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Is it time to legalise Cannabis?

An article which questions the legalisation of Cannabis, whilst simultaneously highlighting the faults of England’s war on drugs.

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Is it time to legalise Cannabis?

With “legal highs” becoming illegal across the United Kingdom, is it time to question the war on drugs?

It aids 33,000 deaths each year in the UK, the most socially accepted depressive drug in the UK; welcome to Boozy Britain. Now, let us not make assumptions, I like a drink as much as anyone, but is it not time to label it for what it is?
Alcohol is a drug. It is a depressive, highly addictive, dangerous drug. However through centuries of social acceptance, it has become just another subject to poke fun at, and drown ourselves with at the weekend. Let us face the truth, moderate drinking for our perhaps premature drinkers is a myth. Of course they do drink in moderation on occasion, but why drink to moderation with friends, why not get wasted and have a night to never remember.
Cannabis. The thorn in the side of any politician making any drugs based decision. I am sure a fair percentage of my readers have raised eyebrows at this point questioning to whether I would condone the use or legalisation of Marijuana. The simple answer is yes. Before scorning this opinion, or turning the page in fear of another hippy liberal perspective, I would urge you to read on.
Cannabis, like Alcohol, like Tobacco, are all classified drugs. However two of these are legal for anyone who happens to be over the magical age of 18. These same two are also more harmful, and more addictive. As previously stated Alcohol aids approximately 33,000 deaths a year in the UK, Cigarettes are said to cause approximately 46,000 deaths a year in the UK, and Cannabis kills 0 people every year, worldwide. Yes, that is correct; cannabis has never been the direct cause of a death, ever. Yet it is a class B drug, a reclassification decision to which Sir Michael Rawlins – chairmen of ACMD (Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs), stepped down from his post on.
With overcrowding in U.K prisons, drug fuelled gangs roaming riot, seemingly harmless smokers being put away with hardened criminals, and a current economic instability, it makes one wonder if it is not time to legalise America’s number one cash crop.
Of course it is undeniable that Cannabis has its side effects, and can send many into a spiralling world of Schizophrenia and melancholic idleness. It is also undeniable that Alcohol has its side effects, turning many into hardened alcoholics, who spend every weekend fighting, their antics landing themselves in our newspapers, and more importantly into our taxes. However we know this is not the case for every alcoholic; this is similar with cannabis users. In fact, it is not even the case with most alcoholics or most cannabis users. I expect there are many of you reading now with an alcoholic beverage in your left hand, this article in your right, are you going to go out after this and ‘smack some geezer in the head’? No, for the large majority of you, you won’t.
I think it is therefore somewhat hypocritical, and simply ignorant to view Cannabis users as a bunch of waster, unemployed ‘pot heads’. This most certainly is not the case.
If health is not the reason for cannabis’ current illegal status, then perhaps social fears will explain it.
But what would the legalisation of Cannabis in the UK mean?
Lower the numbers of younger users? A crackdown on drug fuelled gangs? A 1/7 of the incarceration rate? and let us not dismiss claims by many MS suffers that cannabis numbs the pain in ways prescriptions pills cannot. This all suggests great things if it were to be legalised. So if all of this information I have bestowed upon you is true, then why is Cannabis not legal?
Cannabis is not legal for a very simple reason.  Ignorance. The government are ignorant to the benefits of cannabis; they live in fear that it could somehow pollute society and turn the whole nation into a bunch of stoners. If they were to study the statistics or facts they would know this not to be the case. However this cannot be solely blamed upon the government. No political party in the UK would put as one of their aims to legalise cannabis. They would merely be boycotted by the close-minded, conservatives that will do anything in their power to stamp out innovation.
It is an unnerving, yet undeniable truth about the government and people in the UK. If they do not understand, they merely reject.
So perhaps it really is time to question the hypocrisy of our society, and educate ourselves on the real dangers of cannabis.


1 Howard | on 01 October 2009

This is a brilliant, sensible article which more than anything shows real clarity of thought and intelligence. You’re right that many in our society are pathetic in their ignorance and are directly to blame for much of what is so disappointing about life in modern Britain. You have touched on something far greater than just the cannabis/alcohol and tobacco debate with this article.

2 Benjy | on 07 October 2009

The fact that tobacco and alcohol cause more health issues than cannabis is an irrelevant issue; people have been smoking and drinking in Britain for centuries, and it’s easier to make a substance legal than it is to make one illegal. The government isn’t there to do what is right, it is there to do what people will accept. Britain would likely be a politically nicer place if alcohol and tobacco wasn’t consumed, but that’s the price of democracy. Politicians don’t have to know about the scientific details of cannabis - all they need to know is that most people disagree with the use of cannabis, and have legitimate reason for feeling so.

3 Isaacbarnard | on 12 October 2009

alright dave? benjy, perhaps life would be pretty bland if we couldnt intoxicate things? and how is it fair that the government Control what we can and cant do to our own bodies? i feel this is a solution to alot a problems in the Uk and statistics prove this. alchohol and tobbaco are revalent if something causes more damage than a illegal substance surely that substance should be legal or the other two banned, it is nothing about history, as canabis has been smoked throughout history. If you saying it is about our heritage you might as well say bloodsports such as fox hunting should be legal?

4 Isaacbarnard | on 12 October 2009

things = ourselves

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