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Marijuana Policy In The U.K. And New Zealand: Medical Applications And Public Support

Javier Hasse

Discussion regarding marijuana legalization and the potential medicinal uses of the substance are not limited to the United States. Cannabis is also making headlines in the U.K. and New Zealand.

The MediPen

For the first time ever, the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) decided to test a cannabis product that has already reportedly helped thousands of people suffering from various conditions.

The MediPen is a cannabidiol (CBD) vaporizer that only contains non-psychoactive substances, which has been in sale for a year already. Now, the company said it has been consulting a group of NHS specialists who have been testing its proprietary formulation of cannabis oil.

Related Link: DEA's New Marijuana Policy 'No Surprise'

While the first report, due soon, will only assess the formulation’s purity and cannabinoid profile, it will still mark a milestone for the medical cannabis industry in the U.K. “MediPen is confident that by setting a precedent for testing cannabis products with the NHS, it will have a huge impact on the public's perception of cannabis,” an article published in the Independent read.

“As the UK's industry leading consumer cannabis biotechnology company, we're excited to have set a new benchmark in providing a much-needed sense of legitimacy to the UK's rapidly growing legal cannabis industry,” MediPen’s managing director Jordan Owen added. “As the first consumer cannabis product to be tested by the NHS, we are confident that this will go a long way towards creating a properly regulated cannabis market in the UK and are extremely excited to see what the future holds.”

Legalize It

A new poll conducted by the New Zealand Drug Foundation found that 64 percent of adults in the country support either the legalization (33 percent) or decriminalization (31 percent) of cannabis.

Related Link: What Presidential Candidates Think About Marijuana Policy And Legalization

During a Radio New Zealand report, the foundation’s executive director Ross Bell stated this was the first time that such a big majority of the Kiwis wanted marijuana use to be either legal or non-penalized. "This tells us voters are ready for change even if law makers aren't,” he added.

Furthermore, the survey also showed that 82 percent of New Zealanders believe that terminal patients should be able to use cannabis to relieve pain, either legally or without a penalty, while 79 percent of respondents said they were in favor of the use of cannabis for pain relief.

Finally, the poll showed that “it doesn't matter what party people back, there is consistent support to move away from the criminal justice approach to drugs," Ross concluded.

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Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no interest in any of the securities or entities mentioned above.

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