The UK is expected to legalize marijuana in January, but a report says there are still plenty of people who will struggle to find a source of the drug.
In a survey by the University of Nottingham, over 50% of the respondents said they were unaware of a legitimate cannabis source, and one in four said they would struggle to buy it from a legitimate supplier.
The survey was conducted between December 8 and December 12.
It was conducted by the Nottingham Centre for Cannabis Research (NCCR), a non-profit group dedicated to researching the medical and psychoactive effects of cannabis, and also by the UK’s National Cannabis Research Unit (NCRI).
The NCRI has published studies on marijuana and its use in the United States, and in the EU, and it has also conducted research in Germany and Israel.
The NCCR said it did not use the survey to gauge how many people would actually access marijuana in the country, but it did have data to say that there are many who will be unable to find it.
The group also said that many people who had tried the drug had failed to find out that the drug was legal, meaning they were able to smoke it and consume it legally, but they would not be able to purchase it.
“There is a lot of misinformation out there,” said the NCCR, and said the survey found that nearly half of respondents who responded did not know how to legally buy or use cannabis, or that it was illegal in the first place.
The study found that “a significant number” of respondents did not even know how much marijuana was legal in the US, or how much it was legal for consumption.
“Many respondents reported that they did not understand the law in the USA, or even in their own country,” the NCRI said in a press release.
“While many respondents reported using cannabis in the past, many did not have any knowledge of how to obtain it.”
“Many people are unaware that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) currently regulate the sale and use of cannabis and have no legal authority to control how or when people use cannabis,” the press release continued.
“The survey findings show that there is a huge gap between the knowledge and experience of people in the cannabis industry, and the UK public.”
The NCBR said the lack of knowledge is “unacceptable,” and that “it is the responsibility of the UK government to address this.”
It is not known if the cannabis used in the survey was legal or illegal, and according to NCRI, the UK is not a member of the European Union.
The research also showed that most respondents did think it was a good idea to try out different strains of cannabis.
“For some people, they might think that it is the most sensible thing to try new things, so they will buy more, and there will be more opportunities for them to find the best product,” NCRI spokesperson and chief executive, Ian Wright, told The Independent.
“But it’s not the whole story.”
He added that the research “indicates that people need to be able and willing to try different strains, because there are risks associated with trying different strains that could be harmful to their health.”
The group said that the survey revealed “a worrying gap between how much people understand the rules and how much they want to follow them.”
“It’s important to be aware that many cannabis users do not know what they are buying or where it comes from,” Wright said.
“If they know it is legal in their country, they should be able buy it and use it.”