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Letter: Phillippines: Legalizing Marijuana

Alun Buffry

Philippines Daily Enquirer

Monday 06 Dec 2004

HOW brave and honest of Councilor Noel de Jesus to suggest the
decriminalization of marijuana. (PDI, 11/23/04) I have read about death
sentences meted out to marijuana smugglers who have, admittedly, broken
your laws but who, it seems, haven't actually hurt anyone.

Pure marijuana (cannabis) is unlikely to hurt but a very tiny percentage
of people. Judge Young of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency stated:

Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically
active substances known to man. How can people be hanged for that?

It makes a pleasant change to read about someone in the Philippines who
recognizes the problems that come with prohibiting marijuana not least
that it leaves the supply of the substance in the hands of crooks whose
only motive is cash.

But just the decriminalization of marijuana possession will not solve
the problems, it will only mean that people can possess it but cannot
obtain it: the user will be free from prosecution but the supplier will
still be in big trouble.

The answer has to lie in legalizing its home cultivation and commercial
supply through regulated outlets. That would separate marijuana from the
hard drugs and all the misery the latter cause.

ALUN BUFFRY, P.O. Box 198, Norwich, England




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