Legalize the Green

January 12, 2014 7:19 pm

Since Nixon instigated the war on drugs in 1971, it has been a profound issue for governments across the world. There are many reasons against legalising certain drugs, the health risks, crime rate, and ethical concerns. However governments seem to overlook the potentially positive reasons for legalising drugs, in particular cannabis.
I know many who read this are going to imagine I’ve a glazed look in my eye and a doobie in my hand, and I have a penchant for Amsterdam but you will be sadly mistaken  as I’ve never touched cannabis myself. Regardless of this, I can say that if the British government followed in the footsteps of the likes of Amsterdan, Portugal, and even potentially New York, and took the bold move to decriminalise cannabis, they would see the positive effects outweigh the negative ones.
Most importantly, for a capitalist government who could do with a few extra pounds, revenue could be gained from the legal sale of cannabis. If it was legal to sell and trade within and between this country and others. Through the legal sale of cannabis within Britain, it is estimated that roughly between two and six billion pounds cold be collected through tax revenue, a hefty sum for a country with an economic climate such as ours. The fact of the matter is, we are wasting money on a war we simply cannot win.

Another important consequence would be the removal of non-violent criminals from prisons. Many of those convicted of drug spliffrelated crimes are just people who enjoy drugs. Not to condone the habit, many of these people are not people who are a risk to society, they are not people who are in need of locking up. Therefore, the money saved by not putting these people behind bars could be better spent catching the many murderers and rapists who do deserve to be locked up.
It is also important to compare the effect of smoking cannabis to the effect of drinking alcohol. Many people who drink too much alcohol become loud, violent, and disruptive. One only has to walk through any busy town on a Saturday night to see lads shouting and attacking bus shelters and girls throwing up down the sides of buildings to see the negative effects alcohol has on society. Alcohol costs British tax payers money in terms of the cost for the NHS, as doctors and nurses have to deal with countless cases of people who are ill after drinking too much. Alcohol abuse costs the NHS millions every year. Alcohol also causes deaths from drink driving, and can be a major contributing factor to violent crimes, including rape and murder. There are few people who would feel like going on a crime spree after smoking weed, and even fewer who would contemplate murder.
The quote from William F Buckley Jr, the conservative American author, rounds off my argument most appropriately “Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows. Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could”

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  • Ryan Morwood

    Great article with some genuine, thought provoking points. Maybe some day the government will see sense and just outright legalise it. Until then, we can only hope (and toke!)

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