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Modifying The “Misuse Of Drugs” Act

Comment 1st July 2010

Every year the Government spends billions of pounds policing and prosecuting people for the misuse of drugs, when in some cases the Government could benefit from tax revenues by licensing some drugs instead of having a total ban on everything.  Artificial recreational drugs must remain banned because of the serious dangers they represent, but some naturally occurring drugs could be licensed and regulated in a similar way to tobacco and alcohol, because they do have some medicinal benefits.  The Government could, at the same time, reduce the amount of money that is being spent dealing with the minor offences, while increasing the amount of revenue being received.

Why does this matter?

For example, while refined opiates being used recreationally is a bad thing, opium poppy juice and crushed opium poppy seed paste have been used medicinally for hundreds of years.  The paste has many uses externally, and the juice (in very small quantities) can be used to relieve severe pain or induce sleep, much like morphine.  There have been many medical studies over recent years into the medicinal properties of cannabis, including its use as a natural pain killer, and the reduction of rheumatic and arthritic inflammation.  I have never seen anyone who has been smoking cannabis who has been angry, or stressed, or in any way upset.  They are always calm, relaxed, sociable and happy folk.  This is a good thing.  In addition, cannabis can be grown for the plant fibres, for hemp rope.  But, as the law stands, even one plant grown as an ornamental specimen will land the person growing it in Court.  This is a shame as it is a very attractive plant.  Many countries enjoy the tax revenues for cannabis being licensed, but Britain does not.  Instead, we continue to throw money we do not having into enforcing laws that are over restrictive and unnecessary.

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