British trade union group RCN votes to decriminalize medical cannabis

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN), a British membership organization and trade union, has voted to decriminalize medical marijuana, the Daily Mail voted on Tuesday.

RCN, with over 432,000 members in Britain, is now set to lobby local governments across the UK to legalize medical marijuana after its vote.

Marijuana is considered to be a Class B drug in the UK, making it subject to strict restrictions and cannot be prescribed, administered or supplied to the public despite Britain being the biggest exporter of legal cannabis worldwide in 2016, according to a U.N. report.

“There is strong enough evidence to support the use of cannabis to treat pain,” RCN member Catherine Gault from Northern Ireland told the RCN Congress. “It would not be a recreational drug for me, it would add quality to my life.”

Gault said she has an underlying medical condition and said she risked developing pain, which could no longer be treated by the National Health Service (NHS).

In February, a bill to move cannabis from a schedule that defines the drug as of no medicinal benefit to a second schedule that would permit its use for therapeutic reasons was filibustered.

Marijuana advocates in the UK feel they are being left behind as more countries have already legalized medical cannabis including half of the United States.

Western countries like Italy, Finland, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, and Germany have also decriminalized or legalized cannabis in some form.