I will openly hold my hands up and say that in my youth I dabbled in Cannabis, as did many other teenagers my age. I took my first toke at 14 and by 16 was smoking it, not on a regular basis but quite often. At that age I had learned about all the potential risks in school and was 100% educated on the decision I was making. There are many reasons I chose to do so which I will now explain.
When I was 14 I tried it for a laugh but I was already on track to anxiety and depression which was full blown by the age of 15. The cannabis would relieve these symptoms and leave me feeling relaxed and happy. I was never 'addicted' or a pot head but I did enjoy a smoke with my friends occasionally. By the time I was 16 I was doing it more often than ever however looking back I have no regrets and if it was legal I have no shame in saying that I would continue to smoke it today.
I stopped smoking when I got accepted to a catholic 6th form, I myself am not religious however I knew it would involve in instant expulsion if I was caught with it (I would never do it in school but a criminal record would have been frowned upon greatly). I couldn't risk my future.
I feel the government is scaremongering us into believing 'drugs are bad and wrong' however this isn't entirely the case, although I am sure people who take drugs will probably be able to come up with reasons why their drug of choice is good I have never taken anything other than cannabis and have no reason or want to. Cannabis is a soft drug and I feel the benefits outweigh the negatives, and the negatives don't actually seem that bad once you get into it.
"Cannabis is a gateway drug" False! Although the majority of people on hard drugs started with cannabis, the majority of cannabis smokers will never go onto take harder substances. In fact I believe the drug dealers are the gateways. If you are visiting a dealer to pick up a soft, unaddictive and relatively cheap drug it is in the sellers best interest to get you hooked on harder drugs which you will want to take regularly, with plenty of persuasion teenagers (and also adult) are convinced to try harder substances. Some teens may also feel pressurised into taking them. Meeting up with strangers in often rough areas can also be dangerous. If Cannabis was easily accessible and safe to buy you would cut down on the amount of people getting onto harder drugs and remove danger from dealers.
"Cannabis is addictive" False! Cannabis isn't actually addictive, it is a habit and in that respect it is less addictive than caffeine. Also, cigarettes are highly addictive and they are still legal. Whether a substance is addictive or not should not decide whether it is legal or not.
"Cannabis causes lung cancer" False! Although I admit it probably doesn't do your lungs much good but not enough for serious damage, tobacco causes lung cancer which is smoked with the weed. Due to the fact that cannabis is illegal it is hard to do the necessary tests on it. This is another reason to legalise it, to know 100% what we are dealing with.
"Legalisation would increase crime" False! In a way it would reduce crime. You would cut back on 'gang wars' over whose selling where and people wouldn't be committing crime such as theft in order to pay for the habit. If it was legal it is likely the price would be lower. The economy would also benefit as, like on cigarettes and alcohol, you could add tax.
If legalised you could monitor what it is cut with. For those of you not 'down with the kids' this is basically what it is mixed with to bulk it out and make it go further, thus making the dealers more money. Many people say home grown is safer as it is not mixed with anything however this is illegal and would receive you a higher sentence if caught. The reason it is seen as safer is that it isn't mixed with anything, therefore if legalised it wouldn't need to be mixed with anything and would be potentially less harmful.
Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug in Britain which does show that even if it is illegal it is still popular and used and isn't on its way out anytime soon. The sentence is up to 5 years in prison just for possession which I feel is a bit harsh however the likely hood that you would ever serve that with the justice system in our country is very very slim. If it was legalised it would leave police and the authorities to focus on more serious and dangerous crimes.
When used in moderation the drug is no more dangerous than cigarettes or alcohol and just like alcohol could be used responsibly.
There have been no deaths caused by cannabis and instead it:
-Cures and prevents Alzheimer's and glaucoma
-Helps relieve stress, depression and anxiety
-Slows down tumour growth
-Helps relieve pain for chemo/radiation therapy patients
-Helps migraines, headaches, asthma, strokes, Parkinson's, alcoholism and insomnia.
This is why I feel cannabis should be legalised.
I have never tried and so am completely unbiased in that regard, in my opinion its a case of each to their own and do what you wanna do, as long as it doesn't harm anyone. In moderation, as with all things, I see this drug as being no worse than drink to be honest. And I do feel that upon legalization the black market for this drug would be wiped out overnight. The demand for the drug I feel is predominantly heightened by its illicitness. Remove that and you also remove some of the appeal, this in turn would also reduce the street value and so would solve the ever growing issue regarding suppliers, excessive prices and the other criminal activities that users could resort to. The other benefit of legalizing the drug is that it would save money in reducing the excessive amount of police time that is currently spent investigating suspected cannabis farms!
I personally would have no problem in this drug being legalized, and could only see the benefits!
I like many others have experienced smoking cannabis, in my youth of course and purely for recreational reasons. Those days are long gone but here are my views on it.
For recreational use I think that it does much less harm than drinking, how many fights have you seen break out outside a pub due to smoking pot? Depending on how it is smoked however does yield the same health issues as smoking cigarettes.
If people are using resin there could be all sorts of substances added to it. Home grown I feel is safer, but of course I am NOT condoning it at all, it is after all illegal.
Now for medicinal use, cannabis oil and juice has be scientifically stated to benefit and even cure many diseases including cancer. I cannot of course corroborate these findings but I would certainly not dismiss them. You only have to do a little google research to see the studies that have been done. There are also many videos on youtube. Comparing it to the amount of drugs on the market that actually do more harm than good while causing more symptoms needing more drugs, it could as a medicinal *herb* have a place in medicine.
The issue here however is that we are talking about a 6000 year old plant, not something that you could put a patent on so of no use to the pharmaceutical companies. If its properties were harnessed and put into a nice little pill then in my opinion it would also contain other substances that would perhaps damage its effect to cure or benefit, in other words some things should be left as natural as possible.
For my personal health if I were to get cancer I would try hemp oil before subjecting myself to chemotherapy and radiation even if I had to go to a country where it is legal to do so.
At this point in my life I am facing possible MS, I am in pain most of the time as well has dizzy, feeling sick, muscle cramps and a host of other symptoms. I have read that cannabis helps with MS symptoms, if I do have MS then it is a shame that I would not be able to alleviate some of those symptoms without breaking the law.
Should it be legal? In my opinion yes.
Will it ever be? Probably not
First of all, Cannabis is a medical drug; it has healing properties. You don't see that in cigarettes, right? Plus how many deaths a year does smoking cause? Thousands? Tens of thousands?
And how many deaths a year does Cannabis cause? Zero. There have been no recorded deaths from this substance.
Plus people get put away in jail for years just for smoking a spliff. That's just wrong.
I suffer from a stress and panic disorder and I find that it really helps calm me down when I get riled up. It's a drug which chills you out and temporarily makes you a more relaxed person.
However, this does not mean you can smoke it all the time because that can be dangerous. Depending on how strong the type your smoking is, depends how much it will take to damage you; because for example, 10 spliffs a day is gonna come back at you. It's a recreational drug which should be used occasionally. And like Shrooms, you gotta know your types. Types like Skunk are really strong and should be avoided.
Now comes the argument of legalisation; legalisation comes with it's own benefits and downfalls.
For example, it cannabis becomes legal, cannabis dealing and drug wars over this will cease to exist. Because a lot of people die because of cannabis being illegally traded and if it became legal, the deaths would stop.
However, legalisation does come with it's own disadvantages. There's a lot of money in the drug market, and the government likes money. So if it became legal, the government will most probably start producing it's own types but instead of growing it naturally, industry will pump more chemicals into the drug like any of the food/drink you buy today.
Another disadvantage would be who smokes it, kids can't go round smoking this stuff so an age limit would be best.
They should legalise it and put an age limit just like cigarettes because it will be wrong for kids to get their hands on this.
It is already proven that cannabis is no worse a drug than alcohol or cigarettes, so why should it be illegal when these are widely available to buy?
The cost to the public through inconsistent and harsh punishment of people charged with cannabis related offences is also huge. Most of these cases get dropped, meaning time and resources have been wasted when they could have been used more effectivey somewhere else. Shouldn't the police be focussed on dealing with other crimes rather than having to arrest people who have done nothing other than use recreational cannabis?
Another issue is public safety. The Government say that cannabis is a risk to health, but by making it illegal, people have to buy it from drug dealers rather than licensed shops, creating a bigger risk to health as there is no control over what the product will actually contain. Therefore it would be better that cannabis was legalised so that people knew what they were buying and the risks could be minimised.
It makes no sense to keep cannabis as illegal. People are just going to use it regardless of its legality anyway.
Officials could not be more blind when it comes to something as timid as Mary Jane. The fact that any mention of legalisation, decriminalisation or even lowering the class of the drug - is ignored. Brushed away as an irrelevant issue, a stoner's complaint, a bunch of hippies preaching nonsense. Why? It's not a pressing matter.. at least not one thats causing problems. Fines and convictions make for a steady income and an appearance of diligent policing. However, when an official employee (professor Nutt in this case) comes forward with new scientific evidence detailing that cannabis is in fact far less dangerous a drug than others it shares a class with and states that it is less addictive and damaging than current legal drugs (Alcohol & Tobacco), the guy gets sacked. Fired by the home secretary for doing his job. The whole situation was baffling until you take into account all the reluctant actions of those involved. They underestimate the people and their intelligence, for the majority of people who are in the know about cannabis, see the true reasons as to why it is illegal, tax. With a suitable climate (or easily mimicked environment) the cannabis plant can be grown in greenhouses or even back gardens. If the government can find a way to get a little slice of the action, then it would be legal in no time, with a rapid switch in mindset, claiming to believe in its medicinal properties. In the past, the government sent out propaganda messages about the dangers of 'reefer', with consequences of 'Murder, Insanity, Death!' the kind of fear mongering that is still present in todays media.
Whilst the dismissal of Professor Nutt was made public and scorned upon by the papers, the mans evidence was simply forgotten - no questioning the relation to other drugs that people consume on a daily basis. The excursions of violent alcoholics going to court for GBH, public nuisance, vandalism, are not reported on, or at least not discussed in a mannor that befits the situation. The media sees binge drinking as a trend for youngsters, the 24 hour pub licensing as justice for the public. They glorify celebrities who stagger out of night clubs, cigarette in hand, bottle in the other and no one bats an eyelid. The amount of alcohol related crimes is staggering, as are its trends (both men & women are now consuming more alcohol than ever before). Any article relating to cannabis will typically show a hooded youth with a knife, a couple of balaclava donning men wielding machine guns in a warehouse packed with weed, or worse - the advice line FRANK who aired a commercial which saw a man in his 20's smoke a joint, conjure up about 20 different feelings and personalities of himself and end up loosing his mind. Again, the propaganda of the so called insanity drug. The media can shape the opinions of those naive and gullible enough to believe almost anything feasible. Redundant arguments abound, with the claims of mob violence and suffering - an argument that could be reasoned with by simply saying "If it was legal, there would be no gangs to partake in such violence". So why is it that the public can smoke tobacco, a drug that is clearly taking its toll on the health services with respiratory and cancerous illnesses, drink copious amounts of alcohol geting themselves into fist fights and comas.. but when someone tries to grow one little plant to ease a headache, get a buzz with no hangover effect, the police storm the door, you're handed a hefty fine and labelled a waste to society? Again though, one could argue, "why add yet another drug problem into society?"
Something I have personally witnessed in various discussions, is that the majority of people over 45, see marijuana as a dangerous 'gateway' drug that leads to harder drugs such as cocaine or heroin, the kind of substance abuse that kills and tears lives apart. No leeway is left for reason or logic. Of course its not all elderly people, some like my grandfather can see the benefits as well as the problems legalised drugs can bring. Young people however, don't do themselves justice either, with adolescents still in education scouting for drugs to get reputations and look 'cool' by breaking the law. When the age restriction on smoking was 16, teens would smoke until the day of their 16th birthday, only to find it wasn't so cool anymore. The same goes for cannabis, delusional youths get it into their heads that drugs are awesome since they're 1. illegal and 2. endorsed by the celebrities publicised, past and present. Frankly, I believe that people who have no experience with the drug (used for recreation or bearing witness to users) can have no viable opinion on the matter. Humans have sought the hemp plant for thousands of years, only now people are telling others what to do, when to do it and basically how to live. The people of Holland have had to put up with drug/sex tourists, holidaying for the activities ilegal in their own country. The Netherlands don't have youth running rampant, high on drugs, nor do they have high records of the apparent narcotic side effects and related medical issues for long term use. So who is to say that the use of cannabis wouldn't be a declining activity after legalisation?
College was, as ever, the location for my first encounter with the drug. Peer pressure not being an issue with true friends, I was open minded and saw it as a timid experience worth trying out. First impressions were that it had an impact unlike that of a standard cigarette, smelled different and generally made you feel a bit 'foggy', not unpleasant, just supremely chilled and of course, the fabled 'munchies' followed. No hallucinations, No side effects, No addiction, No physical or mental harm. It became a social treat to take part in on special occasions or after intense revision/work. It had the same principle as a sip of whisky after the GCSE exams. With some people, the effects vary and in such cases, the sensible thing to do would be to stop taking it - but don't claim its the same for everyone because 1 person had a bad trip. One need only look at the statistics to see that it has claimed little associated deaths compared to that of legal drugs. There are however several positive claims going around that it can be used for glaucoma, migraines and even in treatment for cancer patients (questionable). So a lot of its pros are that it can act as a tablet of paracetamol but with noticeable change, or even as stress relief medicine. Its also taken with tobacco - to make the 8th last longer - which ties into the trouble of addiction, although some people acquire vaporisers.
So it comes down to the following questions:
- Does the UK need another recreational but less harmful drug right now alongside tobacco & alcohol?
- Will the rest of Europe follow suit in legalisation so's not to suffer unwanted tourism?
- Could the government, media & public do a u-turn in opinion?
The answer to those 3 questions is, unfortunately, No.
My view on this is quite short,
People choose whether to drink or not or smoke tobacco or not, with proper investment the negative properties of cannabis could be easily reduced, alcohol is one of the worst things in this country purely for the fact it is legal to slowly kill yourself but on top of that it costs the tax payers millions each year because of the amount of drunken injuries, Not to mention violence, unprotected sex and the rest.
I have used cannabis when I worked late shifts, I would come home wired from work not wanting alcohol to relax me and not much else working, having a single spliff would unwind me and allow me to relax and get a good night's sleep, but my argument is purely pro-choice my body my rules the fact that it is illegal is giving criminal records to thousands of people no-more in the wrong in my eyes then drinking before they turn 18 and to be fair most of us have done it.
On top of that Cannabis being illegal is making it extremely profitable for drug gangs, if it was taxed, controlled and legalised it would be a step towards taking power away from true criminals, getting more money into the economy and freeing up alot more police time to tackle true issues.
Feel free to make a decision for yourself when it comes to this issue but I ask respectfully to allow other people to do the same, no one person should decide what is best and if you look hard at the scientific facts its logical to invest, develop and legalise cannabis.
It's strange with this topic that people who have never tried it are so quick to condemn it, and a few review's i've read one in particular she said after she stopped smoking week she had alot of side-effects really wanted to ask was she like that before because it seems like psychosomatic.
The problems that arise from cannabis use are not proven! and aren't that common I think the hype has alot of people using cannabis as a scape goat.
If I can legally drink a bottle of vodka a day for the rest of my life why shouldn't I be allowed to have a spliff after work, Legal or not I accept the consequences of my actions and will continue to use it the way I do.
As a 21 year old student, I am not unaware of the use of cannabis or the frequency of such. Being a psychology student as well, I am not unaware of the effects that it can cause! In the interests of presenting a balanced view, I'm going to split this review into sections - something I don't normally take the time to do, but on this topic I believe that being well informed leads to the best decisions, whichever way you swing.
--Cannabis; an overview--
Cannabis, unlike many other drugs, is herbal and comes from a plant. It's similar to tobacco in that it's smoked, but can also be eaten (as long as it's baked). The key ingredient in cannabis is THC, a fast acting chemical that reacts with your brain chemistry and causes feelings of euphoria and hunger but on the flipside, anxiety and paranoia. There is some indication to suggest that those with mental health disorders such as schizotypal disorders and anxiety disorders lack or have an abundance of chemicals in their brain - and thus taking anything that affects your brain chemistry can be harmful. There are no recorded deaths from smoking cannabis directly but if you smoke it regularly, it can increase the likelihood of mental health disturbances (something I will talk about later).
Common names for cannabis include weed, grass, M.J., marijuana, chronic*, hash*, skunk*, pot, ganja, reefe. The * names are actually types of cannabis and are smoked or prepared in a different way to 'regular' cannabis.
--Cannabis and (mental) health--
As a psychologist, mental health has always interested me and the effects of cannabis on it are as hotly contested in psychology circles as they are in the real world. Most articles or papers will say that cannabis has a negative AND lasting effect on mental health after *prolonged* use, which is where many campaigners for the legalisation of cannabis find their ground. This implies that cannabis in moderation doesn't have as many if any negative side effects that last after a few days. And in my limited experience, that much is true. A study by Scherrer et al (2009) showed that it is the level and frequency of cannabis taken that affects the probability of having a lasting negative effect. However this is just one study and there are hundreds more out there that support and criticise these findings.
Cannabis is used in some countries as a method of pain relief for the chronically and terminally ill. Whilst it's not a miracle cure, it does have pain relieving benefits and can mark the start of a massive improvement in the quality of the lives of those who suffer. It's also being trialed as a treatment for anorexia with mixed success - it appears to work in some people in inducing the feeling of hunger but for others, has no effect.
--The legal side of things--
Legally, in the UK you cannot buy cannabis or sell it. You can grow a cannabis plant as long as you don't take anything off the plant and/or take it out of the ground. Obviously, having 100 cannabis plants lined up in your window is going to arouse suspicion and you'll probably get raided for intent to supply. If you want to go down that road for personal use, I'd initially say don't do it but if you really want to, know the law and stay within it.
Possession of cannabis works on the axis of intent to supply. If you get pulled over, stopped and searched and are found to have a small amount of cannabis on you, it'll be confiscated and if it's your first offence you'll be warned for it. If it's more than your first offence, you may receive a harsher punishment. Intent to supply can be interpreted as anything over more than one spliff, or if you're on property where it's likely that you'll be able to sell it (i.e. a school). Schools and colleges will also have their own harsher internal consequences for getting caught. Repeat possessions and offences will likely result in an arrest and a criminal record.
--My experiences of cannabis--
Before I came to uni in 2010, I'd never even seen a spliff in real life and certainly never smoked weed. My flatmates in first year occasionally smoked it but never let me try any as I've always been quite open about my anxiety and depression around them. I personally decided that whilst I didn't mind them smoking, I didn't want to partake myself in an environment where I couldn't control every aspect of it so I didn't try it until a year or so later, in my back garden at gone midnight, with my boyfriend. Initially I didn't think much of it as I never had any effect but this was because I was useless at inhaling smoke (having never smoked anything before in my life) and just needed to learn how to toke properly. Sadly, this isn't a problem any more! In summer last year I went to Amsterdam and had a somewhat mixed experience which was 80% positive, but 20% negative. The positive was that I had an amazing time and spent most of the holiday happier than I've ever been before in my life. The world does really change when you smoke it if you're sensible. Things become brighter and music became more tuneful.
However, if you buy a bag of weed that's too strong for your poor delicate mind to handle, you'll probably end up like me, sitting in a crepe cafe wondering if all the loud chattering German people around are plotting to kill you. Uhm... Lets just say the walk back after that experience was an interesting one! The other negative side of cannabis is that smoking it regularly changes you. I smoke about a joint every two months if that and so it doesn't really change my personality, however I can tell when my boyfriend has been smoking a joint a day for a fortnight as he becomes a rude, thoughtless, insecure, sensitive idiot. Whilst we argue over small things occasionally, when he's smoked too much the arguments always become overly personal and massively out of proportion. It normally ends up with us both crying and incredibly upset with each other and it's never good. Thankfully, it's only happened twice and after the second time he's appeared to have learnt his lesson. I don't mind him smoking occasionally, but he is not someone who can smoke two spliffs a day every day and come out unchanged - and he knows that.
My boyfriend has friends who will smoke constantly if they have access to it. Having met them, I can say that they are nice people (and not your stereotypical 'druggies') but it's just too much in my mind. Right now they're fine but in ten years time I'm willing to put money on them not being so ay-ok. It bothers me a little bit that his friends smoke so much as as mentioned before, he can very quickly get pulled into the culture of smoking daily and it's not good for anyone. But each to their own, and I trust my boyfriend to be sensible and know when to stop.
I like cannabis for two main reasons - it's cheaper than alcohol, and it's effects are not as harmful to me personally. When I drink I spend about £25 and I normally end up crying in a corner, harming myself or throwing up. When I smoke weed, I spend about £15 (which lasts me a week), get very giggly, eat a lot and fall asleep. Win!
--Can cannabis be a gateway drug? Is it addictive?--
This is a topic I admittedly don't know a lot about and don't really have an opinion on. I think if you're open to trying cannabis then you may be more open to trying other drugs, but on the whole smoking weed is not going to make you go OMG I need some crack right now!!11!11. However the culture of smoking cannabis may lend itself to progression onto harder drugs through the sheer fact that you're coming into contact with drug dealers and the like and most users are young people who want to experiment. As for addiction, cannabis itself is not addictive in anyway, but the effects of it can be. It's important to note that distinction I think - Heroin is an addictive substance and as a result has massive withdrawal effects. Even alcohol is addictive in the sense that going cold turkey if you're an alcoholic is an unpleasant and painful experience. Cannabis doesn't have this - but people can become preoccupied with the beautiful, exhilarating world they see through it's influence or the closeness to their friends, or even the physical effect of hunger they get.
--My stance: Should cannabis be legalised?--
In my opinion, cannabis should be legalised but in an efficient and effective manner. The Netherlands is a great role model for this; and if we were to legalise it I would welcome an approach such as theirs. There are strict controls on who can and can't buy cannabis and limits per day as to how much you can buy. This will never stop people who want to go overboard with it but after a year or so the novelty of it would wear off for most people and it would be an occasional social situation, not a covert operation in a park at night. By properly informing people of the negative effects of cannabis we could give people the information they need to make a choice.
However, Britain currently could not support a legalisation of cannabis as our mental health services are dire already and our whole ethos as a country is wrong. Basically, I think it should be legalised, but it would be practically impossible to do and would be hugely detrimental to a handful of people if it was so readily available.
The simple answer to the question is NO, I have seen plenty of cannabis related issues and I think it underestimated how dangerous this drug can be.
First of I think cannabis would be ok if people used it occasionally and I cant really see any problem with that. However anyone I know that uses it does not use it occasionally, they have it most days and cant seem to function properly if they have not had a spliff.
For me the main problem with cannabis is it causes people to lose their aspirations, going back to my ex he was a smart person who could of done well, he had a middle class christian upbringing and went to a good school, however at the age of 14 he started smoking cannabis, by 16 he was using it daily. He failed to even turn up to most of his GCSE exams because he was smoking weed and really messed up any opportunity he got. After leaving school with few qualifications he continued to smoke weed, he was kicked out of three collages for smoking cannabis on the premises and then spent his days doing nothing but getting stoned. He did have the odd job but non of them lasted long.
Cannabis brought him into contact with other drugs and other drug users who took anything from a bit of weed to heroin. These people made the whole situation seem ok because they also did nothing all day everyday, they were in and out of prison and really didn't care about their lives.
I met my ex when I was 15 and he was 19, I was going through a rebellious stage and the idea of an older boyfriend appealed to me. At the time he was selling cannabis to pay for his own habit, being young and stupid I didn't care at first he was nice to me and treated me well however after about 9 months things started to change. He became inpatient and unreasonable, if he couldn't get hold of any weed he would go mad and take his anger out on me. The relationship went down hill fast, I felt like cannabis came before me and I'm sure it contributed to a lot of his anger problems. The issue wasn't when he was smoking weed it was when he couldn't get his hands on any.
He was then caught selling cannabis and went to prison for 3 months I waited for him because I loved him and thought that he would of learnt a lesson and things would be different. When he came out of prison he tried to quit cannabis but couldn't. Cannabis isn't physically addictive but it is mentally, he became stressed and agitated when he couldn't smoke it, he also couldn't sleep or concentrate on anything. After a few days he was back smoking weed.
We went out with each other for 2.5 years and then I left him because he was 22 and had no job, no money and no prospects in life, he was living in a hostel for homeless people and cannabis was still the most important thing in his life. I was going to university and had a job and a couple of grand saved up, I finally realised that he was doing me no good and was an irrational, angry young man.
I think cannabis does have a lot of negative effects, we already have a lot of young people in this country who just don't want to work, I think if cannabis was legal it would only add to the problem.
Over the 2.5 years I spent with my ex I witnessed some pretty disturbing things that were all drug related. I'm not saying everyone that smokes weed acts like this but there are a lot who do and I think if it was easily available the problems would be a lot worse.
@ My opinion @
When it comes to cannabis, i am against taking it, but others use it like cigarettes. Now lets remember cigarettes are a drug which have drug like effects on those who use them BUT: cannabis has stronger effects of a "high" that cigarettes don't have - they are relaxing like cigarettes but would leave you incoherent on a strong dose, and the chemicals have a different effect on the mind, not to mention slowing it down, like cigarettes but again, its stronger.
I would never take cannabis and i am glad it is illegal, so everyone else cant take it. Thats not me being selfish because think of the addictions and health problems that occur from cannabis? This costs the NHS money which comes out of the pocket of people who don't take cannabis too - so it would financially affect the people who don't smoke it, by costing the taxpayer more money. If cannabis is illegal, people will still take it but it will be hard to get a hold of, and people would be reluctant to try it because people are scared of the law, or the health effects. If you legalise it, it will be freely available to everyone, and more and more people will try it, putting a bigger strain on the NHS and generally making people unhealthy just because its suddenly legal, and lots of people would then think "now id like to try it, there are no legal consequences"
I see why some people take it, and i understand that some might need to relax and they can see no other way to do that - but its not just the long term health effects that outweigh the short term positive effects. Many tests have shown cannabis has adverse short term effects and symptoms, and can alter the way you think. For example, not jumping over a puddle because you think you will fall, or thinking the puddle is impassable. Simple things like that are no where near the effects of cigarettes and whilst i would discourage both, cigarettes are the best option if you really need to smoke something. I suppose it could be worse, there are class A drugs out there that are pretty serious but ideally, don't take or smoke anything at all. If you need to relax, or need drugs that help with the stresses of daily life... Please, see a GP - and maybe talk about drugs before you take them. If possible: Don't take them. That includes cigarettes or any harmful or addictive drugs which are legal.
@ Overall @
Even if cannabis is legalised i would never take it. The health effects alone are enough to put me off, let alone the law. I don't smoke cigarettes, never have and never will, because the health affects are enough to put me off. But think of all the people that smoke - imagine how widespread cannabis would be if it was widely available like cigarettes. This is not a good thing for the NHS and peoples health. Keep it illegal, and if anything make it class B to try and put even more people off it, or push people already on it to get off.
If you'd have asked this question when I was younger I would have said 'Definetly, it should be legalised' and not only because I was smoking this drug myself but because I had bought into the whole excuses that cannabis users use such as 'Alcohol is more damaging and we all do that' and 'Doctors prescribe it for people with MS so it cant be all that bad'. Despite there being some truth in these statements they are still excuses and you may as well say 'I could get hit by a bus tommorow' And excuses are only used by the guilty, those in denial and of course addicts. You may think it might be a strong word to use as apparently cannabis has no physical withdrawal symptoms but psychologically it os addictive and damaging.
Cannabis is a drug that many teenagers use to experiement with, rebel with and express themselves with and thats exactly what I did and there is nothing wrong with that. I wasnt this first and I defiently wont be the last. The fact that is was illegal didnt make the drug any harder to get hold off and deter me from trying it. So what it the point in legalising it, its just another green light to say this drug is OK. As many of my friends tried to drug and then moved on unfortunetly I smoked and smoked it until I was turning into a cannabis plant because my boyfriend at the time smoked it too. The results: he moved on to harder drugs and I stopped smoking it all together but was left pyschologically damaged- paranoi, panic attacks, depression- proof that this is a damaging drug hence should be kept illegal!
Now, I don't want to generalise as I know a lot of people use cannabis from all classes and walks of life but that doesnt make it OK. Its like because cocaine is associated with the upper classes that we believe there must be an element of glamour with this drug. No No No. A drug is a drug- it has a chemical effect on our body. What kind of message would we be giving our younger generation if this was legal to do. I think its time we stopped clinging to out-dated views that cannabis users are free and happy hippies and get with the present- life is hard enough now-a-days. Drugs wheter class A or class C never solve a problem they only create another one.
We all seem to have different opinions on this issue. There are obvious pro's and con's with cannabis, personally though, i'm totally for legalisation. :) i think it's pretty pointless for governments to try and control what we put into our bodies. I'm a firm believer of choice, i think, within reason, we should be able to choose what we do to our bodies, how we live our lives etc. I think it's down to the individual to know there limits, and if they can handle drugs or not. For the times i've had cannabis it's been just fine, i think if used by the right people, cannabis is alright. When you have such harmful drugs like tobacco and alcohol so widely available, i see no harm in having a much less harmful one legal. Thanks for reading! :)
The subject of cannabis legalisation is one of great controversy in the United Kingdom, but does that mean that it is right for politicians to be criticised for bringing it up in government discussion, or for chief medical staff's advice to be ignored for not fitting in with the 'regime'?
Or do people retain the right to revoke what is after all still seen by the 'general public' as a harmful drug which is very much known to be pumping large amounts of cash into violent and more dangerously, organised crime?
You will find out my personal view over the course of this review, but I think it's worth mentioning that I understand and greatly consider both sides to the argument - My opinion however, is strongly decided.
Cannabis, a green and highly potent plant, it is believed was first discovered, burnt and inhaled by human beings in the mountains of Kazakhstan over 3,000 years ago. The variety of ways in which this plant has been used is unprecedented, and its use within tribal ritual and the social activities of the ancient world is well documented and studied. The plant can be cultivated into a durable fibre called 'hemp', which just so happens to be one of the most useful naturally occurring materials known to man. It can be used as an insulating construction material in buildings, for the production of clothes, paper, jewellery and perhaps most importantly, bio fuel!
It is also worth pointing out here that there is NO reliable record across the entire 3,000year period of any human-being ever being killed by the substance directly - and the inhaling of its smoke was practiced all over the globe.
Though the drug has been manoeuvred up and down the UK classification chart many times, today it stands as a 'class b' drug which is 95% illegal, meaning prosecution is very likely if an offender is found with anything more than 1 - 2 grams (which has an open market value of roughly £10.00). Prosecution can include fines, a criminal record, or even a prison sentence. If items are found with the substance which suggest intent to sell (i.e. an excessive amount of small bags, a scale for weighing, or anything else which might arise suspicion) then sentencing is harshened considerably.
But is this system working to reduce the sale and distribution of 'weed', or is it all a waste of tax payer's money in a time of harsh economical circumstances?
Anti-cannabis campaigns and potential for regulation
Recently, the UK government has announced the launch of a new 2 million pound anti-cannabis campaign. It aims to focus its message around the links some scientists have discovered between the plant and paranoia and schizophrenia. This is a common argument amongst anti-cannabis enthusiasts, and I personally believe it to be there most powerful because there are many cases around the country. It has been scientifically proven that when the drug is taken repeatedly from an early age (which I have heard more than once to be under 15-years old), then the subjects developing brain can suffer, causing the paranoia and schizophrenia mentioned. This does NOT happen to everyone who takes the drug under the age of 15, but it HAS happened - there's a big difference.
But without delving into the science of brain development (something I have little [no] knowledge of), let me explain how this government enforced fact leads on to my main argument of why cannabis SHOULD be made legal and SHOULD be produced in a controlled, regulated manner.
Look at tobacco, a drug which kills around 100,000 people a year in the UK alone - it's legal, it's controlled and it's regulated. If the government legalised cannabis and set up a regulating body the production of the drug could be standardised with a series of BS's and other signatures to make sure the strength and effects of the drug were known to the consumer... Despite having its inherent damaging properties (which is another story entirely), you will not find cigarettes having ingredients within them the consumer is not aware of.
The bottom line is, regulation takes money away from the criminals who would be out of pocket not being able to keep up with regulated production, and regulation would reduce the number of people suffering from the conditions mentioned in the government campaigns, as everyone would be educated on the substance they are taking - Skunk wouldn't exist! Just as with tobacco, there would be an age-limit enforced. And I haven't even mentioned the tax advantages!
To round off this section, I believe one of the reasons the government will not back down and accept the facts is that they have invested too much money over too long a period of time in anti-cannabis campaigns to give in. Despite the overwhelming benefits, it would simply be too HYPOCRITICAL.
Still not convinced?!
Tax and economical benefits
I believe that if cannabis was legalised the government would be able to severely disable two birds with one stone. Not only would they be able to reduce money going into crime and regulate the different types and effects of the drug, crucially they would be able to make money doing it!
Did you know the UK government inherits over £10 billion in tax from tobacco sales each year? Do you know how much that contributes to economical growth and stability? Have you considered the potential cannabis has in this region?
Controlling what goes into your own body
There is one argument which I'm not entirely won over by - in fact, to be honest it's something I haven't made my mind up on. It is the argument that many people have, that everyone is a person in their own right and that they are all 'allowed' to use and 'abuse' whatever substance they want.
You may have an opinion here but I don't consider it in my argument as I'm completely undecided.
Professor David Nutt
It was when I started looking into government opinion of cannabis and other drugs when I stumbled across the curious case of Professor Nutt. Using scientific analysis he successfully concluded that both cannabis and ecstasy were far less harmful than tobacco and alcohol, the two most used drugs in British society. Additionally to this, he argued the fact that there are no known casualties of the produce and that the re-classification of cannabis in recent times was a decision based on NO scientific evidence what so ever.
Nutt spoke up - Nutt was subsequently fired in October 2009 - Public outcry followed - The classification remained.
I can see exactly why certain states of America have an incentive to imprison people for minor drug use and distribution - mainly due to the fact prisoners are given jobs on production lines within facilities which produce thousands of different items (including military vests and helmets) for zero pay besides the luxury of a bed and basic meal every night.
Where the incentive for British imprisonment sits remains unclear - do we really need to be locking up people for setting fire to plants when on average it costs £20,000 a year to house a prisoner? Don't criticise my bluntness because clearly I know there are other reasons (many of which I've discussed), but still it remains the bottom line - WE ARE WASTING TIME AND MONEY.
Prisons are filling up at an alarming rate, and it's possible that a lot of that is due to the building unrest of a patronised nation attempting to bulge through the barriers.
The Californian example and medicinal marijuana
There are many names for this controversial plant, expressing its wide international use and depth within contrasting societies of the world - The American's call it marijuana.
In California the drug is semi-legalised. As long as you have a 'medical pass' supplied by your local GP, you can purchase whatever you want from stores located all over the state. But it gets even easier and perhaps 'sillier' because you can receive a pass for literally any 'illnesses'. Even for respitory problems a pass can be given. Even if you say, "I'm getting a mental block when I try to write reviews on Dooyoo", they will comply.
Is this a good system? Why don't they just legalise it fully? Who knows? But it seems to work.
If you read this review logically and consider the arguments I have put forward fairly, then I see no reason why you shouldn't be convinced or at least made to wonder. There are bound to be things I've missed out here, but the main points have been stressed and though I highly doubt the government of the United Kingdom will yield, getting your opinions out there is the best and most powerful thing to do. No one should be afraid to voice opinion in a democratic setting, and that goes for the politicians as well.
There see to be two logical points of contention here. Opinions on drug use itself and the impacts that decriminalization would have.
The true cost of prosecuting drug users and the associated increases in crime, that occur when the only access to drugs is via the black market, is huge. Legalizing drugs would remove this cost to the economy straight away. As well as stamping out the need to access drugs from dealers and crime organizations and clamping their revenue source.
Decriminalization would also open the door to taxation and regulation of such drugs. Providing both safer drugs for the users and an serious boost to the economy.
Medical Marijuana can only be seen as a success in California and the other states where it is legal. The industry around it and the resulting economical boost has been amazing. The Medicinal properties of the plant are incredible and this can't be overlooked because of dated policy. The compounds in cannabis have been proved over and over again and the increase in the number of uses and the benefits to the final users is only increasing under regulation.
Theres a lot more on this topic here http://original-ssc.com/ . You will find many articles discussing all things cannabis / marijuana / Hemp
I've never been high. I've never been drunk. I've had some alcohol, but not for a while. I've never done any other recreational drug. I really don't plan to. I like my body & brain the way it is, so I'll lay off the mind altering substances. But hey, if you want to do it? Why the hell shouldn't ya? Why do we espouse freedom of choice so arbitrarily? Why can I not put whatever I damn well please into my body? If you want to shoot heroin or smoke pot, all power to you. I don't care about boosting our economy, lowering crime levels, making drugs safer or any medicinal uses. I just care about freedom. I believe that when we let the government decide what we're responsible enough to use, then our government is too powerful. And personally I have enough faith in humanity that I don't believe that everyone would start to smacking up the second we legalised a drug. I know - here I've alienated the druggies by being a tee-totaller and the tee-totallers by being pro-druggies. But can't we all agree on being pro-freedom?