Cannabis poses no great risk: published letter

Source: East Anglian Daily Times, UK

Pub Date: 9 July 2004

Author: Don Barnard

Sir - Forest Heath District Councillor, Eddie Stewart says, he had not heard of an organisation for legalising cannabis! [Town horrified by cannabis protest plan EADT Sat 3 July]. Heres one: The Legalise Cannabis Alliance" (A registered UK political party since 1999).

Introductions over. Now for a short local debate on the real issues which need priority to discussion. Why is cannabis still illegal? The argument goes legalising cannabis "may" increase use; "might" lead to societal destruction; and, a "possible" increased health risks to the users!

Life is full of Health and Safety risks far more harmful. Every supermarket sells food items and over the counter medications, many of which if used inappropriately, may, might or even possibly cause toxic response, gastrointestinal distress, cardiac arrest, obesity, liver damage, neurological damage and even death.

How many deaths have there been scientifically attributed to cannabis use?  We do not prohibit these substances or arrest and imprison people who use them. Neither, do we sack them, evict them from their homes, expel their children from school or take children into care. Instead, we live with these risks. We try to advise the public with health promotions, warning the consumer of the potential harms, on the packaging (except for alcohol). And, we regulate the suppliers!

At the moment cannabis is termed a "controlled drug" in law, but in practice it is not subject to any form of regulation and is in effect is totally uncontrolled. Given the wide scale availability and use of cannabis.  Shouldn't cannabis be subject to similar controls, as we apply other substance we consume every day!

Or, Should we have sniffer dogs on the street, in schools, pubs and clubs and, random drug tests for secondary school children and the employees of Suffolk County Council!

Don Barnard
Legalise Cannabis Alliance,
PO Box 198,

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