From: Cannabis Campaigners' guide

Source: Evening News, Norwich, UK

Pub Date: Wednesday, 12 June 2002

Pub LTE: Cannabis doesn't lead to hard drugs

Author: Alun Buffry, Legalise Cannabis Alliance



Norwich coroner William Armstrong seems adamant that cannabis use is a "gateway" to hard drug use.

This is despite evidence to the contrary from both the Home Affairs Committee and the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs reports, and the opinion of almost every expert in the field (A gateway to harder drugs?, EN, 7 June)

Most people who use heroin "started" on cannabis.

Well, actually they probably "started" on alcohol, or even drugs from the doctor, or maybe even getting giddy as a child. Most armed robbers "started" on water pistols. However, most children who used water pistols never became armed robbers. Likewise most cannabis users do not slip into hard drug addiction.

At last the Government is beginning to dismiss completely the so-called gateway theory and at last they are beginning to recognise that treatment is better than punishment.

The sooner that it realises that legalisation of cannabis would help break the link between it and hard drugs, the better for all of us.

Legalisation of cultivation of cannabis at home would be an incredible beneficial step.

The gateway is the profit-motivation created by prohibition.

Some of the dealers who sell hard drugs may well tempt their customers by also offering cannabis. Some of those customers may experiment; some may get addicted; some may even die.

That is the cost of prohibition and the dreadful stance that has thrown all these substances into the same basket.

Alun Buffry

Legalise Cannabis Alliance

PO Box 198