Musician and cannabis advocate Damian Marley says the legalization movement is picking up steam in the UK, where he was invited to discuss the issue at the British parliament recently.
"What’s very interesting is how rapid this discussion has picked [up] here in the UK," Marley told GQ. "When I was here last summer, it didn’t have the momentum that it has now. That’s beautiful—how quickly people are listening to the realities of the benefits of marijuana."
Marley himself is a cannabis farmer. In 2016 he purchased an old prison complex in California and converted it into a medical marijuana cultivation site - an ironic transformation for an establishment that used to house prisoners convicted for offences like growing or possessing cannabis.
While addressing British lawmakers, Marley stressed the importance of listen to the people who consume cannabis as well as the scientists studying it.
"Research takes time and practice to prove itself, because people use the medicine, they can see the results," Marley said. "Testimonials show that it is not about getting high or doing it for fun, but that cannabis is a medicine changing lives."
Marley reinforced his belief in the importance of patients by featuring many medicinal cannabis consumers in the music video for the singe "Medication," which was released last month.
Marley stressed that medical marijuana is about helping patients, not getting them high, which is particularly true for parents with children who consume cannabis medicinally.
"These families are not trying to get their little children high or turn them into potheads. They are trying to help them by administering cannabis with no psychedelic effect."
Medical marijuana seems increasingly likely to be legalized in the UK and hopefully the words of those like Marley can help move it in the right direction.