A few simple truths
* People will smoke if they want to and a market will always develop
* Cannabis is a gateway to criminal culture not just other drugs
* While not harmless, it is less harmful (medically) than most legal recreational substances
* Drug money funds worse crime and compromises the legitimate economy
* Most casual users are more 'normal' than you think
We must all acknowledge that the Dutch model wouldn't work for our political system – imagine the coffee shop that made people go outside to smoke.
We must also acknowledge that things cannot go on as they are.
Too many citizens are being criminalised without directly harming anyone but themselves. This hurts the economy by reducing the labour market and forcing young people with a record to more crime or the JSA.
The gateway effect is not neurochemical but sociological. Prohibition Introducing impressionable young people to an increasingly violent and Americanised gang culture, in which hard drugs are commonplace.
There will be another 'gateway drug' it will be the most popular illicit drug of the day. But no gateway drug will ever be as popular as cannabis is today.