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Legalise Cannabis

Comment 15th March 2013

There have been a lot of suggestions regarding cannabis being decriminalised. This is pointless, it needs to be fully legal, why? Because it will take cannabis out of the hands of criminal gangs. Cannabis should be allowed to be grown on a mass scale, and should be allowed to be sold. Here are the reasons why.

1. First of all the only serious concerns over cannabis have been a tenuous link to Schizophrenia. There's concerns have been proven unfounded. While there is no doubt that cannabis can agitate and enhance the symptoms of schizophrenia in those who suffer from it already, there is no evidence that it causes schizophrenia. Indeed in the Neverlands where cannabis has been decriminalised for decades, there has actually been a reduction in the number of cases of schizophrenia. Several articles in the Lancet back this argument up, the ACMD commissioned by the last government agree with this, the UN body set up to investigate also agrees!

2. Crime reduction. Prohibition causes crime! It makes a criminal out of every user, and it allows criminal organisations to profit heavily from the black market. Surely there can be no better way to tackle crime, then by cutting off the lifeblood of it? This would allow police to focus on other areas. You only have to look at the disaster that was alcohol prohibition in America, to see how costly and time consuming prohibition can be.

3. Taxation. We could be profiting from cannabis, instead of wasting money trying to "win the war on drugs" – something which is simply never going to be possible. It is important that taxes are sensible and well thought out though. The rise in the tobacco black market continues to rise in relation to its heavy taxation.

4. Health. The most dangerous part of cannabis is the fact that it is smoked, the carcinogens are as lethal as any other form of smoking, more so for cannabis because it is rarely smoked with a filter. Having cannabis legalised would allow imaginative companies to produce far less harmful forms of cannabis use, such as aerosols. Potentially reducing another external factor by slightly easing the burden on the NHS.

5. Education. People can become far more educated about the drug, rather then getting all their information from the tabloids, many of which still maintain that cannabis causes schizophrenia, despite no proof of this. Even the government's own 'Talk to Frank' web site maintains that cannabis can cause schizophrenia, despite the fact that there is no proof of this! Let people decide for themselves. Also, education will lead to much more mature attitude to cannabis, as it will have lost its rebellious status. Users can learn of the serious harm that smoking the drug can cause, and the dangers of driving or operating heavy machinery while under its influence.

Finally. Where is the real harm? Most of the serious dangers associated with cannabis, come from the fact that it is illegal, as explained above. Who is the government to tell us how we treat our bodies? Yes, cannabis use has it's dangers (mainly because it's smoked) but so does everything from rock climbing to eating at McDonalds. Why should cannabis be singled out? It is an enjoyable and social drug, it gives users a different perspective while using it which can lead to many interesting thoughts and discussions, it can lead to feelings of real happiness and euphoria. Why is that so bad?

Why does this matter?

It is important because it's the simple truth. Every credible authority on cannabis agrees that it doesn't cause schizophrenia. Millions of people use it already in the UK every day, you will never stop them no matter how hard you try. It's time to seriously think again, what is cannabis's harm?

It is the decades of propaganda by previous governments and the tabloids that have prevented any serious discussion about cannabis. The benefits of full legalisation greatly outweigh the cost of continuing to prohibit it's use.

Also, you'd make a lot of people very happy.

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