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Should we legalise Cannabis?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hiya, this is an interesting debate, I'm not much of a pothead myself, but I really struggle to see the reasons against keeping it illegal, yet it's still illegal in much of the world. It doesn't really make sense, tbh. It's pretty much harmless, particularly compared to alcohol and tobacco which both are linked to, and directly cause, more deaths than weed ever did.

It does not cause schizophrenia, that is a myth, schizophrenia is a completely genetic mental disorder which isn't influenced by environmental factors (or at least, only to a small extent, and only around 1% of the population will develop schizophrenia anyways). People also can develop a psychotic disorder through drinking too much alcohol, albeit it's a negligible amount, no different to weed, really. You can't overdose on it. Yes, it's dangerous to drive while stoned, but it's dangerous to drive while drunk too, so that's neither here nor there.

So many people smoke weed and want to see it legalised or at least decriminalised that it should no longer be an offence to possess or sell it. At least, not whilst alcohol/tobacco remains legal, both of which (as I said) cause their own problems.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Threxy wrote: »
    It's pretty much harmless

    No, it's not.
    You can't overdose on it.

    Yes, you can. Besides, it's near on impossible to overdose on LSD - doesn't mean you can't take too much; nor is it an argument for its legalisation.
    It does not cause schizophrenia, that is a myth, schizophrenia is a completely genetic mental disorder which isn't influenced by environmental factors

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=cannabis+psychosis
    Yes, it's dangerous to drive while stoned, but it's dangerous to drive while drunk too, so that's neither here nor there.

    Drink driving isn't legal.
    So many people smoke weed and want to see it legalised or at least decriminalised that it should no longer be an offence to possess or sell it. At least, not whilst alcohol/tobacco remains legal, both of which (as I said) cause their own problems.

    Two wrongs don't make a right.

    For every dubious looking bit of "scientific research" you have pro-legalisation, I could find 10 anti. There is absolutely nothing in that article that states anything of scientific merit.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes, you can. Besides, it's near on impossible to overdose on LSD - doesn't mean you can't take too much; nor is it an argument for its legalisation.
    Of course it is. In judging the harm or a substance, addictiveness and potential for overdose (the the consequences of overdose) are two key factors.
    Drink driving isn't legal.
    What makes you think driving stoned would be?

    The point here is that it shouldn't be up to those who want something to be legal to demonstrate why it should be, it should be up to those who what something to be made illegal to argue their case. I don't buy the argument that it should be illegal because it may contribute to psychosis in someone who already has a genetic predisposition to it. Some people have a bad reaction to peanuts. We don't ban them for everyone, we just advise those people to stay away from them.

    And then beyond the harms of the substance itself (and you can make an argument for anything to be harmful if you have enough of a political or commercial interest in doing so), you have to consider the question of whether making it illegal actually reduces some of these harms, makes no difference, or even increases them. In the case of a relatively harmless drug like ecstasy, for example, it is undeniable that the drug itself is made more dangerous by it being manufactured exclusively by criminals, as well as making drug users more reluctant to get help if something does go wrong. Even if we can establish that a substance being illegal reduces its harm, we have to question whether the reduction in harm is worth the cost of policing, or whether money would be better spent on things like rehabilitation centres for drug abusers (which, of course, could be more easily afforded if there was a tax on the stuff).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    "They're worse so that means it should be ok to use". Considering cannabis (at least in it's strong form) is highly likely to hasten the onset of serious mental illness in those who are pre-disposed to it, and is just as bad, if not worse for your lungs as tobacco, all people really do when trying to compare cannabis with alcohol and tobacco is provide an argument for why they should both be banned, not why cannabis should be legalised.

    And Threxy, whilst it might not be proven to cause Schizophrenia, I've met enough burnt out 20 year olds to know that what it does do to your mind isn't a good thing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    While I wouldn't advise anyone to follow Dr Dre's advice, people can do one if they think I should be stopped from smoking it because other people can't keep a grip - that's keeping the whole class behind because of one or two unruly pupils. You'd end up making most of life illegal using that logic.
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,169 Skive's The Limit
    Prohibition does not work - the law as it stands does not work.
    People still take drugs and the law makes it more dangerous for them to do so.

    It's fucking absurd.
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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Threxy wrote: »
    schizophrenia is a completely genetic mental disorder which isn't influenced by environmental factors ..

    bollocks
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    "They're worse so that means it should be ok to use". Considering cannabis (at least in it's strong form) is highly likely to hasten the onset of serious mental illness in those who are pre-disposed to it, and is just as bad, if not worse for your lungs as tobacco, all people really do when trying to compare cannabis with alcohol and tobacco is provide an argument for why they should both be banned, not why cannabis should be legalised.

    So do you support the banning of alcohol and tobacco then? As for saying that it's worse for your lungs than tobacco, that's crap. One joint is worse than one cigarette, but people rarely have just one cigarette.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As for saying that it's worse for your lungs than tobacco, that's crap. One joint is worse than one cigarette, but people rarely have just one cigarette.

    And it assumes you smoke it.
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,169 Skive's The Limit
    And it assumes you smoke it.

    Never mind cannabis, I think heroin should be first on the list to be decriminalised.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've never smoked a joint, but I do smoke and enjoy the occasional tipple. With that in mind, I have to totally agree with this:
    The point here is that it shouldn't be up to those who want something to be legal to demonstrate why it should be, it should be up to those who what something to be made illegal to argue their case.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think drugs legislation in general is nanny state so I don't like it. I think there is a good case for an age limit, drug driving laws and laws against being under the influence when looking after children but other than that as an adult I don't see why anyone should be able to tell me what I can and cant take so long as I am only affecting myself.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So do you support the banning of alcohol and tobacco then? As for saying that it's worse for your lungs than tobacco, that's crap. One joint is worse than one cigarette, but people rarely have just one cigarette.

    No I don't, however I'm not the only person who knows that alcohol and tobacco are both just as harmful and if they were discovered today they'd be banned, probably immediately.

    I was merely pointing out the irony that the primary argument people use for the legalisation of cannabis is the fact that alcohol and tobacco are both worse. In my mind all that does is strengthen the argument to ban them as well.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Grr. No multiquote function.
    Whowhere wrote:
    "They're worse so that means it should be ok to use". Considering cannabis (at least in it's strong form) is highly likely to hasten the onset of serious mental illness in those who are pre-disposed to it, and is just as bad, if not worse for your lungs as tobacco, all people really do when trying to compare cannabis with alcohol and tobacco is provide an argument for why they should both be banned, not why cannabis should be legalised.

    And Threxy, whilst it might not be proven to cause Schizophrenia, I've met enough burnt out 20 year olds to know that what it does do to your mind isn't a good thing.
    That's your perception, I don't think any of the three substances should be banned, I believe in both personal choice and personal responsibility. If you're part of that 1% of the population who have a genetic predisposition to something like paranoid schizophrenia, Bipolar I, or any other psychotic mental disorders then you're best to avoid taking any of substance which alters your mental state, including alcohol. But I'm not naive enough to think banning it actually works either.

    I'm also willing to bet tommorows dinner that you probably know several more people who smoke(ed) cannabis who do not have mental health problems. I know I do, anyway. I know anecdotal evidence is not exactly ideal, but three of my close friends smoke cannabis casually, all three of them are doing well for themselves. One is a VetMed student, the other is a recent telecommunications engineering graduate and one is starting a pharmacy course next year. I doubt they're the only three in the world, and I'm not trying to claim its "good" for you or something, but I just can't stand the stereotype of all cannabis smokers being fucked in the head dossers when there's plenty of lager, cider drinking dossers out there too. There's absolutely nothing wrong with casual use.
    Rubber wrote:
    bollocks
    Great argument, that.

    Anyways, it's true. I might not have explained it that well, but if you don't have a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia, you won't magically develop it after smoking a joint or two. If you do.. don't smoke it and take responsibility for your own actions. Oh wait, why should you listen to me I can't stop you, can I? Neither can the police. Shit.

    1765-96-20090311100848.jpeg

    So. Outlawing it is pointless. Prohibition does not work. War on drugs = fail
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As a chronic insomniac, the only thing that works to get me off to sleep with any consistency is a little smoke before bed. I dont even smoke tobacco. Ive tried many sleeping pills sedatives, and at best they work for a night or two, then stop working, but a smoke works brilliantly, more often than not. I also feel no side effects the next day, unlike if i take temazepam or similar, i just feel normal.

    I really struggle to see how it is fair that this makes me a criminal.

    Many very useful drugs have the potential to be abused or cause harm if overdone, but that doesnt mean that it cant be used sensibly and it doesnt mean it doesnt greatly improve the quality of life for many people and even pretty much a lifesaver for many too

    A complete ban is crazy. It is such a useful drug, and the harm/dangers are so minimal
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Adding on ...

    What does criminalising drug takers (especially addicts) do anyway? It doesn't deter them, the police can't be everywhere to stop them, it only deters all but the most curious. In fact all it does is encourage a massive black market for drugs and makes it more unsafe for everyone.

    If anything it should be taxed and treated as a medical problem if someone has serious drug problems (not unlike alcoholism), as the costs from taxing it can go towards that. Weed might be one of the harder ones to tax, though, which I suppose is part of the reason why the government isn't interested in legalising it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i still think people would buy rather than grow if it were legal. Not everyone wants stinky plants in their house. YOu can brew your own beer/wine but only relatively few do
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you're going to copy an argument word-for-word, probably best not to copy it from the thread you're going to post it in. :wave:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't think they will ban alcohol, there is somewhere in the region of 1 million people employed over the whole area, that would include the whole supply chain, fixtures and fittings etc. Alcohol does cost the NHS an awful lot of money, but it also brings a lot of money in as well.

    I'm of the belief that if people were a little bit more sensible (and perhaps were educated and paid attention to the dangers) alcohol consumption as an average wouldnt drop all that much, but admissions and cost to the NHS would.

    The outright banning of alcohol would be for a politician like touching insafe electrics. I would say its potentially no worse or no better than cannabis, but its also a lot more widely spread. What people need to do if they are campaigning, is not to bring alcohol into it and put their case forward on the merits of cannabis alone.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Oh thanks. My comment makes no sense now.
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    Oh thanks. My comment makes no sense now.

    Sorry dude, think we deleted that persons posts in one fell swoop and didn't spot your comment! Thanks for flagging the issue anyway :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes, it should be legalized. As adults, we should be able to make our own decisions -- even if they're not good for us. It's not the government's job to take care of us.

    While pot is not necessarily harmless, you're right that many of the claims made about it are embellished or out-and-out myths.

    I don't smoke; I think it's silly. But people should have the right to make their own decisions without manipulation by the government. The drug war is a waste of taxpayer dollars, jails far too many people for doing nothing wrong and it's making a demon out of a teddy bear. It's harder to tax though, which is why it's generally very hard to legalize.
    Yes, you can. Besides, it's near on impossible to overdose on LSD - doesn't mean you can't take too much; nor is it an argument for its legalisation.

    So, why should LSD be illegal?
    And do you know how much pot you'd need to smoke to overdose?

    Google provides nothing to imply that it causes such. Every link's implication is that it's health related and can trigger existing problems.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Maybe not with weed, but if many more drugs were legalized, would we still have similar problems with theft and social problems caused by drugs?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think that the majority of issues we see with weed today is partly due to the use of stronger and untested variants (I saw untested because a huge amount of research - possibly at Harvard, budda would have known! - went into the breeding/hybridisation and effects of some of the older strains - such as purple haze, white widow etc). When I used to smoke, I only very smoked home grown - either my own when I lived abroad and it was legal to do so, or my friends. I personally found it helpful for pain relief, and I'd use it again now for the same reasons if it were legal (and possibly less psychologically addictive - the pain medication I take now is far more physically addictive and its been given to me on script for years). The strains which seems to be the most common now, are far too strong, far too unbalanced in their chemical make up, and I think are more addictive than older varieties. If drugs were to be legalised, I think they would have to be supplied by either pharmacies and/or dutch-style coffee shops - for consumption on the premises.

    I would bring in Holland into the debate and how its worked for them (lower drug related crime rate, less gang related crime etc etc), but, their culture is very different to ours. I'm not sure if we just decriminalised the supply and posession of drugs in one foul swoop it would be a good thing. I think that the decriminalisation of posession for personal use should be the first thing - and this should be the case with all drugs not just cannabis. We wouldn't dream of criminalising people with all kinds of other diseases - because thats essentially what an addiction is - and criminalising users who are only occasional users just puts a huge and unnessessary strain upon our criminal justice system.
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,169 Skive's The Limit
    Miss_Riot wrote: »
    I think that the majority of issues we see with weed today is partly due to the use of stronger and untested variants (I saw untested because a huge amount of research - possibly at Harvard, budda would have known! - went into the breeding/hybridisation and effects of some of the older strains - such as purple haze, white widow etc). When I used to smoke, I only very smoked home grown - either my own when I lived abroad and it was legal to do so, or my friends. I personally found it helpful for pain relief, and I'd use it again now for the same reasons if it were legal (and possibly less psychologically addictive - the pain medication I take now is far more physically addictive and its been given to me on script for years). The strains which seems to be the most common now, are far too strong, far too unbalanced in their chemical make up, and I think are more addictive than older varieties. If drugs were to be legalised, I think they would have to be supplied by either pharmacies and/or dutch-style coffee shops - for consumption on the premises.

    There's really not that much evidence to suggest that the potency of cannabis has increased, and any increase in strength is probably negligible. There is evidence that suggests that people smoke more bud and less leaves then they used to which could give the impression that cannabis is getting stronger.
    The quality of hash is generally piss poor in this country because a large proportion of it is soap bar.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Miss_Riot wrote: »
    I think that the majority of issues we see with weed today is partly due to the use of stronger and untested variants (I saw untested because a huge amount of research - possibly at Harvard, budda would have known! - went into the breeding/hybridisation and effects of some of the older strains - such as purple haze, white widow etc). When I used to smoke, I only very smoked home grown - either my own when I lived abroad and it was legal to do so, or my friends. I personally found it helpful for pain relief, and I'd use it again now for the same reasons if it were legal (and possibly less psychologically addictive - the pain medication I take now is far more physically addictive and its been given to me on script for years). The strains which seems to be the most common now, are far too strong, far too unbalanced in their chemical make up, and I think are more addictive than older varieties. If drugs were to be legalised, I think they would have to be supplied by either pharmacies and/or dutch-style coffee shops - for consumption on the premises.

    I don't buy the increased potency argument. It's Reefer Madness hysteria updated for the modern day - aimed at scaring people with children who smoked a bit years ago and may be inclined towards support liberal approach today as result.

    Even if the potency has significantly increased, it's like comparing vodka to lager - people obviously drink in different quantities to get the desired effect.
    I would bring in Holland into the debate and how its worked for them (lower drug related crime rate, less gang related crime etc etc), but, their culture is very different to ours. I'm not sure if we just decriminalised the supply and posession of drugs in one foul swoop it would be a good thing. I think that the decriminalisation of posession for personal use should be the first thing - and this should be the case with all drugs not just cannabis. We wouldn't dream of criminalising people with all kinds of other diseases - because thats essentially what an addiction is - and criminalising users who are only occasional users just puts a huge and unnessessary strain upon our criminal justice system.

    Prescribe drugs to addicts and pretty much every social problem relating to drugs will be resolved. The solution is so obvious but unfortunately too many people have a knee-jerk reaction against it.
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