Friday, 19 October 2012

Peter Hitchens does not make sense over cannabis laws

Somehow it just does not make sense to punish victimless cannabis users or growers (for own use), and it certainly does not make sense to try to enforce a ban of growing what Mr Hitchens describes as "successful agricultural product in the UK today" at massive cost - billions of pounds every year - to the taxpayer.

Peter is correct, "Mental health is not a clearly measurable thing. ", especially by journalists, but I must ask - with him calling for more severe laws - why on earth would he want to send somebody to prison if they are suffering from mental illness whether or not they have used cannabis - if there is a risk of them hurting themselves or others (or history of it) then surely they need doctors, not policemen and prison officers.

And, for that matter - what sense in punishing any cannabis users unless they harm others - where is the justice in that?

What Peter Hitchens calls for just not make sense - in the name of Justice the law on cannabis need to be changed to stop the punishment of users that have done no harm and start giving them the same level of protection (consumer rights) as those that drink booze.

Pair lock horns over legalisation of cannabis
Oxford Mail, October 19 2012

FORMER drug smuggler Howard Marks and Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens locked horns last night to debate the legalisation of cannabis.

An audience of about 70 people were at Waterstones in Oxford to listen to each argument before firing questions at the pair.

Mr Marks, once called “the most sophisticated drug smuggler of all”, said: “Over two thirds of voters aged in their early 20s use cannabis. The war against drugs has failed to reduce supply and it has failed to reduce demand.”

He said this had fuelled the black market, allowing gangs to make vast sums of money and meant it was often mixed with potentially dangerous substances.

Mr Marks added: “The prohibition of cannabis is an extremely dangerous failure and should be dismantled as soon as possible.”

Arguing that drug laws should be stronger, Mr Hitchens, author of The War We Never Fought, said: “The most successful agricultural product in the UK today is cannabis, even though it is illegal. Mental health is not a clearly measurable thing.

“What we can say is that there is a powerful correlation between cannabis and mental illness.”

He added: “If we legalise a drug, it is fantastically difficult to close the door again.”

Voting at the end of the debate showed the audience was split in their view of the issue.

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