Cannabis – Should it be legal? Of course not. Here is why.

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It’s slightly off topic for OpenBytes, but then of late I’ve diversified into current affairs, matters of faith and David Icke?!? as part of a larger exploration of the human condition.  Let me just make one thing clear for anyone reading this article regarding David Icke – I think his theories are a nonsense.  I don’t want you reading my opinions on Cannabis with the belief that I in some way condone or agree with what he says.

So Cannabis, Wacky Baccy, Splif, Joint, Toke, whatever name you care to put onto it.  Forget the UK being part of Europe, the UK’s influences come straight from the USA, where the UK always manages a poor and ill thought out emulation.

Since Cannabis has been legalized in a few states, you can almost guarantee that the UK will follow, so why do I think Cannabis should remain illegal?  Simple.  The people who smoke it.  I’m not talking about the responsible ones, I’m talking about the ones whom will get into a vehicle stoned out of their mind thinking they can drive, the one’s who turn up to work unfit, or are carers of vulnerable people. There is a large section of the community who cannot be trusted to behave responsibly, so putting aside any theories of long term harm of using Cannabis (and I’m neither agreeing or disagreeing with those theories) this is why we shouldn’t have another tool for which people can bring harm onto others.

But alcohol is just as bad I hear you cry!  I agree.  I don’t drink.  Because of the people who are not responsible and drive, I think that should be banned too, but then its easier to tackle something which is not legal rather than something that is and already entrenched into our culture.  The avoidable death of one person due to drink is one too many in my book.

But it has medical benefits! – And I’d agree there too.  I’ve heard many testimonies from people with debilitating illness who have found relief in cannabis and for those, on the basis of a prescription, I’d fully support in having the drug.

Until we can live in a world where all adults are responsible, a small number of people will always ruin it for the general populas.

If there is no medical need to have cannabis, I wonder why an adult would choose to indulge?  Is their life so bad that they gain enjoyment from being out of sync with their faculties? Is their life so dull that they would need a drug (natural or not) in order to derive pleasure from life?  It seems a very sad way to be and I often look with sympathy at the people who get drunk every Friday and Saturday night in order to “have a good time”.  I can have a good time without alcohol or drugs.  What does it say about people who rely on these things?

Cannabis I’m sure will eventually be made legal.  Not because of bowing to pressure from the members of public who want it, but because of one simple thing: Money.  The government smells a good thing here and after watching the US test cases, its already thinking about spending the extra money it will earn from the tax.

So all you Cannabis users, just sit tight.  Your government will provide, you’ll consume and a tidy profit will be made off the back of the fact that you need that “little extra something” to relax/enjoy yourself.

23 Comments Add yours

  1. Sam Lyons says:

    The tool is already here though. It wouldn’t be introducing a new drug, an estimated 2.5 million in the UK already smoke cannabis. It would just be a different way of dealing with it.

    1. openbytes says:

      Very true, but then just because its already here doesn’t make it any better. Heroin is here, should we legalize that?

      2.5 million smoke it. Thats fine, its the one or two that don’t act responsibly that ruin it and if in legalizing it increases its consumption, then one death indirectly as a result of someone who hasn’t acted responsibly is too many.

      Are we to assume that there will have to be workplace checks to ensure people are not under the influence if it becomes legal?

      I’m sorry but I can’t condone something being made legal just because of a claimed stat of 2.5 million.

      1. Sam Lyons says:

        What about one death resulting from crime fuelled from the sales of illegal cannabis? Is that too much? Illegal drugs help fund organised crime. It’s not going to be a perfect story either way.

        And yes, I do think drugs should be widely legalised or decriminalised. We’re not talking about regulating heroin in the same way as alcohol, but arresting a heroin addict helps no one. I support the idea of harm prevention rather than criminalisation.

        1. openbytes says:

          Very good point. But then there’s little you can do (except rely on law enforcement) to deal with whats already illegal. Giving Cannabis legality would only expose it to more people and perhaps in it being more accessable, increase its consumption.

          I don’t know about your country, but in the UK its not illegal to be a user. The illegality is the posession and you need not be a user/deal of the drug in order to be caught in possesion. Arresting a heroin addict (in your example) is usually because of a associated crime to feed the habbit, ie theft, robbery. Are we saying we excuse these offenses because of their addiction? No, of course not.

          Like I said in the article though, the underlining sad fact here is that grown adults with no medical need for cannabis (or any drug) cannot relax or enjoy their lives without a “little helper”. Thats a sorry state of affairs.

    2. openbytes says:

      I think I mentioned above, yes we can agree its already “here”, but I don’t think its being unreasonable to say that if you make it available in stores legally, then you expose more people to it….people that don’t know a dealer, people that have never tried it.

      By making it legal you almost condone usage and in that I think the 2.5 million estimate will grow.

      BTW sorry your comment took a while to get through, for some reason WordPress dealt with it incorrectly.

  2. emery myers says:

    People already smoke and drive. You don’t really think unregulated pot makes people not use it do you? People use it and drive. The legality of it doesn’t matter to them. Look at alcohol prohibition… Thanks for the article.

    1. openbytes says:

      “People already smoke and drive. You don’t really think unregulated pot makes people not use it do you? People use it and drive.”

      increasing the availability of it and legality would only make this problem worse. You can’t buy pot from a shop…and in its illegality at present means that its rather more difficult to get hold of. How many more people will be exposed to it as a result of it being legalized and how many of those will drive for example after taking it? One person doing so is one too many in my view.

      If as you say people already use it and drive then it further proves that there is a minority of people not acting responsibly and we need to do everything we can to minimize further risk…legalizing it does not minimize it.

      “Look at alcohol prohibition… ”
      As I say, its very difficult since its already legal and entrenched in society (alcohol)

      1. emery myers says:

        legalizing it regulates it. It puts real laws to it. It takes away profit from the Drug Cartels. 12,000 people die in Mexico from the War on Drugs. The War on Drugs is not sustainable. We have only 5% of the worlds population but incarcerate 25% of the worlds population. These are real numbers. People spend decades in prison for a few grams of a plant, that is NOT dangerous when not abused. Tylenol kills more people every year. You want to talk epidemic… Look up Vicodin. It can kill you easily if you take too much, Marijuana cannot. It has to do with the receptors that the perspective drugs attach to. Prohibition has not slowed down marijuana. Look at CDC statistics…it has greatly risen since Nixon made it illegal. I have to respectfully disagree. I appreciate your point of view but that is the same point of view that America has had for the past 40 years. Is it working?

        1. openbytes says:

          Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

          “legalizing it regulates it. It puts real laws to it. It takes away profit from the Drug Cartels.”

          Completely agree, do we do the same for all drugs though? And the issue I have is the irresponsible people who will get into a car and drive, look after vulnerable people or go to work stoned on legal cannabis. Even in the US test cases there’s already been people DUI and the scheme has only been running a short time. The issue of drug cartels is another matter and yes you are right, they won’t be making money from Cannabis. What about the other drugs though?

          The stats you give, I’m sure are correct but lets make no mistake, there will always be people who once Cannabis is legalized will put other innocent peoples lives at risk. What do you say to the relatives of someone killed by a driver who was stoned? If there is even only a small reduction in risk, is it not worth keeping it illegal for the sake of the people who may yet be victim to someone who’s legally stoned and irresponsible?

          The view is the same in most countries regarding drugs and no it isn’t working, but that doesn’t mean we have to do this, personally anything which puts you out of control of your faculties is wrong in my book. Not wrong because we should ban for the sake of banning, but people there is always abuse and in that abuse innocent people suffer….the victim of a drink drive incident, the victim of a drive/drugs incident. At least by keeping it illegal, you make it less accessible and drive up the price making it less accessible to the country as a whole. There are caveats, there always are. There’s no magic paper with an answer to all this on. An idea may look good on paper.

          And what’s worse here is that all the Cannabis users are being played by a government who has its greedy eyes on the tax it can get from a drug which people take because they find they need that “little helper” to relax/enjoy themselves.

          1. emery myers says:

            It is a proven medicine. Much safer than even Tylenol. I’m not going to change your mind. Thanks for the response.

            1. openbytes says:

              Its not about changing minds, since your opinions have equal worth to mine or anyone else’s.

              For the record I completely agree its a proven medicine (even if we go just off testimony of people with debilitating illness) and as I say in the article I am fully supportive of people getting it via prescription.

              1. emery myers says:

                Thank you and I certainly understand what you are saying. Very good article. Thanks!

                1. openbytes says:

                  And thank you for taking the time to engage in conversation.

                  1. emery myers says:

                    I will add that I support Medical Marijuana. That is what I am most concerned with. I am a Marine Corps Veteran and was exposed to chemicals and contaminated water, brutal conditions and was recently diagnosed with a disease that will get me eventually. My daughter has Asthma and Crohn’s disease. Decades of studies have shown the medical efficacy of this medication. I am also a medical professional with many years of experience. NEVER ONCE have I ever admitted or taken care of someone for marijuana intoxication. Alcohol and cigs are the real killers, but Americans have the freedom to choose to use them. Studies have shown that harsh penalties do not affect consumption rates, but they do impact thousands of families and cost taxpayers for arrests, incarceration, and legal costs. Perhaps it’s time for a different approach. Police efforts to enforce criminal laws against marijuana consumers take time and resources away from investigations of serious crime. Based on 2011 figures reported by state law enforcement to the FBI, there were over 5,100 arrests for marijuana-related offenses during the year, most of them for possession. During the same period, 69% of all robberies and 80% of all motor vehicle thefts went unsolved by law enforcement. And did you know that African-Americans are nearly four and a half times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites, even though both races consume marijuana at similar rates? For more information on how the war on marijuana unfairly discriminates against African-Americans, check out the ACLU’s 2013 report.

                    1. openbytes says:

                      Very fair points. I would just re-iterate when I say I have concerns about people being stoned and looking after vulnerable, I mean carers themselves in positions of responsibility stoned on a legal purchase they made earlier.

                      I agree the penalties do not work, but then we have to consider, what do we do for the hard drugs? I don’t think anyone ever went out and committed crime to fund cannabis, nor do I think cannabis provokes violent behaviour but other drugs do….these are the one’s in the secondary crimes and addictions that cause society the problems.

                      The imbalance between arrests is something sadly typical in other areas. In the UK we have stop search figures which show a trend towards similar stats as the ones you mention for cannabis arrest, but thats a problem of the law enforcement to address regardless of what is legal and what isn’t.

                      Alcohol and cigs are the real killers, but then many cannabis users will consume drug with tabacco, which is where the money comes in.

                      The government says it doesn’t want you to smoke yet makes huge tax on cigarettes, now surely with legal pot, many people are going to smoke it via tobacco….a double whammy in terms of revenue for the government and why the people who would like to see a legalization of cannabis can’t see the government taking them for a ride. The government loves the idea of cannabis, think of all the tax money.

                      But this is all a little off topic, because at the heart of the debate is, in light of no medical need of Cannabis, why would an adult need a “little helper” to relax/enjoy themselves. Surely that points to more deep routed issues in the individual.

                      As I said before I don’t need a drug in order to relax, I wouldn’t want to have a drug to relax, because it would tell me that something is very wrong.

                    2. emery myers says:

                      Very good points. I agree. This is a huge and complex problem. I believe in education and Colorado is set to infuse 40 million into education from cannabis sales. Education for our children is the key to better outcomes with all drugs. We have 5% of the worlds population. 25% of the worlds prison population. America consumes 80% of all prescription Vicodin. There are many “stoned” drivers, driving on prescribed, legal drugs. Mass incarceration signals the disaster that is the war on drugs. Consumption rates have gone up since Nixon implemented that war 40 years ago.

  3. Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter says:

    Since Cannabis has been legalized in a few states, you can almost guarantee that the UK will follow, so why do I think Cannabis should remain illegal? Simple. The people who smoke it. I’m not talking about the responsible ones, I’m talking about the ones whom will get into a vehicle stoned out of their mind thinking they can drive, the one’s who turn up to work unfit, or are carers of vulnerable people.

    I’m going to disagree. According to that sort of thinking, automobiles should be illegal. After all, they kill far more people than cannabis does. And they can be used illegally.

    Motorcycles should be illegal. Same reasoning.

    Bicycles should be illegal. Same reasoning.

    Playing cards should be illegal. Same reasoning.

    Computers should be illegal. Same reasoning.

    Wayne

    1. openbytes says:

      Very true. I think the point I make though is the issue is here, not the thing itself but the person using it. There are some people not responsible and those ruin it for others that are.

      Its very difficult near impossible to remove something already legal in society (and part of it) however we can refuse to legalize something on the basis of an irresponsible few….After all, without medical need its only “a little helper” for people who cannot relax/enjoy their lives without a drug…

      For the record, Bicycles should be illegal. They are the bane of my life.

      I’ve always said that the argument to legalize cannabis was more an argument to ban alcohol. And as I said before, for the reasons I’ve said, I’ve no problem with alcohol being banned either.

      At least though bicycles, computers et al have a legitimate reason for being used (if we discount anyone who abuses them)…What’s cannabis got? In the absence of someone needing it as a medicine because of illness, what possible use would a grown adult have with cannabis?

      1. Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter says:

        Anyone who advocates banning alcohol or cannabis is advocating for the Mafia/Tongs/Motorcycle Gangs.

        You have a choice, legalize, or make a bunch of criminals rich. Decide what you want to do.

        Me, I’d love to see those criminals loose lots of money. Yes, I’m a sadistic bastard.

        Wayne

        1. openbytes says:

          But to what end? Legalize anything?
          I think its a myth that legalizing drugs would remove the criminals….look at the tobacco industry…..they are legal but criminal gangs sell cigarettes without paying the high taxes in the UK….

          That’s what would happen with drugs, the taxes that the government imposes would be undercut by the criminals who sell the drugs and are not part of the system. In addition there is a great difference between the Cannabis that is sold legally in some US states and the Cannabis that you can buy….Skunk for example?

          So no, I don’t think criminals would be removed (certainly in the UK) if Cannabis was legalized.

          1. Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter says:

            You miss the point. You can never kill crime.

            You can however strangle it. The crooks make a lot less money on a pack of cigarets than they do on the equivalent amount of weed. Legalization starves them for cash.

            Wayne

            1. openbytes says:

              But I thought the argument you put forward was that it hurts the criminal. It wouldn’t. If Cannabis was legal, the value that the dealers buy would drop. The fact that the dealers wouldn’t be paying uk taxes would mean they could appeal to consumers at a much lower cost than the legal stuff. The profit would still be big for the criminal. Also with the way small dealers operate and the fact you would be legally allowed to have personal use on you, deals would be made easier since the offence of possession disappears.

              “The crooks make a lot less money on a pack of cigarets”

              Maybe you are referring to the US here, which is why my no cannabis purely relates to the UK. Cigs can be imported in illegally for about £2 a pack of twenty. They sell in the UK for just over £9. Its still profit and the drug dealers would still make massive amounts of money – remember cannabis is grown (illegally in the UK)….so whilst they may only sell it for half its price due to legalization, the cost they are buying it for is less too. The profit, I’d guess would remain the same.

              So if we can never kill crime with the legalization of drugs, then its an argument some who want legal weed should stop using, as I see it quoted many times.

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