The UK Government has commissioned a report which shows that tough penalties do not deter people using cannabis or other drugs. The report contradicts established UK drug policy for the last few decades which has focussed only on punishments and tough sentences. The report compared the UK to countries such as Portugal where small amounts of drugs for personal usage were decriminalised years ago resulting in a decrease in crime, decrease in HIV transmission among intravenous drug users, and improvements in health. UK campaigners now hope UK politicians will look more favourably on some long awaited reforms to UK drug policy, such as the regulation of medical cannabis. Ironically the only winners from current UK drug strategy are the organised criminal gangs who depend on prohibition to maximise profits.
Home Office Minister Norman Baker has agreed with the report and has called for cannabis to be handled/regarded as a medical issue rather than a legal issue. With a UK general election expected in the coming months it is not clear exactly what will happen next.
More on the story from the BBC here https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29824764