Source: Eastern Daily Press 
Pubdate: January 3 1998 
Contact: Sirs,

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