Source: Irish Independent

Pub Date: October 31 1997

Pub LTE: Why cannabis must be legalised now

Author: Alun Buffry


In a 'name and address supplied' letter which you published on

October 23, (Legalising 'pot' a dangerous move) the writer tells of his/her

taking LSD after cannabis, in an argument against the legalisation of the


Now it is time to consider the plain truth. It is an indisputable fact that

some people take cannabis and later take hard drugs, as it is that some

people use water pistols and later become armed robbers. But that is no

reason to punish cannabis users any more than it would be a reason to

punish children with water pistols; neither are hurting anyone, not even


The truth is it is people who lead other people to do things; in a society

where drugs are prohibited and often all available from he same place, it

is not unusual for the dealer to wish to boost illegal profits by

introducing other substances. That is the 'fault' of the dealer and the

law, not of the cannabis plant itself.

Cannabis has been proclaimed safe by everybody from the Lancet to the

American DEA judge Young, from Professor Lester Grinspoon of Harvard

University to the UK's own 1968 Wootton Report.

So why this continued pretence that its prohibition is to protect people

The truth is that the continued illegality of cannabis enables huge profits

to be made by the companies making synthetic and polluting alternatives to

the many uses of the plant - fuel, relaxant, medicine, fibre, paper,

furniture, etc. If cannabis is ever legalised, many profits may fall.

It is high time that investigative journalists examined the details of

events leading up to the inclusion of cannabis in the Opiates Convention in

1925 and subsequent prohibition.

Alun Buffry, B.Sc.,