Pubdate: Wed, 2 Sep 1998
Source: Evening News (Norwich UK)
Fax: ++44 (0)1603 219060
Post: Evening News, ECN, Prospect House, Rouen Road Norwich NR1 1RE, UK
Web Site:
Authors: Alun Buffry, Tim Hughes, Pete Henshall

Cannabis: Legalisation Of It Would Solve More Problems Than Stiffer
Sentences For Dealers, Say Readers Who Have Replied To A Call For Those
Trafficking In The Drug To Be Be Jailed For Life.

1: James Sandham (EN Aug 20) classifies all non-prescription drugs
together as harmful and wants suppliers jailed for life.

Alcohol, tobacco, tea and coffee and even colas are all addictive and
can be dangerous drugs.

Would he also throw away the keys on publicans and the supermarkets
and the corner shops?

Are we to ignore the experts in favour of some sort of "reefer
madness" scaremongering and lock away cannabis dealers for life?

There is already the possiblitiy of a life sentence for dealers in
large quantities of hard drugs, yet the situation is worsening, even
though many dealers are locked away for decades.

Giving them an automatic life-means-life sentence will not deter them
from the profits which the prohibition creates the opportunity for.

Legalisation, with supply controlled according to the danger element,
will immediately destroy the illegal market and everything that goes
with it and enable the speedy recognition of addiction.

Drug addiction needs to be treated as a matter of health, not of

Alun Buffry

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2. James Sanham (Aug 20th) claims "all drugs outside prescription drugs are
harmful", but this cannot be true in the case of cannabis.

It used to be prescribed by doctors but was then made illegal. Does Mr
Sandham think that suddenly the nature of cannabis changed and it
became harmful overnight?

Any person with an ounce of reason could see this is

They would also be able to see that, just like Hitler tried and failed
to stamp out drug use of any kind, this type of attitude is only a
couple of steps away from killing our own children because of our "morals".

It is time to take a step back and look at the bigger picture with a
rational view.

Once this is done it should be clear to all that it is the total lack
of control over drugs caused by prohibition, rather than the drugs
themselves, that cause the problems

Tim Hughes

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3. Mr Sandhams solution (Aug 20) is simple - lock up everyone who has
anything to do with drugs and throw away the key.

This would never work.

The fact is that millions of people in the UK  take

There are so many different drugs available to people that there have
to be honest guidleines put out so that people can choose and know the

Alcohol and tobacco, killing 30,000 and 110,000 respectively in the UK
each year are the worst drugs in the UK in terms of death. At the
other end of the scale no one has ever died from cannabis or mushrooms.

Are all drugs the same? No, a distinction must be made between heroin
and alcohol type drugs which can cause death, physical and mental
disorders as well as having negative effects on theusers family and

Cannabis does not. Legalising drugs such as cannabis would mean that
proper restrictions could be put in place, age limits could be
introduced along with strict licensing that would mean anyone selling
to under 18's would be in trouble with the law. isn't this what we all

The current system encourages criminal activity, high drug profits and
sale to anyone, even kids.

Seventy years of prohibition have failed. When will Tony Blaire and
the rest of society realise that prohibition is causing more harm than

The sooner the better for all of us.

Pete Henshall
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Checked-by: Patrick Henry