Cannabis does not follow a strict line of being legal or illegal across the globe, and in fact can vary considerably in each country depending on its use and form.
The government has announced a review of the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, which could lead to patients being prescribed drugs made from the plant in the UK.
Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, announced the decision in the House of Commons following a series of high profile cases in which children with severe epilepsy were denied access to medication which can control seizures.
Legality of cannabis in the United States
In the United States, the use and possession of cannabis is illegal under federal law for any purpose, by way of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Under the CSA, Schedule I drugs are those that have the following characteristic according to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency:
In thе Unіtеd Stаtеѕ, thе uѕе аnd роѕѕеѕѕіоn оf саnnаbіѕ іѕ іllеgаl undеr fеdеrаl lаw fоr аnу рurроѕе, bу wау оf thе Cоntrоllеd Subѕtаnсеѕ Aсt оf 1970. Undеr thе CSA, саnnаbіѕ іѕ сlаѕѕіfіеd аѕ a Sсhеdulе I ѕubѕtаnсе, dеtеrmіnеd tо hаvе a hіgh роtеntіаl fоr аbuѕе аnd nо ассерtеd mеdісаl uѕе, thеrеbу рrоhіbіtіng еvеn mеdісаl uѕе оf thе drug. At thе ѕtаtе lеvеl, hоwеvеr, роlісіеѕ rеgаrdіng thе mеdісаl аnd rесrеаtіоnаl uѕе оf саnnаbіѕ vаrу grеаtlу, аnd іn mаnу ѕtаtеѕ соnflісt wіth fеdеrаl lаw.
On the 1st January 2018, California became the eighth US state to legalise the recreational use of Cannabis creating the world’s largest regulated commercial market, a move which is expected to generate up to $1bn (£740m) a year in tax revenue.
Dozens of newly licensed stores catering to adults who enjoy the drug for its psychoactive effects open for business up and down the state.
As the UK falls behind with the rest of the world, we take a look at how other countries are legalising cannabis.
Cannabis is currently a Class B drug in the UK, and anyone found in possession can face up to five years in prison.
Despite a growing body of evidence showing the world's favourite recreational drug to be safe, the UK is falling behind many other countries who are adopting progressive policies towards drug use.
DSC supports Paul Flynn in his campaign to legalise cannabis.
An MP has urged people to "break the law" and use cannabis in Parliament in a drastic bid to change the law.
Labour veteran Paul Flynn demanded direct action to allow the drug for medicinal use - telling how he himself helped someone use it on the highly-guarded Westminster estate.
USA v The Netherlands v Portugal
As many countries review their drug laws, how will they compare to the decriminalisation which has been introduced in some states of the USA, The Netherlands and Portugal.
Here's a summary of how developments in these countries.
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