This weed isnít evil ≠ itís good


Source: News and Star, Carlisle, UK

Pub date: Wednesday August 25, 2004

Subj: Opinion: This weed isnít evil ≠ itís good

Author: Alun Buffry, Legalise Cannabis Alliance


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THERE are many reasons why cannabis should be legalised ≠ not least that millions of ordinary people are criminalised for using it.


Court appearances, prison sentences, including those for non-payment of fines, and press coverage can lead to family break-ups and all the problems associated with imprisonment. Most of those so-called criminals have no victims and did no harm.


Juveniles and adults alike become alienated and disillusioned with a law they cannot comprehend. A law justified by less than credible claims of danger originating from authorities they see as hypocritical.


Millions also risk their health by consuming cannabis of doubtful purity because there is no quality control.


No adequate research can be conducted on the therapeutic uses of natural cannabis. Seriously ill people are prohibited from a beneficial medicine and risk arrest.


People requiring a relaxant can only choose alcohol, which is far more dangerous than any amount of cannabis.


The illegal cannabis market mixes it with the supply of hard drugs.


The law invades peopleís privacy and prevents them from their pursuit of happiness, freedom of religious practice and freedom of lifestyle granted under the United Nations Human Rights Charter.


The government receives no revenue. The Ďcriminalsí make all the profits. Legal cannabis would make the profits taxable.


The industrial uses of cannabis are virtually ignored at great cost to the environment. The world starves because the seed cannot be legally grown. We are exhausting fossil fuels and using dangerous radioactive materials to produce energy and run cars, which could be done by the eco-friendly cannabis plant.


Factories pump chemicals such as dioxins into our land in order to produce paper from wood pulp; this could be stopped by using cannabis instead of trees. The plant is quick-growing, which would help to counteract the greenhouse effect.


When cannabis biomass fuel is burned, it releases only the carbon dioxide that it absorbed while growing, unlike fossil fuels.


Alun Buffry is national co-ordinator of the Legalise Cannabis Alliance


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