Pubdate: Fri, 17 Aug 2001
Source: Otago Daily Times (New Zealand)
Copyright: Allied Press Limited, 2001
Author: Duncan Eddy


PROF ROBIN Taylor's response to Stephen McIntyre (6.8.01) shows that Prof 
Taylor misses the point of cannabis law reform entirely.

Prof Taylor claimed that ". . . the onus is on those who support the free 
use of cannabis to reassure us that the harmful effects on the lungs are 
somewhat different from those of tobacco". He obviously hasn't realised 
that any effect cannabis may have on the lungs doesn't justify the 
criminalisation and incarceration of otherwise law-abiding individuals. The 
damage which unnecessary criminalisation of cannabis users causes, vastly 
exceeds the negative effects of both responsible and irresponsible cannabis 

Prohibition hasn't stopped many hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders 
from diverse geographic and demographic communities from smoking the herb. 
It simply means that many who choose to smoke are deprived of State, 
community and family support, and young cannabis smokers are deprived of 
the ability to make informed judgements regarding their cannabis use. Harm 
minimisation, effective education, and better funded treatment providers 
are clearly a better option than the terrible cannabis policy we are 
currently burdened with. Cannabis law reform is both inevitable and necessary.

Duncan Eddy

City Rise