Legalisers of drugs are entitled to their own opinions - they are not entitled to their own facts!
We already know that legal alcohol has been an absolute disaster. In spite of the fact that the age of purchase is 18, children of all ages have been drinking and causing untold damage to their health. Young people” borrow” and falsify identification to enable them to buy alcohol for themselves. Others have older brothers, sisters, friends and acquaintances who buy for them. Why would this be any different in the case of cannabis? Drug dealers would continue to target under age children, and older siblings would supply their younger brothers or sisters.
Legalisation would mean more people would use. Around the world wherever and whenever penalties have been relaxed for illegal drugs, usage has risen. There would be more addicts to treat (research tells us that one in ten people will become addicted, one in six teens if they continue to use) and more mental illness costing the country millions of pounds.
If growing it at home were to be allowed, then it would be impossible to keep children away from the drug. How could we possibly ensure their safety? How many plants would be sanctioned? What strength of THC? How would strength be monitored? Skunk (80% of the UK market now) has average THC content 16% compared with old herbal cannabis with 1-2%, virtually unobtainable now. The other 20% is hash (resin) with average 6% THC.
Britain, along with around 200 other countries, has signed various International Treaties that ban drugs. There would have to be a change in International law.
To many children the word legalisation equals “safe”! Surely the Government would not do this if it in any way caused harm.
Are we to accept the smoking of cannabis in public? Passive smoking occurs. Prohibition of tobacco smoking in public buildings etc has seen a reduction to about 20% of the population. Prohibition of drugs has resulted in only 2.2% of the UK public regularly using drugs. Drug use is not the norm.
Once the genie is out of the bottle it would be almost impossible to put it back! We have enough misery and tragedy caused by our 2 legal drugs – tobacco and alcohol, why add another? It doesn’t make sense.
Drugs will not be free! Users and addicts will still have to buy their drugs. Many users are unemployable as cannabis has damaged them – theft and muggings would still continue and acquisitive crime would rise.
Drivers under the influence of cannabis are not fit to drive for at least 24 hours after a joint, nor of course would airline pilots.
Dealers would not become upright citizens overnight. They would simply turn to smuggling drugs and undercut the price that people could buy from legal outlets. We have seen this both with cigarettes and alcohol. Huge cartels are still smuggling in vast amounts of sub-standard alcohol and tobacco which people buy because it is cheaper. The mafia didn’t disband after prohibition of alcohol in the States so why should any other cartel?
Young people will no longer be brought before the courts, which in many cases is the only way in which they are able to obtain the help and support they need. They will no longer be steered into rehab and treatment. Who will they turn to for help? All these services cost vast amounts of money. No amount of money can rebuild a brain which has been irreparably damaged by cannabis use.
Sir Robin Murray, Professor of psychiatric research at the Institute of Psychiatry in London says in the Independent 24th January 2015
studies show that if the risk of schizophrenia for the general population is about one per cent, the evidence is that, if you take ordinary cannabis, it is two per cent; if you smoke regularly you might push it up to four per cent; and if you smoke 'skunk' every day you push it up to eight per cent.
Libertarians say that we can do what we like with our bodies. That is fine as long as it doesn’t affect others. But it always does! Drug users cause car accidents, crimes are committed to get money to buy drugs, some users become violent and attack and even kill other people. Addicts need treatment at public expense, children have a right to a drug-free pregnancy. Employers will suffer from unreliability, poor workmanship and lost production. With liberty must come responsibility, liberty is too often confused with license.
Drugs are illegal because they are dangerous, not dangerous because they are illegal. The illegality of drugs helps to deter about 60% of children.
We must ask, ‘Is the chemical safe’? ‘Is the chemical beneficial to the majority of people’? If the answer to both is ‘No’ then there are no grounds for legalisation.