Pubdate: Wed, 07 Nov 2001
Source: Hull Daily Mail (UK)
Copyright: 2001 Northcliffe Newspapers Group Ltd
Author: Carl Wagner
Note: Newshawk's headline



The debate on the legalisation of cannabis is not a debate on either the 
much-acclaimed therapeutic benefits or the less frequently heard cries 
echoing from the days of US "Reefer Madness" campaigns. The first duty of 
government is to ensure the health and well being of all its citizens, so 
the ultimate decision on whether or not to legalise cannabis rests on the 
answer to one question:- does prohibition do more harm than good?

By failing to address this fundamental question in your analysis, your 
conclusion that "any relaxation in the law will result in increased use 
among young people, together with a proportionate increase in the dangerous 
risks associated with any type of drug taking", is totally wrong.

It is vital to differentiate between pure cannabis and the concoctions 
often sold illegally on the streets of the UK - seldom mentioned by 
anti-drug agencies.

Various reports confirm that the most widely available street cannabis 
routinely contains: tars and bitumen, glues and solvents, ketamine, 
barbiturates and other crushed up pharmaceuticals,  colouring agents and 
even animal excrement.

This poison is what an estimated 5 million people, including "the children" 
who the law claims to protect, are routinely smoking. Worse still, because 
black-market cannabis is diluted, it is necessary to smoke more to achieve 
the desired effect.

The effects on health are certainly far worse than the cannabis plant 
itself ever could be.

Whilst allegations of harm directed at cannabis remain to be proven, the 
consequences of the destructive prohibition law are clear to anyone who 
cares to look.

Cannabis prohibition poisons, it criminalises millions of people, funds 
organised crime, increases underage usage, diminishes freedom, promotes 
disrespect for the law, and does NOT curtail usage. It also brings an 
increasing number of young people into contact with hard drug dealers.

The logical conclusion therefore, is that cannabis prohibition is neither a 
realistic nor a sensible goal of public policy and should be dismantled 

Carl Wagner
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MAP posted-by: Beth