Pubdate: Fri, 30 Mar 2001
Source: Manchester Evening News (UK)
Copyright: 2001 Manchester Evening News
Authors: F. Dobbs, Myron Von Hollingsworth
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


THE story of multiple sclerosis sufferer and cannabis campaigner Paul Roddy 
appearing at Manchester Crown Court (MEN, Mar 22) is, quite frankly, sickening.

Paul has tried everything else before cannabis and has found, as many 
others have, that nothing else eases his suffering.

Although it may be true that cannabis can lead to heavier drug use, the way 
this happens is largely misunderstood.

People who use cannabis have nowhere else to go for it other than illegal 
dealers, who invariably have other drugs for sale as well.

Harder drugs being available through the same person makes them too 
accessible. Through legalisation, this connection is severed and thus so is 
the progression from cannabis to more dangerous substances.

What worries me is the idea of legalising ''cannabis-based drugs'' for 
medical purposes. A cannabis-based drug does not necessarily work as 
cannabis does. It doesn't even have to contain THC (the important element 
of cannabis).

I can see a future where cannabis-based drugs are available but don't work, 
so people who need a working version still have to go to an illegal dealer.

This won't help anyone but the government, who can happily rely on votes 
from both sides of the argument until it becomes apparent that the new 
legislation hasn't worked. Why not legalise cannabis in any form, full 
stop, for medical purposes?

Doesn't the government trust our doctors to prescribe it correctly?

F. Dobbs, Manchester


CANNABIS has no lethal dose and its pharmaco-logical effects have never 
caused a single death in over 5,000 years of recorded history.

The (unseen) driving force against medical (or unrestricted adult) 
legalisation of cannabis is the fact that cannabis can't be patented. This 
precludes the need for big business to be involved and that fact makes 
cannabis commercially unattractive to the pharmaceutical, tobacco and 
alcohol industries.

It seems that if there aren't profits to be made, the government can't 
justify legalisation, even for the sick and dying. Further-more, the war on 
cannabis drives the war on drugs.

Without cannabis prohibition, the drug war would be reduced to a pillow 
fight. This is the politics and the economics of prohibition.

Myron Von Hollingsworth, Fort Worth, Texas (via e-mail)
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