SOURCE: The Southern Daily Echo (UK)

PUB DATE: 31 May 2000



Law is an ass

Relating to comments from Derrick Large, the Legalise Cannabis Alliance candidate in the Romsey by-election, D McEnroe wrote: "Although a good percentage of users find it safe, enjoyable and even medicinal, it is also proven to create mood swings, anxiety, depression, paranoia and in rare cases can spark off schizophrenic episodes, all of which are stressful to sufferers and their relatives" (Letters, May 23).

It is not folly to continue to arrest and punish those who find cannabis safe and "even medical" and those who suffer the effects described? If people need help, then they should be helped. Otherwise they should simply be protected by law, not punished.

The bad effects were no doubt caused by dangerous additives. Those effects are not reported in the scientific studies of cannabis smoking communities cited in, for example, the report of the Family Council of Drug Awareness, Europe.

While cannabis remains illegal its supply is in the hands of uncontrollable dealers who may be more concerned with profit than with quality. Health matters should be for doctors, not for policemen. It is doing no good arresting either the sick or the well who use cannabis - well over 120,000 people a year - at a cost of billions. That could be spent in many better ways.

Alun Buffry