Pubdate: Sat, 03 Jan 1998
Date: January 3, 1998
Source: The Eastern Daily Press (UK)
Author: Tina Smith

The recent arrest of a prominent British Cabinet Minister's son,
and now the journalist from the Daily Mirror and another man, for
small cannabis offences, illustrates the ineffectiveness and the
injustice of the law which bans the plant.

That in the midst of a public house where considerable quantities
of the dangerous and addictive legal drug alcohol are openly
sold, a small amount of a plant product recently described as
"remarkably safe" by Professor Lester Grinspoon of Harvard
Medical School, yet illegal, was sold. Prosecution of this is
surely the height of hypocrisy and nonsense.

So the lad did what probably a few million other UK people do
each day - pass a small amount of cannabis to someone who wants
it.  The fact that the Daily Mirror journalist asked the youth to
get some cannabis as a basis for the story makes the journalist
herself the only one of the three so far arrested upon whom any
allegation of harm could possible be laid.

The annoying thing is the cost, both economic and to police time
- the costs of the phone calls, the interviews, legal
consultations with solicitors, letters exchanged, forensic
anaysis, court expenses etc - will all come out of the public
pocket.  To what end? Punishing someone for a crime without a
victim. A fine example of continuing British justice!

Now that the cannabis laws can be seen clearly for what they are,
let's get rid of them and the concept that the Nanny State is
more capable to decide what we can smoke or what we can eat. 
Then maybe 1998 will see the return of the missing 'feelgood
factor' - the right to freedom of choice, lifestyle, religion,
speech and, most importantly, information.

Tina Smith