Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Another sensible voice

Yet another 'expert' has come out and recommended that cannabis is decriminalised.  (Full article can be read here on the Independent's website).

I wonder just how long it will be, how many experts it will take before a Government is brave enough to have an open discussion regarding this, taking into account the view of all of those people who really know what they are talking about and not just worrying about what the sensationalist fear mongering red tops will print.  You can see the headlines now "Dopey Dave wants to get your kids STONED".  It is the media in the UK that set the political agenda, politicians know they would be slated for even thinking about this, it would be the sort of act they could never live down.  In that sense I have every sympathy, but we shouldn't have our policy decisions made by a few people who are able to set the media agenda, decisions like this should be made with the consultation of scientists.

Even a quick look at the facts would show that alcohol and cigarettes are both worse drugs both socially and for ones health.  (It is the tobacco that is often mixed with cannabis that makes it almost as bad).  The only possible reason for these being legal is cultural, along with the fact that prohibition has been tried (in America in the 1930s) and it failed miserably.  The truth is prohibition of any drug doesn't work.  I could walk out of my door and buy almost anything I wanted without trying, the only thing it does is makes it illegal to produce and possess, therefore criminalising those who do use it and pushing the market towards criminal gangs.

I could go on all day about why I think drugs should be legalised but the main reason is I believe in free will.  We only know for certain that we live once, as such I don't think it should be down to other people to tell you what you can or cannot do as long as this doesn't negatively effect another living creature.  I would allow people to do drugs in their own home or licenced premises, although I would limit the amount one could purchase or possess.  The key to controlling the use of drugs though would be education, from an early age, so children know the harm that they can do and the risks they face taking them.  Education would be much better than just a "Drugs are bad, m'kay" attitude!  The main additional benefit which shouldn't be overlooked would be the fact that this would bring in a huge amount of tax revenues (from any direct taxation and bringing the income of those who produce it out of the hidden economy) and lower costs on the prohibition side.  Like I said I could go on all day, so I will stop here.

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