By Bill Griffin, Special Contributor to New Frontier Data
As voters in the United Kingdom prepare to head to the polls on December 12, political conversation revolves mainly around the Brexit question, though there are other issues on the ballot. While cannabis does not lead the agenda, it has gained sufficient social traction for inclusion in most party manifestos, marking an historic first in UK politics.
References to cannabis cover medicinal and recreational use, if without mention of either CBD or hemp, mainly because CBD is already readily available (and perceived despite legal uncertainties as fully legal) while hemp remains off the general electorate’s political radar.
Conservative Party (Tories)
Cannabis is noticeably absent from the Conservative and Unionist manifesto, and is seemingly an issue the party would prefer not to directly address. As the party in power, it did reschedule cannabis a year ago to allow for its medicinal use, though in practical terms it has not materialized (to date, only 18 prescriptions have been issued for cannabis-based medicinal products [CBMPs] via the National Health System [NHS]).
An Innovative Medicines Initiative exists for treating cancer, autoimmune disease, or certain rare diseases among children; GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidyolex to combat childhood epilepsy became the UK’s first approved cannabis-derived medicine.
Meanwhile, recreational cannabis seems an unlikely issue to win over the typical Tory voter; the sole …