Cannabis in the United Kingdom
Cannabis in the United Kingdom is illegal for recreational use and is classified as a Class B drug. In 2004, cannabis was made a Class C drug with less severe penalties but it was moved back to Class B in 2009. Medical use of cannabis when prescribed by a registered specialist doctor was legalised in November 2018.
Cannabis is widely used as an illegal drug in the UK, while other strains lower in THC (commonly called hemp) have been used industrially for over a thousand years for fibre, oil and seeds. Cannabis has been restricted as a drug in the United Kingdom since 1928, though its usage as a recreational drug was limited until the 1960s, when increasing popularity led to stricter 1971 classification.
Despite the fact that cannabis is illegal in the UK, with limited availability for medical use, the United Kingdom is the world’s largest exporter of legal cannabis. The United Kingdom is also home to GW Pharmaceuticals, one of the world’s largest producers of medical cannabis and the company behind the first cannabis derived products approved in major markets—Sativex and Epidiolex.
- 1 History
- 2 Usage
- 3 Legal status
- 4 Advocacy for law reform
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Further reading
- 8 External links
The oldest evidence of cannabis in Britain was from some seeds found in a well in York; seeds found at Micklegate were associated with a 10th-century Viking settlement. Since it appears to have been mostly grown around the coastal areas it suggests the main reason for cultivating it was as a source of vegetable fibre which was stronger and more durable than stinging nettle or flax. This makes it ideal for making into cordage, ropes, fishing nets and canvas.
With hempen ropes being fundamental to the success of the English Navy, King Henry VIII in 1533 mandated that landowners grow allotments of hemp; Elizabeth I later increased those quotas, and the penalties for failing to meet them. As fibre became more available and the growing of hemp became more widespread, people began to find many other uses for the crop. It became a very important part of the British economy. Eventually, demand had expanded to the point that the demand for more fibre was part of the driving force to colonise new lands. Thanks to its hardiness and ease of cultivation, it became an ideal crop to grow in the new British colonies. Moreover, the naval ships built to protect the new colonies and those built to bring the hemp back, also increased demand, as every two years or so much of their two hundred tonnes of ropes and sail cloth had to be renewed.
Use as a drug
Cannabis gained new attention in the Western medical world at the introduction of Irish physician William Brooke O’Shaughnessy, who had studied the drug while working as a medical officer in Bengal with the East India Company, and brought a quantity of cannabis with him on his return to Britain in 1842.
Use of psychoactive cannabis was already prevalent in some of the new territories that Britain added to its empire, including South Asia and Southern Africa. Cannabis as a drug also spread slowly in other parts of the Empire; cannabis was introduced to Jamaica in the 1850s–1860s by indentured servants imported from India during British rule of both nations; many of the terms used in cannabis culture in Jamaica are based on Indian terms, including the term ganja.
Cannabis prohibition began earlier in Britain’s colonies than in Britain itself; attempts at criminalising cannabis in British India were made, and mooted, in 1838, 1871, and 1877. In 1894 the British Indian Hemp Drugs Commission judged that “little injury” was caused to society by the use of cannabis. Cannabis was banned in Mauritius in 1840, Singapore in 1870, Jamaica in 1913, East Africa Protectorate in 1914, and in Sierra Leone in 1920. In 1922, South Africa banned cannabis, and appealed to the League of Nations to include cannabis among prohibited drugs in its upcoming convention.
In Britain itself, in 1928 in accordance with the 1925 International Opium Convention, the United Kingdom first prohibited cannabis as a drug, adding cannabis as an addendum to the Dangerous Drugs Act 1920.
Cannabis remained a fringe issue in the British public consciousness through the Interwar years and beyond, associated with society’s margins: “coloured seamen of the East End and clubs frequented by Negro theatrical performers”. This perception was strained by a 1950 police raid on Club Eleven in Soho which recovered cannabis and cocaine, and led to the arrest of several young white British men. With the changing youth and drug cultures globally, cannabis arrests increased dramatically in the UK: “from 235 in 1960 to 4,683 by the end of the decade, principally involving white middle class youths with no previous convictions”. By 1973, marijuana possession convictions in the UK had reached 11,111 annually.
With the passage of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, cannabis was listed as a “Class B” drug. It remained Class B, except for the 2004–2009 period where it was classified as Class C, a lower punishment category, before being moved back to B.
Cannabis is widely used throughout the United Kingdom, by people of all ages and from all socio-economic backgrounds. In 2017, 7.2% of 16 to 59-year-olds reported using cannabis in the last year, making it the most commonly used illegal drug in the United Kingdom.
Cannabis is at times linked to young people beginning to smoke tobacco as cannabis is often smoked with tobacco in the United Kingdom, unlike in many other parts of the world. As well as the use of tobacco when smoking cannabis, as a spliff, many people in Britain use a “roach card”. As the option of vaporisation becomes more readily available, and as the market for hashish is replaced by herbal cannabis grown in the UK which can be smoked pure in a joint, this association of mixing cannabis with tobacco is becoming weaker. The higher relative price of cannabis compared to the rest of the world remains the most likely explanation for the mixing of cannabis with tobacco, (although many users do this purely to ensure the “joint” smokes correctly, and to prevent it from going out).
Since 1993, the Home Office has been granting licences for the purposes of cultivating and processing cannabis. The UK government now provides free business advice and support services for growers and processors of cannabis for fibre. They can also issue licences for importing fibre in the form of hemp from abroad. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) provides help and advice with obtaining financial assistance via the Single Payment Scheme. In England further funding may be available from Rural Development Programme for England.
Mice, rats and fowl are all known to like cannabis seed and it is a favoured food amongst some British pigeon fanciers. The linnet‘s fondness of the cannabis seed has earned it the Latin species name of cannabina. By and large, cannabis seed is too expensive to be used as general feed stock but once the oil has been pressed out the remaining seed cake is still nutritious.
The plant itself has not been used as fodder as too much makes animals sicken, and due to its unpleasant taste they will not eat it unless there is no other food available. The soft core of the cannabis plant which remains after the fibres are removed provides good animal bedding which can absorb more moisture than either straw or wood shavings.
Boiled cannabis seed is frequently used by British sport fishermen.
Cannabis is illegal to possess, grow, distribute or sell in the UK. It is a Class B drug, with penalties for unlicensed dealing, unlicensed production and unlicensed trafficking of up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both. The maximum penalty for possession of cannabis is five years in prison and an unlimited fine. A “Cannabis warning” can be issued for small amounts of cannabis (generally less than 1 ounce of herbal cannabis, or a slightly higher quantity of hashish) if it is found to be for personal use. This entails the police keeping a record, albeit one which carries no fine and does not show up on standard DBS Check.
Cannabis has remained a Class B drug since the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, except for a period from 2004 to 2009 during which it was classified as Class C. The 2004 reclassification (originally announced in 2001) removed the threat of arrest for possession of small amounts, for the purpose of allowing police to focus on harder drugs and violent crime. In May 2008, under the leadership of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, it was announced that cannabis would be moved back to Schedule B, against the recommendations of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.
In the survey-year ending March 2014, possession of cannabis offences accounted for 67% of all police recorded drug offences in the UK.
In 2015, County Durham police announced that they will no longer be targeting people who grow cannabis for personal consumption unless they are being “blatant”. Derbyshire, Dorset and Surrey police announced that they will also be implementing similar schemes. The move is in response to significant budget cuts, which means police forces are having to prioritise more pressing areas.
According to figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request, there are large differences by county regarding how many cases actually result in an offender being charged. In 2016, Hampshire police had the most charges at 65%, while Cambridge had the lowest proportion of charges at only 14%.
There is also a large difference between how people of different races are treated. As is common across the legal system and especially drug offences, ethnic minorities are convicted at a disproportional rate to white people. Specifically, black and Asian people were convicted of cannabis possession at 11.8 and 2.4 times the rate of white people, despite lower self-reported use in these communities.
Medical use of cannabis was legalised in the UK on 1 November 2018, after the cases of two epileptic children who benefited from using cannabis brought increased public attention to the issue. The children (Billy Caldwell, 12, and Alfie Dingley, 6) both experienced significant improvement in their conditions after they began using cannabis, but were initially not allowed to continue their treatment under UK law. This led to increased public outcry, particularly in the case of Billy Caldwell who was hospitalised with life-threatening seizures after his medication was confiscated by authorities.
On 20 June 2018, then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced his support for the medical use of cannabis and that a review would be undertaken to study changes to the law. On 26 July 2018, Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced that cannabis products would be made legal for patients with an “exceptional clinical need”, and that cannabis would be moved from a Schedule I classification to Schedule 2. On 11 October, the new provisions were officially presented and accepted in the House and the policy came into effect on 1 November 2018.
The law stipulates that GPs are not allowed to prescribe cannabis-derived medicines. Prescription must come from a specialist consultant. NHS guidance states that medical cannabis should only be prescribed when there is clear published evidence of its benefit and other treatment options have been exhausted.
Sativex is currently the only approved cannabis-derived medicine and is indicated for the treatment of spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis. Nabilone is another cannabinoid drug that has been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), but is a synthetic form of THC and not naturally derived from the plant. Nabilone can be prescribed to treat nausea and vomiting caused by cytotoxic chemotherapy.
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is legal for use and sale in the UK without requirement for a doctor’s prescription, as long as these medications do not contain more than 0.2% THC. The CBD drug Epidiolex is currently under review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for approval in the EU.
Advocacy for law reform
As psychotropic drugs in general are very widely available despite their prohibition, a number of organisations have been set up with the aim of reforming the law on these unregulated substances.
- CLEAR (Cannabis Law Reform)
- Drug Equality Alliance (DEA)
- NORML UK (Cannabis legislation reform)
- Transform Drug Policy Foundation
- UKCSC — United Kingdom Cannabis Social Club
The former Prime Minister, David Cameron, when serving in opposition, sat on the Select Committee on Home Affairs and voted to call on the Government to “initiate a discussion” within the UN about “alternative ways—including the possibility of legalisation and regulation—to tackle the global drugs dilemma”.
In June 2010, it was revealed that the Home Office had been avoiding complying with the FOI request “to avoid a focus on the gaps in the evidence base” that its current drug policy had.[dead link]
In 2011, the Global Commission on Drug Policy backed by Richard Branson and Judi Dench called for a review. The Home Office response on behalf of the Prime Minister was: “We have no intention of liberalising our drugs laws. Drugs (sic) are illegal because they are harmful—they destroy lives and cause untold misery to families and communities”.
In 2012, a panel of MPs, as well as deputy prime-minister Nick Clegg, recommended that drug policy be reformed, as the current policy does not adequately deal with the problem. David Cameron rejected the idea, conflicting with comments he made in 2005 while competing for Conservative Party Leadership.
In 2015, James Richard Owen, an economics student at Aberystwyth University, started a petition on the UK Government’s official petitions website calling for the legalisation of the cultivation, sale and use of cannabis; As of 28 September 2015[update] it had gathered 218,995 signatures, far in excess of the 100,000 needed for it to be considered for debate in Parliament. Parliament debated this petition on 12 October 2015.
In early 2018, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) published a report looking at the size of the UK cannabis market and the potential implications of legalisation. The report concluded that the current UK cannabis black market is worth over £2.5bn and cannabis tax yields could be between £204 million and £571 million. The recommendation from the IEA is that if cannabis is legalised, the duty rate should not be too high, as high tax would make retail prices less competitive and could prevent significant shrinkage of the black market.
The Head of Lifestyle Economics at the IEA described legalisation of cannabis as a “win-win-win”, noting: “criminals lose a lucrative industry, consumers get a better, safer and cheaper products and the burden on the general taxpayer is reduced”.
- Cannabis in the United Kingdom portal
- Adult lifetime cannabis use by country
- Annual cannabis use by country
- Drugs controlled by the UK Misuse of Drugs Act
- List of British politicians who have acknowledged cannabis use
- International Narcotics Control Board. “Narcotic Drugs – Estimated World Requirements for 2018 – Statistics for 2016” (PDF). United Nations. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
- “Sativex Patient Information – MS Spasticity”. GW Pharmaceuticals. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
- “GW Pharmaceuticals plc and its U.S. Subsidiary Greenwich Biosciences Announce FDA Approval of EPIDIOLEX® (cannabidiol) oral solution – the First Plant-derived Cannabinoid Prescription Medicine”. GW Pharmaceuticals. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
- Wild, John Peter (April 2003). Textiles in Archaeology. Shire Publications. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-85263-931-3.
- Clarke, Robert; Merlin, Mark (1 September 2013). Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany. University of California Press. pp. 118–. ISBN 978-0-520-95457-1.
- Fleming, Michael P.; Clarke, Robert C. (1998). “Physical evidence for the antiquity of Cannabis sativa L. (Cannabaceae)” (PDF). Journal of the International Hemp Association. 5 (2): 80–92. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 July 2011.
- Whittington, Graeme; Edwards, Kevin J. (December 1990). “The cultivation and utilisation of hemp in Scotland”. Scottish Geographical Journal. 106 (3): 167–173. doi:10.1080/00369229018736795.
- Deitch, Robert (2003). Hemp: American History Revisited: The Plant with a Divided History. Algora Publishing. pp. 12–. ISBN 978-0-87586-226-2.
- Iversen, Leslie L. (7 December 2007). The Science of Marijuana. Oxford University Press. pp. 110–. ISBN 978-0-19-988693-7.
- Issitt, Micah; Main, Carlyn (16 September 2014). Hidden Religion: The Greatest Mysteries and Symbols of the World’s Religious Beliefs. ABC-CLIO. pp. 123–. ISBN 978-1-61069-478-0.
- Lee, Martin A. (14 August 2012). Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana – Medical, Recreational and Scientific. Simon and Schuster. pp. 143–. ISBN 978-1-4391-0260-2.
- Kalunta-Crumpton, Anita (25 January 2012). Race, Ethnicity, Crime and Criminal Justice in the Americas. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 219–. ISBN 978-0-230-35805-8.
- A Cannabis Reader: Global Issues and Local Experiences : Perspectives on Cannabis Controversies, Treatment and Regulation in Europe. European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. 2008. p. 100. ISBN 978-92-9168-311-6.
- A Collection of the Laws of Mauritius and Its Dependencies. By the authority of the Government. 1867. pp. 541–.
- Bunyapraphatsō̜n, Nanthawan (1999). Medicinal and poisonous plants. Backhuys Publishers. p. 169. ISBN 978-90-5782-042-7.
- Rockefeller, J.D. (15 September 2015). Marijuana: A Complete Guide for Everyone. J.D. Rockefeller. pp. 9–. ISBN 978-1-5175-3094-5.
- Kenya Gazette. 15 October 1913. pp. 882–.
- Akyeampong, Emmanuel; Hill, Allan G.; Kleinman, Arthur M. (1 May 2015). The Culture of Mental Illness and Psychiatric Practice in Africa. Indiana University Press. pp. 39–. ISBN 978-0-253-01304-0.
- Chanock, Martin (5 March 2001). The Making of South African Legal Culture 1902-1936: Fear, Favour and Prejudice. Cambridge University Press. pp. 94–. ISBN 978-0-521-79156-4.
- Mills, James H. (11 September 2003). Cannabis Britannica: Empire, Trade, and Prohibition 1800-1928. OUP Oxford. pp. 160–1. ISBN 978-0-19-155465-0.
- Manning, Paul (11 January 2013). Drugs and Popular Culture. Routledge. pp. 136–. ISBN 978-1-134-01211-4.
- Porter, Bernard (30 October 2015). Empire Ways: Aspects of British Imperialism. I.B.Tauris. pp. 58–. ISBN 978-0-85773-959-9.
- Kohn, Marek (7 March 2013). Dope Girls: The Birth Of The British Drug Underground. Granta Publications. pp. 177–. ISBN 978-1-84708-886-4.
- Easton, Mark (1 March 2012). Britain Etc. Simon and Schuster. pp. 158–. ISBN 978-0-85720-143-0.
- Newbold, Greg (3 June 2016). Crime, Law and Justice in New Zealand. Routledge. pp. 154–. ISBN 978-1-317-27561-9.
- Muncey, Tessa (14 April 2010). Creating Autoethnographies. SAGE Publications. pp. 204–. ISBN 978-1-84787-473-3.
- Travis, Alan (24 October 2001). “Cannabis laws eased in drug policy shakeup”. The Guardian. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
- Jason-Lloyd, Leonard (2009). “Cannabis Reclassification 2009”. Criminal Law & Justice Weekly. 173: 30.
- “Smith snubs experts over cannabis”. Daily Express. 6 May 2008. Archived from the original on 9 November 2016. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
- Miller, Patrick; Plant, Martin (1 February 2002). “Heavy cannabis use among UK teenagers: an exploration”. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Elsevier Science Ireland. 65 (3): 235–42. doi:10.1016/S0376-8716(01)00165-X. PMID 11841895. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- Kelly, Jon (21 December 2011). “Will British people ever think in metric?”. BBC News Magazine. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- “Drug misuse: findings from the 2017 to 2018 CSEW”. GOV.UK. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
- “Industrial fibre crops: business opportunities for farmers”. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. 13 June 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
- Hemcore animal bedding. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
- Taverner, Eric; Moore, John (2006) . The Angler’s Weekend Book. Read Books. p. 109. ISBN 978-1-4067-9791-6.
- “Drug Laws”. United Kingdom Home Office. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
- “Timeline: the use of cannabis”. BBC News. 16 June 2005. Archived from the original on 28 April 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- Travis, Alan (24 October 2001). “Cannabis laws eased in drug policy shakeup”. The Guardian. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- “Britain: Pot Reclassification Takes Effect Today”. NORML. 29 January 2004. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- Hope, Christopher (7 May 2008). “Cannabis to be reclassified as a class B drug”. The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- Hope, Christopher (7 May 2008). “Advisors: Reclassifying cannabis will not work”. The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- “Statistical Report: Crime in England and Wales, Year Ending March 2014” (PDF). Office for National Statistics. July 2014. p. 92. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
- “Three more police forces signal that they will turn blind eye to cannabis use”. Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- “Police are ‘giving up’ on cannabis”. The Independent. 23 August 2016. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
- Shiner, Michael; Carre, Zoe; Delsol, Rebekah; Eastwood, Niamh. “The Colour of Injustice: ‘Race’, drugs and law enforcement in England and Wales” (PDF). StopWatch, Release, International Drug Policy Unit (LSE).
- “Home Office Circular 2018: Rescheduling of cannabis-based products for medicinal use in humans” (PDF). assets.publishing.service.gov.uk. Crime, Policing and Fire Group (CPFG) – Drugs and Alcohol Unit. 1 November 2018. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
- Gayle, Damien (26 July 2018). “Medicinal cannabis: how two heartbreaking cases helped change law”. The Guardian. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- “Alfie Dingley: Cannabis plea boy back in hospital”. BBC News. 3 March 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- Smith-Spark, Laura (20 June 2018). “How Billy Caldwell case could end UK’s medical marijuana ban”. CNN. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- Simons, Ned (18 June 2018). “Jeremy Hunt Reveals He Backs Legalising Use Of Medicinal Cannabis Oil”. HuffPost. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- “Medicinal cannabis products to be legalised”. BBC News. 26 July 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- Osborne, Samuel (26 July 2018). “Medicinal cannabis to be available on prescription in UK after being approved for use by government”. The Independent. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- Grierson, Jamie (11 October 2018). “UK doctors will be able to prescribe cannabis medicine next month”. The Guardian. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- “Rescheduling of cannabis-based products for medicinal use:Written statement – HCWS994”. UK Parliament. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
- “Medical cannabis products available on prescription”. BBC News. 1 November 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
- “Guidance Controlled drugs: licences, fees and returns”. United Kingdom Home Office. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- “Medicinal cannabis: Why has it taken so long to get to patients?”. BBC News. 16 February 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
- “Medicinal cannabis: Why has it taken so long to get to patients?”. BBC News. 16 February 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
- “Medical cannabis products available on prescription”. BBC News. 1 November 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
- “Sativex Oromucosal Spray – Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) – (eMC)”. www.medicines.org.uk. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
- “Nabilone 1mg Capsules – Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) – (eMC)”. www.medicines.org.uk. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
- “What are the rules about cannabis oil in the UK?”. BBC News. 26 July 2018. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
- “GW Pharmaceuticals Announces the European Medicines Agency (EMA) Accepts Epidiolex® (cannabidiol) Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for Review”. www.gwpharm.com. GW Pharmaceuticals PLC. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
- Bell, Jonathan (25 November 2016). “People can apply for medical cannabis”. The Royal Gazette. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
- Bell, Jonathan (25 July 2018). “Weeks: we need to talk about cannabis”. The Royal Gazette. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
- Fuller, Brent (16 November 2016). “Governor approves medical cannabis oil”. Cayman Compass. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- Matthew Feeney (18 November 2013). “Cannabis Clubs Are Flourishing in the UK – Hit & Run”. Reason.com. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
- Whitehead, Sarah (17 November 2013). “Cannabis clubs blossoming in the UK”. The Guardian. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
- “Social clubs defy anti-cannabis laws – WEST”. West-info.eu. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
- “Cannabis Social Club”. ENCOD. Archived from the original on 25 August 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
- Woolf, Marie (7 September 2005). “Tory contender calls for more liberal drug laws”. The Independent. Retrieved 16 May 2010.
- Rosenbaum, Martin (25 June 2010). “Home Office error reveals how FOI request handled”. BBC blogs. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
- “Ministers ‘covered up drugs report‘“. Press Association. 25 June 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
- Easton, Mark (25 June 2010). “Critical public interest”. BBC News. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
- “Dame Judi Dench and Sting head drug rethink call”. BBC News. 2 June 2011.
- Woolf, Marie (7 September 2005). “Tory contender calls for more liberal drug laws”. The Independent. Archived from the original on 1 October 2015.
- Buchanan, Rose Troup (25 July 2015). “MPs forced to debate legalisation of cannabis after e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures”. The Independent.
- Liberal Democrats call for a legalised cannabis market. Liberal Democrats (official website). Published 12 March 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
- A regulated cannabis market for the UK. Liberal Democrats (official website). Published 8 March 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
- Leftly, Mark (12 March 2016). “Liberal Democrats become first major party to back cannabis legalisation”. The Independent. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
- “Estimating the Size and Potential of the UK Cannabis Market” (PDF). Institute of Economic Affairs. June 2018. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
- Kollewe, Julia (28 June 2018). “Legalising cannabis could be ‘win-win-win’ for UK, says thinktank”. The Guardian. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
- Mills, James H. (11 September 2003). Cannabis Britannica: Empire, Trade, and Prohibition 1800-1928. OUP Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-155465-0.
- Mills, James H. (2013). Cannabis Nation: Control and Consumption in Britain, 1928-2008. OUP Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-928342-2.
- ‘Legalise It, Don’t Criticise It’ – Should Cannabis Be Legalised? The Huffington Post (UK edition). Published 4 July 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- Parliamentary report set to recommend legalising medicinal cannabis. ITV. Published 12 September 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
- Cannabis legalisation ‘could raise £1bn a year for UK’. BBC NEWS. Published 21 November 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
- Legalisation of cannabis ‘only solution to crime and addiction problems’. The Guardian. Published 21 November 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
- MPs call for legalisation of cannabis amid warning UK is falling behind in its drug policies. The Independent. Published 21 November 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2017.