Should cannabis be legalised?
For the past year cannabis (marijuana, blow, dope) has frequently been in the news headlines in the UK, and it was recently announced that the legal status of the drug is to be reviewed. This may come as welcome news to the many people who use the drug either for medicinal or recreational reasons.
Cannabis can be smoked, usually with tobacco, eaten, drunk in a ‘tea’ or snorted as a snuff.
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Cannabis contains more than 400 chemicals, including ‘cannabidiolic acid’ – an antibiotic with similar properties to penicillin. However, the main psychoactive ingredient is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC.
To simplify a very long and complicated story, THC mimics the actions of receptors in the brain called ‘neurotransmitters’ and interferes with normal functions.
The cannabis smoke is inhaled into the lungs, where the THC is filtered into the bloodstream. Chemicals called cannabinoids block certain electrical signals inside the brain, interfering with the short term memory and co-ordination.
Sounds may become distorted or hearing heightened. Pressure inside the eye decreases, causing the eyes to redden and the eyelids to become puffy. The air passage to the lungs expands and the mouth stops producing saliva, leaving a dry mouth. Cannabis increases the cardiovascular action of the heart. Blood pressure is altered and the pulse rate quickens. The User also experiences an increase in appetite. Molecules called endo-cannabinoids bind with certain receptors in the brain, making the user feel hungry. Although cannabis isn’t an aphrodisiac, many users report heightened sensitivity and increased sex drive.
The effects of cannabis generally last for up to four hours depending on the amount used, and the body resumes normal service after that. There is no ‘hangover’ as with alcohol, instead users describe the feeling as being ‘woolly-headed’.
Origin of the species
The drug itself is derived from Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica, a plant related to nettles and hops that grow wild in many parts of the world. Cultivation dates back thousands of years. The first written account of cannabis use can be found in Chinese records dating from 2800 BC. However, experts widely accept that cannabis was being used for medical, recreational and religious purposes for thousands of years before that.
The plant is believed to have originated in the mountainous regions of India.
When left growing wild, it can reach a height of 5 metres and flowers naturally from late summer to mid autumn.
Customs estimate that up to 80% of cannabis resin entering the UK originates from Morocco and most smuggled supplies in its herbal form come from Jamaica. However, an enormous amount of cannabis these days is actually home-grown.
The supply and possession of cannabis is illegal in the UK and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Even though the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, recently announced that cannabis will be down-graded from a ‘Class B’ drug to a ‘Class C’ drug, supplying the drug still carries the risk of a prison sentence of up to seven years, whilst possession for any reason could result in a two year sentence. Similarly, growing cannabis at home for your own use could also lead to a prison sentence. In practice, the police may issue a caution to people caught in possession of the drug, and with the downgrading of the drug to Class C, it is possible that only persistent offenders are likely to find themselves in court.
Medicinal use of cannabis is illegal and therefore there is little verifiable evidence of the drug’s effects when used in the management of chronic health conditions. However, cannabis is widely used by people for medicinal reasons, often for the relief of pain, or as an appetite stimulant. In 1996, a clinical trial in San Francisco found that people with HIV wasting disease who used cannabis were more likely to put on weight. The drug is also widely used to relieve insomnia and the symptoms of anxiety and stress. It is also used by people with multiple sclerosis as a muscle relaxant.
In recent years a small number of people have been prosecuted for growing and consuming cannabis for medicinal purposes. In most cases a suspended sentence has been issued, but recently a jury returned a not guilty verdict, and in another example a judge threw out the case.
The UK Government is currently reviewing the evidence on cannabis use. Cannabis extracts, called cannabinoids, are already legally used in licensed pharmaceuticals, mostly pain killers and muscle relaxants, but these can only be obtained on prescription. These products do not make users feel ‘high’ or have any of the other narcotic effects of cannabis.
Risks of cannabis use
Short-term risks of cannabis use include anxiety, panic, and paranoia. Memory and attention may also be affected, as might the ability to drive or operate machinery. Research suggests that cannabis use in teenagers is a predictor of later mental health problems. Use during pregnancy has been associated with low birth-weight babies.
If the drug is smoked, long-term use is known to cause many smoking-related respiratory and cardiovascular diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema
and heart disease. This may be of particular concern to people with HIV who have suffered lung damage from TB, or to those with increased lipids from anti-HIV medication, as this may increase the risk of heart attack. There is also evidence that smoking cannabis can cause cancers of the mouth, throat and lungs.
Chronic loss of memory and shortened attention span have been observed in long-term users of the drug, in some cases even after they have ceased, and there is evidence that long-term users can develop psychological dependency on the drug. In a recent survey, daily use of cannabis by teenagers was found to substantially increase the risk of developing depression later in life and the use of cannabis has also been linked with an increased risk of schizophrenia.
In my investigation I am trying to find out what the public and the government think, what their opinions are and ultimately whether they think cannabis should be legalised and whether they think the laws will be changed.
There are many people who would like to see the drug legalised or decriminalised in this country, but it is important to understand what either of these two actions could result in. If the drug were to be fully legalised, then it would be placed in the same category as alcohol or cigarettes. There would still be laws regulating sales and use but there would no longer be a penalty for the use and supply of cannabis. If the drug were not fully legalised but instead decriminalised, then the laws monitoring the use and sales would be different but still in place. For example, if it were decriminalised then it would be legal to possess small quantities of the drug, in any form, for personal consumption. It would still be illegal to produce or supply the drug however. Eventually, the argument still boils down to one factor, whether or not the public chooses to use the drug or not.
There are many reasons arguing for and against the legalisation issue and I have tried to list the most important factors leading to a decision here.
For the legalisation of cannabis:
* There are at least 21/2 million (perhaps 7 million) cannabis users in the UK.
* Otherwise innocent people convicted of drug offences have their future prospects massively hampered.
* Cannabis is often contaminated with inert or toxic components which cause more harm than the cannabis. A legal supply would be pure and therefore safer.
* Legalising does not mean glamorising – cannabis use should still be discouraged even if it were legal.
* Countries which have experimented with decriminalisation have not encountered massive increases in use.
* Minors can buy cannabis as easily as adults on the uncontrolled black market. A legal, controlled market would restrict cannabis to adults.
* Prohibition is extremely expensive to enforce – the money could be better spent on education and treatment.
* Drug use is a victimless crime.
* In studies comparing regular, long-term users with non-users, mental and physical health differences were observed only in the respiratory system.
* There is no evidence that cannabis use itself causes the use of harder drugs. All the evidence suggests that the cause is a personality type.
* Overdose on cannabis is nearly impossible.
* Cannabis is not physically addictive.
* Cannabis causes no permanent brain damage.
* There is no evidence that Cannabis smoke can contribute to lung damage or increase the risk of lung cancer.
* In 10, 000 years of use, no deaths have been firmly blamed on cannabis.
* Cannabis causes people to be calm and peaceful, unlike alcohol which often causes violence.
* And possibly the strongest argument for the legalisation, freedom of choice.
Against the legalisation of cannabis:
* Legalisation would encourage use of cannabis and other drugs, creating more problems and increasing the profits of drug barons.
* Pure cannabis still has dangers
* Most parents disapprove of all drug use – legal or not.
* Legalisation could make cannabis socially acceptable, and so encourage use.
* Legalisation could encourage use of cannabis, which in turn could encourage the use of more dangerous drugs such as ecstasy.
* The legal penalties for selling drugs to minors need to be increased.
* Tax payers do not want their money spent on treating hopeless drug addicts.
* The government has a duty to protect its citizens from the harm caused by drugs and the organised crime groups behind them.
* Most people are not sufficiently aware of the dangers of drugs to make sensible decisions.
* Drug use has many victims including the families of addicts and innocent people killed by drug-crazed monsters. The NHS must pay for junkies’ treatment.
* Drug prohibition is for everybody’s good in the long run. Prohibiting human sacrifice compromises some religions – but who wants that legalised?
* All drug use has some dangers; there is no need for anyone to risk their health for pleasure.
* There are reports of people experiencing cannabis induced mental trauma, called ‘cannabis psychosis’.
* Almost all heroin addicts started with cannabis. It is the first step on the road to hard drug addiction.
* Many people have unpleasant experiences on large amounts of cannabis.
* Frequent cannabis use is common.
* Short term memory loss and paranoia are sometimes observed in heavy users.
* Cannabis contains a significant amount of tar, and is usually smoked with tobacco.
* Cannabis has been linked to at least five unnecessary deaths in the past ten years.
* Cannabis can cause paranoia, which in turn could cause violence.
To investigate the issue I have used six different methods of investigation, primary research in the form of a questionnaire and letters to both my local MPs, and I watched a documentary, did an internet search, and read books and ‘a newspaper for the cannabis community’ and other newspaper articles this was my secondary information.
My questionnaire proved very helpful in my investigation, I asked forty people around my school and where I live various questions about what they thought about cannabis and other drugs. The information was good as it was straight from the public what they thought without anyone having the chance of influencing their decision.
Here are my results:
1. Have you ever been offered cannabis?
2. Do you believe that the use of cannabis can lead to psychosis and other illness?
3. Would this effect your decision whether or not to smoke it?
If you got an illness such as MS would use cannabis to numb the pain…
4. If legal?
5. If illegal?
6. Do you agree that religious groups such as Rastafarians should be allowed to smoke cannabis in any country, even if it’s illegal in that country?
7. Do you believe the smoking of cannabis will lead to the use of other harder drugs?
8. Do you think drugs are a reasonably new thing?
9. Boys use drugs more than girls.
10. All drug use is very dangerous.
11. Illegal drugs are much more dangerous than drugs such as tobacco and alcohol.
12. Do you believe cannabis is physically addictive?
13. Do you believe cannabis is psychologically addictive?
14. Do you think that cannabis should be legalised for medicinal use?
15. Do you think that cannabis should be legalised for recreational use?
40% of the people I asked said it would not effect their decision whether or not to smoke cannabis if they knew it could be harming their mental health.
90% said if cannabis was legal and they got an illness which cannabis can help numb the pain from, they would use it for its medicinal purposes, and 73% said they would even if it wasn’t legal.
60% said they would not like Rastafarians, or other religions that follow teachings telling them to smoke cannabis, to be able to smoke cannabis in a country where it is otherwise illegal to smoke it. Personally, I think people should respect the teachings of these religions, because if I went to Jamaica and they said I couldn’t drink communion wine because I was under eighteen, I wouldn’t be very happy. I can see what they’re saying, why should they get to do something we can’t in our own country, but if they kept it in their own homes I’m sure it wouldn’t make any difference to any one else.
When writing this questionnaire I made a small mistake and I didn’t realise until after they had all been photocopied, in question number eleven, illegal drugs are much more dangerous than legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco, I meant the answer to be false. But as people started to answer it they started saying well cannabis isn’t but drugs like heroin and cocaine are potentially more dangerous.
50% of people I asked thought cannabis was physically addictive, and 73% thought it was psychologically addictive.
90% of people thought cannabis should be legal for medicinal purposes, and 63% thought cannabis should be legalised in general, these figures surprised me as I did not think this many people were in favour of the legalisation of cannabis.
In my questionnaire I also asked people to give me one good and one bad point about cannabis, here are a few examples:
-help MS sufferers
-less restriction means more accessibility means less illegal dealing
-it’s a good social activity
-let the police deal with more serious crime
-less violence (cannabis rather than alcohol)
-more people might start smoking it
-sends message that drugs are okay generally
-irresponsible use e.g. in school, whilst driving
-highly carcinogenic, even more so than cigarettes.
Obviously the results from my questionnaire do not speak for the whole nation, as I only asked 40 people from the same area. That’s why I also looked online for national polls on the legalisation of cannabis, I found a poll where 72% of 7272 people thought cannabis should be legalised in the UK.
I wrote letters to both of my local MP’s. Angela Browning, my local conservative MP, wrote me a very useful letter in return. “I believe that the home secretary’s decision to reclassify cannabis was misguided because it was not based on any evidence that it would lead to a decrease in drug use or crime.” I hate to burst your bubble Angela, but from the evidence I have gathered during my investigation there’s not much you would be able to do to stop the people that do smoke cannabis from doing so, as you can see from my case study.
Freedom of choice is a big issue, people that have already chosen smoke cannabis will continue to choose to do so, even if the drug is not legal. But if the drug is legalised or decriminalised this doesn’t mean that more people are going to go and smoke it, people that want to try cannabis can do just as easily illegally than if it was legal. Cannabis is at the moment being sold on the black market and minors can just as easily get hold of it as adults and in many cases minors are selling it, if the drug was legalised there would be restriction put on the sale of it so minors could not easily access the drug.
My local labour MP, Ben Bradshaw, also sent me a letter in return; he gave me the address of the website which would give me the information I need. I went on to this website and it gave me lots of information about drugs but nothing on the opinions of his party and that’s what I wanted to know. This letter was not incredibly helpful.
The government have recently launched a new approach to drug awareness called ‘FRANK’. Whilst gathering information for my coursework I was given the latest issue of the CCNewz, which contained an open letter to frank taken from the UKCIA (pro-cannabis campaigners) website, although UKCIA was very welcoming to the move away from the ‘just say no’ approach to drugs, and in general, the advice given by frank to young people is good, some of the information about cannabis is just wrong.
“Frank says: “cannabis is not something that dealers mix anything with, but some unsuspected people have been known to buy blocks of mud, stock cubes and garden herbs from people pretending to be dealers”.
Wrong. So-called ‘soap bar’ is well known for being contaminated with all sorts of nasty stuff. It would have been more honest had you warned of the dangers caused *directly by the law* unregulated market here, but you fail to do so. You do say of alcohol that “because it’s legal and sold only in licensed premises, most alcohol is unadulterated by anything very nasty”. Which is true, so why not warn of the dangers of the unlicensed, unregulated cannabis market?
You also mention people sometimes get ripped off by dealers, it’s true, but why not also warn that on occasion some dealers offer other substances to people cannabis which are a little more than garden herbs?”
That was from UKCIA’s open letter to frank, this piece of secondary information proved very useful as it shows that our government are perhaps not as honest as they should be with the public, or maybe the government are just not as informed as the rest of us.
Another method of investigation into whether cannabis should be legalised was to see how the legalisation of cannabis has affected other countries.
The Netherlands government adopted a liberal attitude to cannabis and the use of drugs, in the 1970’s. They allowed cannabis to be sold from youth centres and coffee shops, predominantly in Amsterdam and did not prosecute for possession. The coffee shops left the hard drug dealers out and kept them out. Meanwhile the liberal attitude to drug takers and addicts manifested by considering such people as patients rather than criminals, giving them true education and a clean supply. This did not wean many drug users off drugs, but it did clean up the supply, take it out of the hands of heroin dealers and reduce risks of overdose or death or illness from impurities.
The result of the Dutch experiment was to see that whilst the number of cannabis users initially increased it soon levelled off in about 1983. The use of hard drugs did not increase as fast in Holland as it did in neighbouring countries such as France, Germany and the UK. One thing which did develop was the appearance of the ‘cannabis tourist’, people from other countries visiting Holland for cannabis. This actually brought revenue to the Dutch and was welcome. Of course if the same situation existed in other countries this may never have happened. The Dutch report that cannabis use causes no social problems.
In 1996 international pressure forced the Dutch to reduce the amount of cannabis permitted for personal use from 30 to 5 grams; this is what decriminalisation can do.
I also conducted a case study on America’s approach to cannabis, or as they call it marijuana, over the last century.
Marijuana reached America in the 1920’s, it arrived with the Mexicans.
It was rumoured that marijuana gave the Mexicans super human strength and turned them into blood thirsty murderers. It was when a Mexican man, supposedly under the influence of marijuana, murdered an American man that the banning of marijuana came into practice, a way to control the use of marijuana soon turned into a way to control the Mexicans.
Unlike the Mexicans most Americans had never heard of marijuana before this. They were more worried about the rise in the use of opium, morphine, cocaine and heroin.
Instead of treating drug abuse as a public health problem, the federal government put control of the issues in the hands of the treasury department, who created the federal bureau of narcotics.
Harry J Anslinger, commissioner of the federal bureau of narcotics. “The treasury department intends to pursue a relentless warfare against the despicable dope pedalling vulture who preys on the weakness of his fellow man.”
Anslinger shaped America’s attitude to drugs for many years to come. Anslinger believed that if the laws were tough enough America could be rid of alcohol, put enough people in jail and eventually the public will learn to behave, and he applied this same philosophy for the governments war on drugs.
Anslinger realised that policing 48 states on a depression strap budget was near enough impossible. His solution was to try and convince the state to police local drug trafficking themselves. Campaigning endlessly he persuaded each state to sign a joint agreement to commit state resources to fighting drugs. Only 9 states signed on, the 39 viewed it as federal interference in their affairs. It was a major defeat to the young drug commissioner but he wasn’t going to give up there.
Marijuana was still imported into the states via New Orland’s. It was very popular with the jazz crowd because it made their music sound so good.
Anslinger decided to persuade white Americans that marijuana was a deadly menace so to encourage more states to sign up to his uniformed narcotics act.
Anslinger started to use propaganda films and radio broadcasts to persuade America that this plant growing at the side of rural roads was the biggest threat America had ever had to face. The films would say that if you smoked marijuana you would go insane and that you would kill people.
Terrified Americans now wanted more done to get marijuana out of their country, and practically forced the American government to make marijuana illegal.
In 1937 president Roosevelt signed the marijuana tax act, which meant, to posses marijuana you needed a tax stamp from the treasury department. The treasury department didn’t give out any stamps, therefore effectively marijuana was illegal. Overnight making a new class of criminals.
The mayor of New York was sceptical of the government’s claims that marijuana was causing insanity and murder. To get the facts he commissioned a study by a group of 31 impartial scientists. After six years of medical and sociological research they found that the smoking of marijuana does not cause violence or anti-social behaviour, smoking marijuana did not cause uncontrollable sexual urges, and smoking marijuana did not alter someone’s basic personality structure. This report disproved every negative effect claimed by Harry Anslinger.
A furious Anslinger had the report discredited, and destroyed every copy he could get his hands on, and by restricting the supply of marijuana he put an end to any further research.
Anslinger thought the entertainment business could be a big threat to him and his war on drugs due to its big moral influence, not wanting any trouble with the government Hollywood studios gave Anslinger control over any movie scripts containing drugs, and movies he thought gave the wrong message were banned.
By this time the American government had spent $220 million on the war on drugs.
The propaganda continued, if you smoke it you will… become a heroin addict!
By the early 1950’s concern about marijuana was overshadowed by a new media scare, rising heroin addiction in teenagers who were drifting into crime to support their habit. This heroin scare gave an ageing Anslinger a new way to attack marijuana in response to anyone who might doubt its terrible dangers. He declared smoking marijuana was a direct stepping stone to heroin addiction.
Appearing at the senate crime hearings, Anslinger backed the proposal to increase penalties for all drug offences. Tougher penalties were needed he said because behind every narcotics peddler there was a communist preparing to overthrow the government.
Even though there was no proof of a communist plot to dope up America, the country was in the grip of cold war hysteria and no politician could afford to look soft on communism.
Taking Anslingers advice president Truman signed the Boggs act which dramatically increased penalties for possession and ordered mandatory minimum sentences.
Anslinger was on a role; he agitated for even tougher laws and got President Eisenhower to press them through congress.
The narcotics control act placed marijuana in the same class as heroin and made it subject to the same penalties; in Missouri a second conviction for possession could get you life.
Setting his sights higher, Anslinger went to the UN and used Americas influence to persuade over 100 countries to consolidate their various drug agreements into a single inflexible convention outlawing marijuana around the world. This was the ultimate achievement in Anslingers relentless crusade t criminalize marijuana.
In leading the bureau he built up under five different presidents, Anslinger warned his successors of a drug revelation which he felt would be nothing less than an assault on the foundation of western civilisation.
The war on marijuana had now cost America $1.5 billion.
On campuses across the country a whole new generation discovered drugs. Rebellious and eager to experiment they found they liked altering their conciseness. Gradually the perception that marijuana was dangerous began to change, many students saw smoking grass as a rejection of establishment values, a way of declaring their independence.
The new commissioner of the federal bureau he had a problem to address it; he developed a campaign he thought would be believable to the younger generation. If you smoke marijuana you will become an unmotivated, disfunctional, loser!
Because so many were trying marijuana without any ill effects the public wanted to know more, and for the first time the federal government approved scientific testing. The result… marijuana makes the user happy, intoxicated and sleepy.
Whether the younger generation were seen as drugged up hippies or anti-war protesters, conservative America reacted with a fear and hatred which threatened to pull the country apart.
Manipulating the fears of the silent majority, Richard Nixon built his campaign for the presidency around an emotionally charged central issue, restoring law and order.
President Nixon was determined to be seen as the toughest crime fighter ever, but most crimes fell under state duress diction so Nixon wasn’t allowed to get involved; however was one area where the federal government did have power, drug crime.
Early in his first term Nixon launched operation intercept, a military style exorcise officially described as the countries largest peace-time search and seize operation. 2000 customs agents were deployed along the Mexican boarder their orders stop the weed. Although over 5 million American and Mexican citizens passed through the drag net, practically no marijuana was found, and after three weeks operation intercept was abandoned.
Now even more determined to appear tough on crime, Nixon poured federal money into training and equipping local police forces across America. Now most of the people serving time for drug crime were white, middle class, young people.
As middle class parents started to say ‘why is my kid in jail?’ more and more Americans started to realise that it wasn’t marijuana that’s the problem its marijuana law.
Support for reform of marijuana laws seemed to come from everywhere, even federal officials agreed that harsh penalties were not working.
Sensing the public’s mood congress passed a controlled substances act that eliminated mandatory sentences and reduced penalties for possession.
The war on marijuana had now spent $9 billion of American tax payer’s money.
Nixon wasn’t giving up; he enlisted TV personalities to send a strong moral message to all of America.
Repelled by the idea of softening any laws, Nixon maintained that until more was known about marijuana’s dangers the laws should not change, so he made millions of dollars available to find those dangers.
The presidential commission report on marijuana found, marijuana itself does not cause crime, current laws against grass led to selective prosecution, and the police were suspected of using these laws to arrest people with objectionable skin colour, hairstyles and politics.
The enormous cost of trying to enforce laws against marijuana overwhelmingly outweighed any value of these laws. The commission had conducted the most comprehensive and highly publicised study of marijuana ever done. Nixon was furious and tossed it in the bin without ever reading it.
Doing the exact opposite of what was recommended, Nixon declared an all out war on drugs, his primary weapon, the DEA, a new government agency which combines all of the existing government anti-drug agencies into a single, all-powerful, super agency. Employing more than 400 annalists and agents, the DEA had the authority to enter private homes without knocking and gather intelligence on any ordinary citizen.
Meanwhile smoking pot had become the in thing with middle class adults, sort of like having a martini at happy hour.
As smoking marijuana became increasingly mainstream pro-pot activists began organising support for decriminalisation.
A political activist named John st Claire became a symbol for the movement, he received a 10 year sentence for being in possession of 2 joints. The inspiration for the John Lennon song “ten for two”.
Consistent with the changing times the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan made possession of marijuana a minor offence, the equivalent to a parking ticket.
A year later in 1973 Oregon became the first state to decriminalise marijuana.
In 1974 with legal problems of his own president Nixon resigned from being president.
A study in Oregon, 4 years after decriminalisation, showed no rise in marijuana use, and a substantial saving in tax dollars formerly spent on law enforcement, by that time 10 other states had decriminalised marijuana.
Continuing Nixon’s war on drugs new president Gerald ford ordered the Mexican marijuana crops to be dusted.
But in the up-coming presidential election he found himself running against an unexpected opponent, Jimmy Carter, who was for the decriminalisation of marijuana.
The government abandoned it war on marijuana smokers, after having cost the states $76 billion.
In the 70’s marijuana seemed to be everywhere, through movies and television it had entered the popular culture. But, worried about teenage marijuana use, a number of concerned parents organised pressure groups to fight the new drug culture.
The president’s chief drug policy advisor was caught up in a scandal, involving cocaine use. As the press had a field day the president could no longer afford to appear soft on drugs, his proposal to decriminalise marijuana would die in congress.
As Regan became president it was the start of the ‘just say no’ approach to drugs.
Regan and all his successors made sure that the American public knew that they were clamping down on drugs, and that decriminalisation was no longer an option.
Between 1922 and 1998, Americans had spent $214.7billion on keeping dope of the USA and just as many people are smoking it today.
Doing this case study helped my investigation, seeing the way another country approached drugs in the past should be able to help our country either follow or not follow their example. Britain now should know not to do what America did where drugs our concerned; they spent more money and caused more grief trying to prevent the drug than the drug would have in the first place.
In my investigation I have found that a lot of people in our country our uninformed about cannabis and many people think it’s far more or far less dangerous than it actually is. Young people are still being misinformed about cannabis. I think the best thing to do is to tell youngsters the truth, rather than dress it up to look worse than it actually is, but still discourage it.
I also found that the majority of the British public support the legalisation of cannabis, where there are still people that do not, could these people be misinformed, or are they just a lot more sensible than the rest of the public.
In my opinion, legalising cannabis would be very beneficial as far as medicinal use is concerned. Legalisation for recreational use would have good and bad effects, it would be good as the supply coming to the UK would be pure and not cut with anything nasty, but it would be bad as smoking cannabis does make people increasingly lazy and we might just turn into a load of pot smoking slobs. But this has not been the case with countries who have taken the step to legalise the drug already.
But I think the most the most important point to make is that the public should be able to decide whether or not they smoke it, if smoking cannabis makes a person happy then the law shouldn’t get in their way. But people who do want to smoke it should respect the people who don’t, by not smoking around them. This is why there should be designated areas for smoking weed such as, coffee shops, certain bars, clubs and in your own home.
Hopefully if the government decide to legalise cannabis they do it soon, because in the meantime innocent people are being punished for easing their pain and just having a good time.