Cannabis needs a legitimate industry in the UK to clean up our streets, with regulation you would reduce harms because:
The risk on cannabis psychosis is minimal, out of 6.2 million users of cannabis in the UK, 800 are at risk from a "casual link" to psychosis. The casual link has to include "of developing mind, profuse use, other contributing factors such as environment". Even the right wing media have to concede this when relaying a medical journal report. The argument for keeping cannabis illegal boils down to specific circumstantial examples of children who have abused and are now suffering. Of course, this would be path of the course with the intrinsic need to rebel, if a child is to seek an illicit substance, cannabis is so prevalent on the UK streets, and low quality cannabis that WILL cause harm as no quality control is in place. It stands to reason that we have problems with young people abusing something that they have ready access to with no age restrictions. Good quality and regulated product would hand power back to the state and away from criminals who seek profit at any cost. I've said before; you would not down a pint of vodka and blame the potent brew for your suffering, no, it would be your fault for knowingly doing so. Cannabis has the same premiss, there are thousands of strains, all of which have degrees of potency. Cannabis is not a generic term for the drug, it is the species name for the plant. We need to educate on the plant itself.
The "gateway" theory is laughable. Cannabis is only a gateway due to the illegitimacy of it, it is lumped in the same bracket as harder substances, therefore, the link is only in place due to law. Dealers who control cannabis WANT you to progress to harder drugs as this is where reliance and profit are to be made. Alcohol is statistically the gateway drug as you can attribute nearly all users of harder drugs to the fact they tried alcohol first and foremost. More evidence and study has gone into the fact cannabis alleviates addiction to hard drugs and appeases the need for further drug dabbling, but these studies are never publicised.
And then we need to address the fact we have legal killers in alcohol, tobacco, and even caffeine. Alcohol accounts for 40% of all A and E cases, it kills tens of thousands a year, including one young person per day, and carries a direct and more prevalent risk of psychosis, it is simply indecent of any society to put the health onus on a substance, cannabis, that saves lives and carries minimal risk, and is reliant on the respect of the user to keep harm at bay. Anything can be abused in this world, cannabis abuse rates very low in every study. From the Wootton report in 1968, to modern day findings by the Beckley foundation, Dr. Lester Grinspoon; Professor Emeritus of Harvard medical School, to Professor Nutt of the ACMD, you cannot refute nearly 50 years of modern day research and hundreds of reports all clarifying the same thing, cannabis is one of the safest substances we have in our world and risks can be minimised with education and truth.
The "anti" cannabis camp and the "pro" stance all wish for the same thing, to reduce abuse, harm, and risk to children. It is the responsibility of society to trust the honourable, educated, respected scientific community who all say the same. It is the democratic duty of community to listen to people who have studied every angle of this subject and are immersed in the study of this plant. The fight to get our own way on cannabis has long retired, if we are to move forward and reduce the minimal harms that exist with cannabis, then for the first time in modern history, the people who know the subject matter inside out should take control and to not be dictated to by on "moral" argument. Ignorance is currently dictating stance, this is dangerous and is the sole reason harms of cannabis are in question. We are the last country ploughing resources into a fight that is unjust, corrupt, outmoded and unsafe.
Prohibition has failed, we know this once more as solid fact, history once more shows us ready examples, from "Mother's Ruin" (Gin) to 1920's America, you cannot control something via law when it does nothing to protect society. It adds tenfold to problems, consumption, abuse and bad product. The infamous "Moonshine" of prohibition America has modern day equivalents.
We have present day success stories, the Portugal Project is the perfect example: to any one who thinks the staus quo is fine, I beg you to relent and look at the facts, google the Portugal Project, the facts truly speak for themselves. Do not think that "legalisation" is green light to take, law is never a factor in the decision to consume, in fact, very much the opposite. We are moving the cookie jar closer to the kids with current law. The forbidden fruits are the most tempting.
The last irony of cannabis use and those who oppose it, is the indirect fact that -as it stands-the UK public pay for the privilege of cannabis use. The tax payers pound is going on this fight that cannot be won. The cannabis community WANT to pay for themselves, we can offer help to a country that needs it. So, my concept of self taxing, and contributing to the greater good, can we flesh this out together? I implore the community to stand up and be counted with our pound. I have a full self awareness that this is a dream, but the only thing to separate dreams from real change is history and hindsight. Can anyone add to my self taxation proposal?