crime.
— Norman Lamb, Lib Dem MP U.K.
Strongest opposition came from the Conservative (Teresa May’s party) MP For St. Austen and Newquay, Steve Double, an evangelical Christian.
True to popular position the MP preferred to continue the war on drugs and even labeled cannabis a gateway drug.
“We are clearly in the midst of a war on drugs, but I would say we do not win the war by raising the white flag and giving up and surrendering - no war has ever been won by surrendering.
"I believe legalising would send the wrong message to our young people that cannabis is okay to use.
"I think we all understand that for many people cannabis is a gateway drug to more serious and more damaging drugs and therefore it would be absolutely wrong to send the message that somehow cannabis is okay because where it would lead for many, many people."
“We need to do better for our young people, but giving up the war on cannabis is not the way to achieve that.”
— Steve Double, Conservative MP U.K.
Norman Lamb’s 10 Minute Rule Bill was subsequently blocked 66 to 52.
Because, as we all know, the legal and healthy greens we love have empirically been proven to be just that... a gateway drug. Can you smell the sarcasm? Honestly, it makes you wonder how they managed to conquer all those nations in the past. What is blatantly obvious is that the smarter, more progressive Brits decided to stay behind rather than return home.
Photo credits: cartoons by Steve Bell, via the Guardian; Carly Barton, Facebook via the Daily Mirror; and Steve Double, BBC.