Free Cannabis Schemes to Cut Down Violence in UK Prisons
According to the words of the North Wales police and crime commissioner, Arfon Jones, prisons in the UK have drafted a proposal for free cannabis schemes for drug-addicted prisoners. The main goal of this proposal is to reduce violence and deaths from overdose, as well as to help inmates overcome heavy opioid addiction.
Jones claims that the authorities have a certain duty when it comes to solving problems such as violence. Namely, by addressing one of the main causes — the low-cost (but deadly) synthetic cannabinoid spice that is commonly consumed in prisons.
Apart from these, a lot of prisoners also receive methadone or buprenorphine therapy. There are even those that get prescribed addictive medicines such as pregabalin, which are no less dangerous.
Yet, the main question, according to Jones, is why prisoners are not allowed cannabis prescriptions. After all, they receive opioids on a regular basis.
In a nutshell, his idea is to create a framework for cannabis trials in prisons, such as the one near Wrexham, where there have been several deaths from cannabinoid spice only recently.
By doing so, it could be observed whether the violence is being reduced or not in a controlled environment. The goal is to raise safety in prisons by eliminating the trouble cause — psychoactive substances.
Based on most recent data from the Office for National Statistics, between 2008 and 2016, 88 drug-related deaths have been recorded, which were mostly related to heroin, heroin substitutes such as methadone, benzodiazepines, and cannabinoid spice.
Although recreational cannabis has not yet been legalized in the UK, the plant can be legally grown for medical purposes. However, the NHS still limits access to full extract cannabis oil, which is nigh impossible to get at the moment; even for severely ill patients.