Letter: Making Drug Legal is Just a Responsibility


Source: The Sentinel
Date: January 21 2008
Author: Alun Buffry

In his letter published on January 11 (Madness to  legalise drug) Mr Pye quoted me from a speech I made when I asked: "Is there any justice in punishing me or you, if the child or teenager has developed mental health problems?"  


Well, Mr Pye, is there?


If you think there is, please let us know what it is. Would you support a policy of arresting and prosecuting people who like a drink of beer or wine at home because some people have become alcoholics, or suffered mental illness? Would you just arrest them all, even though they have harmed nobody? That appears to be the policy you are promoting about cannabis.

It hasn't stopped the so-called cannabis disasters.

In fact they have all occurred under the legal regime Mr Pye continues to support.

Furthermore, because cannabis is controlled largely by organised crime, it is contaminated with all sorts of chemicals, and we don't know what they are.

Legalisation does not mean giving a free hand to people to grow and sell cannabis willy-nilly (like most already do).

It would allow people the opportunity to operate under the regulations of law. Legalisation means Government acknowledging its responsibility to protect citizens - including cannabis users, as they protect people who choose to drink alcohol - so long as they behave.

Mr Pye is wrong to say I do not care. It is because I care that I campaign for legalisation - because I firmly believe that cannabis legalisation would reduce harm overall.

The laws against cannabis are not helping the vulnerable or those who suffer through its use, and I have great sympathy for them - but please give a thought to those people who are given criminal records, even sent to jail, even though they personally have had no involvement in anyone being harmed.

Those people who have done no harm are sons, daughters, parents etc, of others too, and to sit and watch them pay a high price for their private choice is also heart-rending.

ALUN BUFFRY Stoke-on-Trent

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