Over the last 5-10 years cannabis has been coming into the global spotlight more and more, with campaigns for its legalisation growing at a massive rate. Many US states have made it state law that it may be prescribed by doctors for a wide variety of ailments, and others have even made it legal or decriminalised its possession for recreational use. Conversely, state law has yet to catch up with this entirely and it is still a federal felony to grow or possess cannabis. As this movement has grown in the US, other countries around the world have seen this as an opportunity to relax their own legislation on cannabis and drugs in general. Some countries have even gone as far as to decriminalise the possession of all drugs. With this tide of change in the legal status and cultural perception of drugs and, in particular, cannabis use, it does not seem unlikely that the UK government may soon follow suit and reap the social and economic advantages of the legalisation of drugs, such as the availability of medicinal cannabis.
The numerous medicinal properties of cannabis have been known for many years in various subcultures who use it as a ‘herb’ rather than a drug or narcotic substance. With this change in cultural perception it is becoming possible for the scientific community to openly delve into this once forbidden plant and verify the claims that many have made of its healing properties over the years.