Image credit: Walesonline.co.uk
I see lots of exciting things happening over the pond in North America when it comes to doing the sensible thing and legalising marijuana. Even in South America and parts of Europe I'm seeing a lot of positivity from both the governments and people in terms of moving forward with some kind of plan on relaxing laws on marijuana.
Unfortunately, over here in UK we have an old fashioned government who are stuck in their ways. They have an overwhelming desire to keep cannabis illegal and its many benefits hidden away in exchange for over exaggerated 'scientific evidence'.
So not for the first time have the UK public decided to take matters into their own hands. A petition on the official UK Government and Parliament website has been raised titled 'Make the production, sale and use of cannabis legal. '. It comes as no surprise that there have been over 200,000 signatures as of September 2015. That's a number that the government can't afford to ignore so Parliament will debate this petition on 12 October 2015. You'll be able to watch online at parliamentlive.tv
Great, everything seems positive about that, right? Well, you would be forgiven for thinking so. However, the government have stubbornly already replied to this petition with the below response. I have added my thoughts in GREEN:
Substantial scientific evidence shows cannabis is a harmful drug that can damage human health. (WHERE is this evidence, this HAS to be a minority of the scientific evidence that is available or is seriously out-dated from the days when the government used to LIE about the 'negatives' of marijuana. And what about all the POSITIVE evidence - there is no mention of that!) There are no plans to legalise cannabis as it would not address the harm to individuals and communities. (You mean apart from taking drugs OFF the streets and the money OFF the drug dealers and into the hands of the government and legit businesses which could benefit the COMMUNITY!)
The latest evidence from the independent Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs is that the use of cannabis is a significant public health issue (Is this the same report that states: "Smoking cannabis generally produces feelings of relaxation sometimes accompanied with social withdrawal; but, unlike alcohol, it does not appear to cause disinhibition, an increase in risk-taking behaviour or aggression." and "The effects of cannabis on the heart and blood vessels are similar to the effects of moderate exercise and do not constitute a risk in healthy adolescents or adults."
Cannabis can unquestionably cause harm to individuals and society. (I see there are no examples here?! I'm struggling to think of any except from the current crime that happens due to cannabis being illegal) Legalisation of cannabis would not eliminate the crime committed by the illicit trade, nor would it address the harms associated with drug dependence and the misery that this can cause to families. (Yes it would not eliminate the crime committed by the illicit trade but IT WILL REDUCE IT massively! The people buy from drug dealers as we cannot buy from a store. If there is a store our money would instantly stop going to the criminals. Cannabis has the lowest form of drug dependence and in fact scientific evidence states that SUGAR is much more addictive than cannabis and even most drugs.)
Legalisation would also send the wrong message to the vast majority of people who do not take drugs, especially young and vulnerable people, with the potential grave risk of increased misuse of drugs. (What message is that, that we're taking the money off the drug dealers and into the hands of the community? We're taking the drugs off the streets and into a safe environment where you know exactly what you're buying. I know many people who don't smoke marijuana but feel that it should be legalised. The older generations that have been lied to are dying out and I'm looking forward to seeing the younger generations push into the legal system. Lies should not be allowed to be circulated from people in power to the general public. Furthermore, the majority of cannabis users believe that cannabis SHOULD NOT be available for anybody under the age of 18 years.)
Despite the potential opportunity offered by legalisation to raise revenue through taxation, there would be costs in relation to administrative, compliance and law enforcement activities, as well as the wider costs of drug prevention and health services. (LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES they say! Hah, because that wouldn't decrease massively?! Of course costs are involved but IT IS BLATANT that the costs involved would be MUCH LOWER and huge profits WILL BE MADE. Look to America for examples of this actually HAPPENING!)
The UK's approach on drugs remains clear: we must prevent drug use in our communities; help dependent individuals through treatment and wider recovery support; while ensuring law enforcement protects society by stopping the supply and tackling the organised crime that is associated with the drugs trade. The Government will build on the Drugs Strategy by continuing to take a balanced and coherent approach to address the evolving challenges posed. (Where is the balanced and coherent approach? I don't see you telling us about all the POSITIVES that marijuana legalisation can bring. All I see is a WAR AGAINST CANNABIS. I see stubbornness. I see NEGATIVES NEGATIVES NEGATIVES most of which are taken out of proportion)
There are positive signs that the Government’s approach is working: there has been a long term downward trend in drug use over the last decade, and more people are recovering from their dependency now than in 2009/10. The number of adults aged 16-59 using cannabis in the last year in England and Wales has declined over the last decade from 9.6% to 6.7%, with cannabis use amongst young adults aged 16-24 and young people aged 11-15 following a similar pattern. (This doesn't mean to say that the Government's approach is correct. These are just figures of a battle against a purely innocent piece of nature.)
In summary I truly believe that the UK Government in particular have a very out-dated opinion on marijuana and I just can't understand why they are so against something that can assist both medically, in construction, in foods & drink and in many other industries. It goes to show that the UK government is living in the past and I personally can't wait for a future with open minded leaders who I can actually trust.
You can sign the petition below:
Paul - smokingcannabis.com
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