Pubdate: Mon, 07 Feb 2005
Source: Hull Daily Mail (UK)
Copyright: 2005 Northcliffe Newspapers Group Ltd
Author: Carl Wagner


I Sympathise with the anonymous writer who says his daughter took her
own life at the age of 24 after smoking cannabis for 10 years.

But the symptoms described - anxiety attacks, asthma and personality
disorder - could be linked to many substances, legal or otherwise.

People suffer mental problems for all sorts of reasons and, although
several studies looking at this have generally found little or no
evidence of a causal link, there is certainly evidence that cannabis
makes the symptoms of schizophrenia worse in some people.

The question is, how does prohibiting cannabis and criminalising its
users reduce this risk?

Legalising cannabis - bringing it within the law - would make it
harder for young people to get access to the substance.

It would allow the laws on quality, weights, etc, that already exist
for alcohol and tobacco to be applied to cannabis.

It would allow taxation on profits, would divorce supplies from hard
drugs, allow home cultivation and allow public consumption premises.

It would protect the consumer from the type of dealer who sells
dubious substances.

Calling for cannabis legalisation is not "condoning". It is accepting
that the use of cannabis, whether advisable or not, is far too
widespread to pretend any kind of prohibition can control it, and that
it is a victimless act that does not deserve punishment by law.

The law as it stands does not protect children, it endangers

I shall continue to call for cannabis legalisation, not because it is
safe but because it provides an infinitely improved way of reducing
the harm it can occasionally cause.

Carl Wagner,
Legalise Cannabis Alliance,
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