It is no secret that the decades old process of prohibition has failed completely to limit the distribution and use of cannabis throughout the UK. The only people to have ever benefited from the policy of prohibition has been and continues to be the black market criminal. Instead of taking advantage of the massive revenue of the entire cannabis trade, the UK prefers to hand this golden egg to criminals. Thus such revenue streams disappear, never to benefit British society while simultaneously, we feed the black market in a never ending viscous circle.

As the law stands on narcotic legislation, a drug is to be criminalised if it poses a direct risk to society and the individual. Taking this into account, cannabis cannot possibly constitute an equal risk to society or the individual as that of alcohol. Alcohol kills more people in the UK than any other illegal drug put together. It places an immeasurable stress on the NHS, results in open violence in our streets and homes, is the cause of much misery and crime and addicts the user relatively easily. Yet it is legal, despite the law. As Cannabis does none of the above, in fact it promotes a more harmonious way of life, why is the government telling society that the only choice for rest and relaxation is a drug more dangerous than the alternative? Why are we forced into drinking as the only legal means of getting high? As an adult, one should be able to have a choice in what they wish to indulge in, in terms of rest and relaxation substances. It is simply unethical and unjust to state that alcohol is a more acceptable drug than cannabis.

Our prisons are over crowded forcing the government to lessen the deterrent effect of prison in general and allowing some violent offenders to serve less time or not go in to prison at all. The effect of legalisation in terms of lessening the prison population would be significant. Indeed, current prisoners incarcerated for cultivation or possession could be viewed as "prisoners of conscience" as their crime hurts nobody and therefore is a victimless crime. The police would also benefit by being able to divert their resources to serious crime instead. It is no secret that the arrest of a cannabis user is an easy way to artificially raise crime statistics in the UK. It is morally and ethically wrong to criminalise a person for choosing to relax by using cannabis. Other than this one grey area, the user is statistically a perfectly law abiding, tax paying and upstanding citizen. It is unjust in the extreme to criminalise the adult individual and force them in to the shadows of a society that they fully contribute to and do no harm to what so ever. Such a move as legalisation would reflect favourably on our society by emancipating millions of people to live life in the open as legitimate citizens, beneficial to society.

The medical use of cannabis is well documented and successfully launched in several states in the USA as well as in other European countries. Cannabis has substantial medical qualities and eases the life of millions for a multitude of different illnesses. Why is it that the government insists that our society base itself solely on pharmaceutical drugs when they cause such terrible side effects? There is, as millions will concur, a far safer, 100% natural and more enjoyable alternative. Cannabis is cheaper to produce and more effective at easing the ailments of the sick user. Now, we all know that smoking is bad for you, yet there is still no argument that therefore, cannabis is bad for you as it can be consumed orally or by means of a vaporizer with no medical consequences. Again, it is unjust, unsympathetic, unethical and immoral to deprive the sick of a drug that is proven to be of such medicinal value. As for the argument of cannabis and schizophrenia, well that is simply nonsense. Scientific research has proven a 2% risk of permanent mental dis-function in regular users. Therefore, such risks are insignificant when balanced against the risks associated with alcohol. Are we really such a society that would prefer to criminalise the sick instead of help them by any means possible? I refuse to think so and live in hope that our collective humanity and decency will eventually make it’s way to the parliamentary table.

Taking our current economic crisis into account, has the time not finally arrived when necessity dictates that cannabis is legalised and regulated through proper medical channels and taxed? Britain could help to solve her debt crisis almost over night; massively increased tax revenue, an explosion of new small to medium businesses, increased tourism, decreased prison population, freed up police force, the advancement of British medical science and an increase of GDP within the UK Hemp industry. Currently 100% of all this cash goes straight into the hands of the black market, benefiting nobody but the criminal and that is, frankly, a senseless waist of revenue. There are currently 6 million adult cannabis user’s in the UK and 11 million casual adult users. Being government statistics, one can assume a much higher real usage throughout Britain. To deny the country such a massive instant revenue windfall in a time of such austerity is madness. The maths is not difficult, legalisation makes rational sense. Is it not time for the UK to collectively wake up to the reality of the situation and consider another far more reasonable, rational and ethical approach to managing the issue of social drug use?

We could liberate millions while simultaneously improving our economy and society. Instead of being seen as an evil psychotic menace perhaps cannabis will one day be seen as our saving grace. At the same time society will see that adults are able to self regulate and children will lose interest due to the lifting of the magnetic effect of a teenager and an illegal substance mixed with greater regulation and a reduction in the black market. Britain would follow Holland in years to come whereby they would have among the lowest population of drug abusers in the world.

I hope that I have been able to convince you of the merits of cannabis legalisation. In my opinion, it is a simple, rational and logical argument for the social equality of millions of our citizens. It is the just and correct thing to do in a modern and apparently open society.

Why is this idea important?

This topic is aptly titled. Why is your "IDEA" important? Well, that's just it! It is not only that legalisation of cannabis is just and ethical but also it builds additional foundations to help support our collective idea of freedom, liberty, democracy, social cohesion and welfare. Such a liberal move as the realisation of the utter futility of current prohibitive legislation and it's replacement with a more modern, outward looking and socially moderate policy would help drag our society into the new millennium and in future years will be looked upon as one of the turning points of humanity. It is quite simply a natural progression, an evolution, of society. It inevitability is certain and now is the time to act. A society based on care and support for the sick and addicted side by side with a more free society which in turn would lend itself to the evolution of the self through self regulation and responsibility of the individual.

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