Source: Hull Daily Mail, UK

Pub Date: Friday, 9 August 2002

Author: Alun Buffry, Legalise Cannabis Alliance, http://www.lca-uk.org

Ref: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v02/n1424/a04.html?1674



It SEEMS to me that Geoff Ogden is trying to avoid the real issues (Letters, July 30), which is the quality (or lack of it) in the information that the East Riding and Hull Combined Action Teams are putting out.

Mr Ogden correctly says that people are concerned with drug crime and drug illness and deaths. But his tactics of attempting to scare young people off cannabis by persuading them that it is very dangerous and may lead to hard drugs, is a miserable failure, as can be seen by the figures.

Let's get this straight: cannabis has nothing in common with other illegal (or legal) drugs, apart from the legal status itself.

Cannabis is not toxic in any amount, is not addictive, and benefits the very huge majority of users (I am talking about good, clean cannabis here, not the concoctions sold by illegal dealers under the present regime).

Regarding mental problems caused by cannabis, the Government's own figures suggest that about 520 people were admitted to hospital diagnosed as suffering from cannabis-induced mental problems in a year.

That is 520 out of the estimated 4.5 million users (Home Office figures) - a very small percentage indeed, and they all recovered once they stopped using the plant. Certainly no reason to punish every other user caught.

Neither is the fact that some people do later take hard drugs. If we use that process we should surely punish those who drink alcohol because most cannabis users and hard drug users started with that.

Come on Mr Ogden, we, the public pay your wages. We want to see results, we want to see a new approach, not just the regurgitation of the same old spin.

Alun Buffry,

Legalise Cannabis Alliance,