For many of us, the answer to this question is the same as asking if the Pope is a Catholic or if ducks can float. The answer, of course, is yes. But that is just an opinion, a belief, and maybe even the result of common sense.
Reform, in any shape or form, should weigh up the pros and cons before any action is taken. From our point of view, if we were to write an article on the subject of why the use of cannabis should remain illegal would be a hell of a lot shorter than an article on why it should be legalised, because there are only so many negative things you can say about cannabis. So why should the use of cannabis remain illegal?
• It is a Class B drug. It used to be a Class C drug, but the Labour government decided in 2008, contrary to all the advice given by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), to criminalise its use even further under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. • Marijuana was only classed as a drug and consequently made illegal to possess in 1928, long before it became universally used and synonymous with hippies and ‘flower power’. • The supply of cannabis takes you into the seedy underworld of organised crime. • Some believe that taking cannabis introduces you to drugs in general, and can often lead to the taking of harder drugs such as heroin and cocaine. • There is evidence that overuse, or long and continual use of cannabis can have a detrimental effect on mental health.
Our response to the above is as follows:
• If the ACMD do not see any reason for cannabis to be a Class B drug, then the government is swimming against the tide of opinion. If it had remained a Class C drug, evidence of the benefits of cannabis that have been revealed this last ten years would make it easier for a Class C drug to be declassified, whereas at best, today, it would have to be reclassified before becoming declassified. • Does a loss of all taste in clothing, the wearing of headbands by men and to keep long hair out of their eyes, sitting in a field bothering nobody as you listen to music at a festival such as Woodstock, or having a more liberated attitude towards sex really constitute a crime? • Legalise cannabis and you remove the criminal element. • Those who have a propensity for drugs are going to take heroin and cocaine without trying cannabis. • We won’t argue against evidence of the harm that overuse of cannabis can cause, but we will be petulant enough to state that cigarettes and alcohol are not illegal, and look at the harm they do.
Why legalise cannabis?
While everything around us seems to be changing so rapidly, why is it that advancements in science and technology which have proven the medical benefits of cannabis are being ignored from a legal standpoint?
Here’s a brief summary of many of the benefits of legalising cannabis:
• It allows those in pain and who could utilise cannabis to alleviate the symptoms of their illness without fear of criminal prosecution • Positive impact on the NHS will see a decline in the demand for medication for diseases such as cancer, MS, etc. • A market economy would see prices reduced and more respectable sellers of the product • The government could tax cannabis as it does cigarettes and alcohol to generate revenue • The police could better spend their time dealing with more serious crimes • Room in overcrowded prisons would be created for more legitimate criminals • Amsterdam has shown the touristic benefits of cannabis cafes
We have really only scratched the surface where the benefits of cannabis and reasons for decriminalising it are concerned, but we hope we’ve given you something to think about. So what’s your take on the subject? We want to hear what all of you have to say in the matter, so leave a comment on our Facebook page of send us a Tweet.