Defending Yourself From Drug Charges: Medical Marijuana


If you have been using marijuana to treat a long-standing medical condition off the books, and you have been arrested and charged with a drug offence in Manchester, you may have options. While the UK hasn’t formally made marijuana legal by doctor’s prescription, many juries are turning these cases into not guilty verdicts as a gesture of changing times and ideas.


Even the Drugs Minister himself has called for legalisation of the herb.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can simply carry and use marijuana and blame it on a fictitious medical condition–your defence has to have a solid, provable background in order to gain the result you want in court, just as any other defence would.

Until the government formally accepts legalisation, this is simply how it has to be.

Firstly, know that accessing marijuana on the street for real medical issues isn’t a new concept. This article linked points out that underground growers have been doing this for some time.

But what qualifies as a medical condition that marijuana might treat in legalised countries?

Typically, any of the following may be treated with medical marijuana:

  • Cancer
  • Anorexia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Glaucoma
  • Seizures/epilepsy

In addition to these, a myriad of lesser thought diseases fall under legalisation rules in America, Canada and the rest of the world.

What This Means

While the UK hasn’t quite caught up to full legalisation yet, a drug offence solicitor can use this information to prove that your use was not intended to be a malicious crime. He or she can use information from other countries, like America, to prove that there is precedence for your case to be thrown out on a compassionate use basis.

Helen at Olliers Solicitors points out that “examples, like a well-publicised case in Canada, where a six-year-old by the name of Liam McKnight was successfully treated for a seizure disorder, help to prove its usefulness. Charlotte Figi is another example that a solicitor may use to prove legitimacy of use.”

It’s not a guaranteed win in court–and you certainly shouldn’t assume that your charges will be thrown out. But with America considering taxation because it realizes that there is valid terms of use for the herb, and science revealing its benefits, it’s difficult to argue that a patient with a serious disease is attempting to engage in wilful criminal activities.

How Each Case Furthers Legalisation

Each time one of these cases is brought to the courts and legitimised, it changes the balance of medical marijuana’s outlook in the courts and in Britain. For some, this is enough reason to go forward with a defence rather than simply pleading guilty.

Most patients who legitimately use marijuana to treat serious illness understand the importance of decriminalisation.

If you haven’t yet considered your options, get legal advice from solicitors in Manchester, or wherever is local to you.

It’s worth probing to see if this approach is right for your unique situation. While it won’t be for every individual, the changing societal outlook and scientific information may help you to win your case.

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