Out of joint (1) : Published letter

Source: York Press
Date: November 22 2007
Author: Alun Buffry

Aled Jones writes that "cannabis is the kiss of death for any society".

It's strange, then, since cannabis has been widely used for thousands of years around the globe, that human society not just survived, but thrived until the disaster of prohibition came along.

Since the 1960s, more than one million people in Britain have been given criminal records and punished for cannabis offences - most of whom certainly did no harm to anyone else.

A policy such as prohibition turns one section of society against another, wastes billions of pounds of taxpayers' money and police time, does far more harm than good, and has created many of the problems surrounding cannabis use today.

If cannabis is legalised it will be safer for everyone - irrespective of how safe or dangerous per se is its use.

As for Aled's claim that "cannabis actually contains 50 per cent more cancer-causing carcinogens than tobacco - making it one very mean drug", it's meaningless.

Almost everything we eat contains carcinogens, but that does not mean that the food causes cancer, because the chemicals exist in combination with others. And in any case that would be no reason to punish individual users who do no harm to others.

If there is no victim, then there should be no crime.

Alun Buffry, Norwich.


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