Pubdate: Sat, 28 Mar 1998
Date: March 28, 1998
Source: Norwich Evening News (UK)
Author: Derek Williams

Thank you for the special feature on the legalisation of cannabis (Evening
News, March 18), which on the whole was a well-balanced reflection of the
arguments one hears.

The comments made by Jack Girling and Paul Betts illustrates how this
debate has so far been a conversation of the deaf.

On the one hand Jack thinks cannabis is not only harmless but always
beneficial in every aspect, whereas Paul Betts accused it of just about
everything, including shrinking the brain.

Of course, both of these opinions are just that, opinions, and the truth
lies somewhere in between.

Cannabis is an integal part of many peoples lives and we, as a society,
have to come to terms with that.
Unfortunately, the Government, its so-called "drug tsar" Keith Hallawell
and head-in-the-sand Home Secretary Jack Straw are doing nothing to improve
the situation.

Perhaps the most disturbing comments were made by the police who, according
to your report, oppose legalisation.
Was Det Chief Insp Chris Grant really reflecting Norfolk police policy or
was he stating a personal opinion?

It was particularly disturbing to see the police endorsing the outlandish
claims of Paul Betts.

As Norwich North MP Dr Ian Gibson (a "child of the sixties" as he put it)
said, the use of cannabis as a recreational drug is not going to go away.

Either we learn to live with that fact, or we tear our society apart in a
futile effort based upon ignorance, lies and the twisted morals of

Derek Williams