Pubdate: Thu, 26 Jul 2001
Source: Hull Daily Mail (UK)
Copyright: 2001 Northcliffe Newspapers Group Ltd
Author: Carl Wagner, Legalise Cannabis Alliance

Prohibition Of Cannabis Does More Harm Than Good

The decision to legalise cannabis should rest on whether prohibition 
does more harm than good.

Good laws should reflect the latest scientific understanding, be 
accepted by the public as fair, be enforceable, consistent, and 
conform to international human rights law.

A good law must command respect, and to achieve this it must strike a 
balance between the interests of society and those of the individual. 
Branding a person a criminal must be one of the most serious things 
that a society can do.

It stigmatises people; it can cost them their life-savings, 
possessions and property, and can essentially ruin their lives.

Clearly, it isn't anything that should be done on the basis of 
misinformation and exaggeration, or by using arguments of 
convenience. The Government has conveniently used "the need to 
protect our children from vile drug dealers" and "the scourge of 
drugs" as an excuse for waging an irrational war on adult cannabis 
smokers, but the majority of people who end up with drug-related 
criminal records are young. Their "crime" is most often the 
victimless non-crime of having a joint or two in their pocket or 
purse at the wrong time and place.

Realistically, can the prohibitionists' offer one valid reason for 
maintaining a law that criminalises millions of people, gives rise to 
organised crime, increases underage usage, diminishes freedom, 
promotes disrespect for the law, poisons, and does not curtail usage?

Carl Wagner,
Legalise Cannabis Alliance,
Victoria Square,
Ella Street,
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