Pubdate: Tue, 31 Jul 2001
Source: East Anglian Daily Times (UK)
Copyright: 2001 Eastern Counties Newspapers Group Ltd
Author: Kenneth Toye


Sir, Your front page of Tuesday, July 10, (Musician's fury over police 
cannabis raid) tells the story of a friend of mine, John Ramirez, found in 
possession of cannabis.

This drug is under discussion countrywide and is of interest to the whole 

Should it be legalised? Most of the experts on drug abuse seem to think so.

Should it be subject to non-tolerance a la Ann Widdecombe? But some of her 
colleagues admitted to trying a joint or two as students.

Here, in our county town, we have a case in point. In Lambeth, the police 
would have not have wasted resources on such a case.

Here the police officers searched the whole house, finding one very small 
amount of cannabis.

We cannot blame the police for they are the servants of the people and we, 
or our representatives, have decided that this drug is dangerous and have 
banned it.

Many of your readers, far more expert than I on the qualities of the drug, 
will write to you. Allow me to examine the world "dangerous" and, in so 
doing, demonstrate a certain hypocrisy in our society.

Alcohol and cigarettes are potentially far more dangerous than cannabis and 
yet they seem to be judged as socially acceptable.

A reasonable amount of alcohol does no harm. I am not so sure about 
cigarettes. The police are called into action only when alcohol causes 
danger to others, while cigarettes virtually escape the attention of our 

Alcohol kills, as do cigarettes, and we quite rightly do our best to 
control their use. Why do we not control the use of cannabis in the same way?

Our tax chest could benefit. Drug dealers would lose some income. Perfectly 
good, ordinary folk, including children, Shadow Cabinet ministers and John 
Ramirez would not be treated as criminals.

What we do the people of Suffolk think? Perhaps the Human Rights Act will 
have a say?

Thank you for your objective reporting of the case.

KENNETH TOYE, Belle Vue Road, Ipswich
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