Pubdate: Wed, 25 Feb 2004
Source: Evening News (UK)
Copyright: 2004 Archant Regional
Author: M. J Sankey


WITH regard to the reclassification of cannabis.

So a great day has dawned and passed.  As yet there have been no riots and 
the fabric of society hasn't been rent asunder, so is anybody who smokes 
dope confused as to whether it is now legal or not?  I don't think so.

What they may find confusing is why it was postponed from June last year 
until two days after the vote on top-up fees and one day after a report 
that made Tony Blair appear purer than the driven snow.

So cannabis is now in the same league as Valium and anabolic steroids. Come 
on all you people with short-term memory loss - Valium and Librium plus the 
modern Prozac were found to be some of the most addictive drugs known to man.

So-called therapeutic doses were found to cause long term dependence with 
stories of people usually women taking years to stop using them. Then 
there's steroids used by inadequate people who wish to build their bodies 
into something they weren't intended to be and along the way including 
something colloquially called "Roid Rage", this has figured in several 
murders and associated violence.

I may be jumping the gun here, but I expect this to be offered as a 
mitigation in the defence of the person who shot those police officers on 
Boxing Day in Leeds.  None of those drugs have been reclassified 
upwards.  One wonders why.

To return to cannabis, we are told by talking heads, most if not all of 
whom have never smoked or eaten it, of the great harm it will do. In my 36 
years experience of it, I have found the only people it harms are those 
people who don't take it and wish to interfere in the lives of those who do.

Our laws have led it to being controlled by organised criminal gangs who 
care nothing about the quality and often adulterate it to increase their 
profits. It's almost as if this is what the Government wants, instead of 
legalisation which would stop this dead in its tracks and would also stop a 
lot of gun and people traffickers as well.  I doubt very much if it would 
lead to any great increase in usage in the long term.

It think the only confusion will be because it has been left to the 
individual police officer involved whether to arrest or warn.  There's a 
great deal of room for corruption here and I expect it to be changed 
eventually.  After all, it isn't left to individual officers whether or not 
to arrest people driving over the limit where alcohol is concerned, but 
just imagine if it was.

Also, as the use of cannabis is a lifestyle choice of the people involved 
then perhaps we should be treated as an ethnic minority just as people who 
choose to live in caravans rather than houses and call themselves travellers.

M.J. Sankey

Gentry Place Norwich
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom