It is time we realise that the War on Drugs is not only unwinnable, but is at its core incredibly immoral by providing massive amounts of profit for organised criminality and turning in many cases otherwise law abiding, tax paying and fully fuctioning members of society into criminals.

Why is this idea important?

First I should probably say for reasons of accountability and assessing my bias on the subject, that I am a casual drug user. I use cannabis regularly and occasionally take 'harder' drugs such as MDMA or ecstasy.   

And I guess I should start about a question on fairness; Why is it that because I should choose to ingest the THC molecule (the active ingredient of cannabis) over the alcohol molecule that my government has a right to treat me as a criminal? Ignoring the libertarian argument that as long as I'm not causing direct harm to anyone else my government shouldn't be able to tell me not to do anything, if we are to compare the damage that these two different drugs cause to individual users and our society overall then there is no question that we've got is ass backwards.

Drink is responsible for countless deaths through alcohol poisoning, it is often the sole or major reason for many violent actions (just ask any serving Police Officer), and general drunkenness causes millions of accidents a year (just visit a NHS hospital on a Friday or Saturday night).

Whereas it is physically impossible to overdose on cannabis. It is only associated with violence when mixed with alcohol, and recent studies suggest that it only puts you at risk of suffering from psychological problems if you have a history of such problems in your family (or in other words, if you were likely to develop such problems anyway).

Is it harmless? No of course not. If you choose to smoke it, it contains more tar than tobacco. And even if you eat or drink it as I just said above it can put you at a greater risk of suffering from mental health issues. However, almost everything in life involved risk. Alcohol gives you liver failure, tobacco gives you lung cancer, living close to a busy road can lower your lifespan, getting into a car greatly increases you likelihood of dying, even breathing in air kills you slowly…that's right oxygen is poisonous!!! 

But even if cannabis and other drugs are as dangerous as the Daily Mail wants you to think then it would be logical to ban them right?

WRONG. This is not the ramblings of a stoner who wants pot to be legal, this is not pro-soft drug propaganda. This is fact. and i apologise for the following caps, but i feel this needs to be shouted from the rafters:

PROHIBITION DOES NOT DECREASE THE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE TAKING AN ILLEGAL SUBSTANCE! ALL IT DOES IS TURN OTHERWISE LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS INTO CRIMINALS AND CREATE MASSIVE PROFIT OPPORTUNITIES FOR REAL CRIMINALS!

Want some proof? okay-dokey.

Let's compare some stats from the USA and the Netherlands from 2001 shall we? This was long before the USA started softening the marijuana laws.

Lifetime prevalence of marijuana use (ages 12+): USA = 36.9% NL = 17.0%
Past month prevalence of marijuana use (ages 12+) USA = 5.4% NL = 3.0%

from here: http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/node/67 Sources: US Department of Health and Human Services & The Trimbos Institute.

"Ah, but Amsterdam is a special case!" I hear you shout, "those crazy Dutch!"

Okay, what about Portugal? They've pretty much removed all drug prohibition with an across-the-board decriminalisation project.

"The political consensus in favor of decriminalization is unsurprising in light of the relevant empirical data. Those data indicate that decriminalization has had no adverse effect on drug usage rates in Portugal, which, in numerous categories, are now among the lowest in the EU, particularly when compared with states with stringent criminalization regimes"

Source: http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=10080

One last quote, this was a editorial in the Economist, you know, that magazine that has nothing to do with the drug counter-culture and is widely respected by politicians and company CEOs alike.

"…fear [of legalisation] is based in large part on the presumption that more people would take drugs under a legal regime. That presumption may be wrong. There is no correlation between the harshness of drug laws and the incidence of drug-taking: citizens living under tough regimes (notably America but also Britain) take more drugs, not fewer. Embarrassed drug warriors blame this on alleged cultural differences, but even in fairly similar countries tough rules make little difference to the number of addicts: harsh Sweden and more liberal Norway have precisely the same addiction rates."

Source: http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13237193

Okay, now I'm going to sum up, thank you for reading (or skipping to the end).

If you believe that cannabis is harmful. Then you're right. If you believe that the best way to reduce its harm on a populous is to criminalise it then you are VERY wrong. You're making assumptions based of a black and white view of the world.

Making something illegal doesn't stop people taking it fer-christ's-sake. We are all well aware than the difference between illegality and immorality is very wide. And as I've already said, by making it illegal all you are doing is creating business for organised criminals.

Finally, none of this is the reason I believe that prohibition on cannabis should be dissolved. That reason is much more close to my heart; that no one, no one on here, no one in the government has ANY right to tell me what I can and cannot put into my body. I am an adult, and I make my own choices. and I reap the consequences. Consequences that would be more than paid for if cannabis was legalised and taxed.

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