Let's face it, if you're waiting for the day weed becomes legal in the UK, I wouldn't hold my breath.
While people have been able to get cannabis on prescription here since 2018, any hopes of setting up a farm in your loft are still some way off yet.
I mean, it was only a few weeks ago that the government cracked down on laughing gas - despite the advice of experts - which doesn't bode well for the pro-ganja movement.
This isn’t the case everywhere else in the world, though, with several other countries either decriminalising or altogether legalising the drug... and their societies haven’t ended up collapsing.
So how have they done?
A 2020 study actually found that states where people were allowed to smoke cannabis bought 4.5 percent more fast food than ones which didn’t, so perhaps the infamous munchies really are a thing.
More seriously, another study found that cannabis use increased by 20 percent on average in states that allowed people to take the drug.
However, Stephen Murphy, CEO of media, data and technology company Prohibition Partners, warns that some nations that have changed their approach towards drugs aren't getting it right.
Speaking to LADbible, he says Portugal, which decriminalised the drug in 2001, has not been as successful as you might assume.
“What has been deemed ‘success’ in Portugal when they went through decriminalisation in early days, there’s evidence that they’ve reduced the harmful impact of drug addiction by opening up access to treatment.” Murphy says.
“However, I would question that, because it’s also allowed a black market to exist unchallenged and unquestioned by law enforcement.”
Murphy says ‘decriminalisation is not a viable solution’ and often 'tends to delay proper reform', with Portugal seeing 'almost no development' in nearly 23 years.
The latest country to look at legalisation is Germany with their plans to open a series of non-profit ‘cannabis social clubs’ through which the drug will be grown and sold.
People will also be able to grow up to three of their own marijuana plants for personal use, with a personal possession allowance of up to 25g.
It's not quite the Amsterdam-eque approach some had been expecting, but even the Dutch capital has been considering rolling back the availability of cannabis in a bid to clean up its image.
German legislators are hoping their approach will put drug dealers out of business while ensuring people have access to safer products.
But success isn't guaranteed. All around the world governments have been running into problems with the rules and laws which exist above them.
In the US, states making weed legal or decriminalised have run into ‘federal limitations’, while European countries have to navigate EU regulations and German ministers have said this has limited what they can do.
Meanwhile for Murphy any new alternative needs to compete with and beat the drug dealers at their own game.
“The policy that Germany has is quite interesting in terms of looking at legalisation and they’re trying to understand how to address the black market properly," he says confidently of their approach.
“Some people will like Portugal, I just don’t. I don’t see the sense in it. If you walk the streets there’ll be guys there selling you plastic, really toxic."
Despite his misgivings about decriminalisation, Murphy says continuing to clamp down on cannabis with prohibition was also the wrong approach.
"Everything from county lines to drug dealing to human trafficking, there’s serious harm being done by prohibition at the minute," he says.
“Even allowing unregulated products increases the risk of contamination, poisoning and psychosis.”
Murphy will be speaking further on the European cannabis industry at Cannabis Europa on 2-3 May.
Countries have found that simply making cannabis legal doesn’t mean everyone will hop over to the legitimate option.
At the end of the day, it’s a market and customers will buy the thing they want, no matter who it's from.
He said countries designing cannabis policy must see it as a ‘consumer need’.
One thing Murphy thought a lot of countries were waiting for is some sort of direction from a higher body with plenty waiting for a ‘global blueprint’ from something like the UN or EU.
Noting that ‘the policy in Italy for accessing cannabis is very different to Poland’ while ‘the policy in Poland is very different to the UK’, Murphy said that as of yet there was ‘no direction’ on what sort of rules the world should have for cannabis.
Looking at the UK, Murphy says politicians need to look to the opinion polls for guidance - which suggest legalisation is what the people want.
According to Statista, 55 percent of the public back either decriminalisation or legalisation, while 36 percent are in favour of the government’s current policy.
Murphy says it's clear the public was recognising the ‘failure of prohibition’ and the ‘hard on drugs’ rhetoric.
And if there's a lesson to learn from other countries, it's that legislation is the way forward, because lifting legal restrictions would only create ‘more of an incentive for people to get involved in the black market because there’s less risk involved’.