Introduction: cultivation, medication, activism and cannabis policy

Melissa Bone (Leicester Law School, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK)
Gary Potter (Lancaster University Law School, Lancaster, UK)
Axel Klein (Global Drug Policy Observatory, Swansea, UK)

Drugs and Alcohol Today

ISSN: 1745-9265

Publication date: 4 June 2018



The purpose of this paper is to introduce the special issue on Illicit Cannabis Cultivation in a Time of Policy Change.


The paper reviews some of the different adaptations made by cannabis growers in countries where cannabis has not been legalised.


Cannabis growers are adjusting to different legal settings by focusing on home production. Participation in cultivation is a crime, but can also be activism: an effort to change the law. Medical use of cannabis is a particularly important driver here. Having to break the law to alleviate symptoms and treat illnesses provides both a greater sense of urgency and a level of sympathy not usually granted to illicit drug users.

Practical implications

Grass-roots advocacy may drive policy change.


This is an original assessment of current state of knowledge on cannabis cultivation in countries where cannabis cultivation remains restricted.



Bone, M., Potter, G. and Klein, A. (2018), "Introduction: cultivation, medication, activism and cannabis policy", Drugs and Alcohol Today, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 73-79.

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