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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Leagalize Cannabis

Do I think Cannabis is harmful??


If the research is anything to go on, used in large quantities it can cause psychosis.  It is often used by teenagers, just when their brain is undergoing another surge in growth similar but smaller than the post birth surge.  It is at this time that they are laying down much of the knowledge of physics, geology, biology, math, literature and so forth that will stay with them for a life time.  Instead they are mellowed out.  It is like taking a finely honed wood carving chisel and dragging the edge across a stone. The smoking of cannabis is also just as carcinogenic as tobacco.   So why do I want to legalize cannabis.

Clearly, the present system is not working.  It is resulting in a huge prison population, it is making the drug peddlers rich, it is leading to crime as people steal to get money to pay for their fix and arguably, the use of cannabis is less harmful than the use of alcohol.  Making it illegal is having many of the same effects as prohibition and we have to try something different.

What I would propose is letting out of prison anyone who's conviction was only for the use or sale of cannabis.  As they leave prison, let them take a 5kg package of confiscated cannabis with them.  If the stock of confiscated cannabis is not sufficient, buy in more.  Flood the market and trash the price.

At the same time, use all the money saved from not having these people in prison and all the money saved by the police not having to police cannabis, to fund an educational program, similar to the one on cigarettes showing the danger of cannabis.  Go all the way with this with freed up police talking about the down side of cannabis at schools and public meetings.

And all the while, make cannabis freely available so that there is absolutely no incentive for anyone to grow or sell the stuff.  I know this sounds a little crazy but the present system hasn't worked.

While we are talking about drugs, how about party pills.  If you look at any beneficial drug, it has to go through an incredibly expensive, time consuming process to prove that it is safe and effective.  Even then, some drugs come on the market that have to be recalled when unexpected side effects come to light.  Why can anyone formulate a party pill from anything he wants and sell it without similar checks.  Clearly, forcing party pill peddlers to jump through the same hoops would make it far too expensive for them to market their products.  Recently here in New Zealand a party pill came on the market that was primarily composed of bovine worming medicine!!!  Go figure?

I know there is a conflict between these two messages.  Put on restrictions - take off restrictions.  At the bottom of the whole problem is why we think we need to alter our minds with all these drugs. Life is such a blast when you are completely sober.  It boggles the mind.  In the end, I have to admit, I really don't know what the solution is.  Personally, I would hang anyone caught making or selling drugs like P and Heroine but that is not PC.  I would treat users like alcoholics.

Part, but only part of the problem is the number of people out of work and this comes down to the way governments set up regulations to do with imports, exports, taxes and so forth.  To a large extent, if we all had worthwhile jobs that gave us a good living, a lot of us would not  turn to drugs to make a crust or to help us forget our troubles.

I suspect the path we should take is to consider growers, producers and  dealers, as high end criminals, but users, sick people in need of help.


jeo said...

Looking at holland as model , they have huge amount of hippies coming to the country just in order to get some drugs and have fun, so the streets of amsterdam are crawling with them, and other dealers who advise to 'take an extra more hard' stuff as well , what do you think should be done with this phenomenon.
? And how would you deal with that after legalisation of canabis ?

William Hughes-Games said...

Hi Jeo
It certainly is a problem. Of course if all European countries legalized the sale of pot, Amsterdam wouldn't be overrun by druggies. I think the use of pot is really negative but our present system is not working. The only way I can see out of the conundrum is to focus on education as has been done for alcohol and cigarettes. It has has some effect but so far not enough. Life is such a blast, I don't understand why people need these substances.