Pubdate: Thu, 08 Jan 1998
Date: January 8, 1998
Source: The Evening News, Norwich UK
Author:  Jack Girling

So the Home Secretary, Jack Straw, is saying that if legalise
cannabis campaigners can show that cannabis is not a dangerous
drug then the Government may reconsider its stance on

Strangely enough though, the evidence has always been there.  In
1968 the UK Royal Commission, the Wootton Report, concurring with
other major reports on cannabis, said that cananbis ought not to
be illegal and its use did not pose unacceptable risks.

Since then other reports have concluded that cannabis is not
addictive, does not lead to hard drug use, detrimentally effect
memory or motor skills, and does not cause cancer.  The British
medical journal The Lancet (November 1995) said "The smoking of
cannabis, even long term, is not harmful to health."

The US Drug Enforcement Agency's own investigative judge, Francis
Young (1988), concluded that cannabis is safer than most common 

The evidence has been there for some time, ignored by successive
governments as they ignore the many acclaimed benefits of smoking
cannabis to many people.

Maybe the arrest of Jack Straw's son has achieved something after
all. Maybe now people will wake up to the fact that this unjust
and unworkable law may eventually lead to the arrest of their own
sons and daughters, for using a safe plant in preference to
dangerous intoxicants.

Maybe 1998 will see the start of the most positive step this
Government could make towards healing society - the legalisation
of cannabis.

Jack Girling
Chairman, CLCIA