Letter: Regulate Properly and Improve Safety for Users and Save Taxpayers' Money

Source: Evening News, Norwich
Date: January 29 2008
Author: Alun Buffry, Legalise Cannabis Alliance

Alun Buffry of the Legalise Cannabis Alliance, calls for the drug to be Regulated Properly and Improve Safety for Users and Save Taxpayers' Money

In the article "Fears over increased cannabis use" (EN: Jan 22nd), several people interviewed rightly expressed concerns over the health of users of illegal cannabis. http://ccguide.org.uk/news/shownewsarticle.php?articleid=13188

What was not mentioned was that in addition to any risks from cannabis itself, there is the added risk from contaminated or doctored cannabis. Recently glass particles, sugar crystals and who-knows-what, have been spotted, and for many years a nasty form of resin called "soap bar" has been available.  The risk to health from the substances put in the cannabis to boost profits is unknown. Those risks are caused through the lack of controls on quality and the greed of the suppliers.

But that's not all.  There is also the risk from exposure to hard drugs and crime; also risk due to the lack of good advice and information at point of sale.

For every mass cannabis grower or dealer arrested, there are many more ready to step into this highly profitable illegal trade with no worry
about consumer protection or hygiene laws, no worry about taxation, and a seemingly endless stream of customers.  With almost one in three people admitting to having tried cannabis and so many using on a regular basis, it is obviously very popular.  A minority of users suffer, a majority claim to benefit, but the law treats them all the same, even when they have no victims to their so-called crimes.  What is the sense of leaving the production and supply of such a popular substance outside of the control of the law? What is the sense of punishing victimless cannabis users whilst accommodating a prohibition policy that enables such massive untaxable profits and at a huge policing cost?

Legalisation, with Dutch-style licensed outlets for adults and legal small-scale cultivation at home, is the answer!

Alun Buffry


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