Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

Should Cannabis Be Legalised? (1 Viewer)

U

Unpretty

Should Cannabis be legalised?
The debate as to whether or not cannabis should be legalised in the United Kingdom has been running for some time, and everyone seems to have his or her own opinion on the matter. Legalising cannabis is one of those social debates where the answer cannot please everyone. Should the medicinal value of the drug be overlooked on account of the fact that crime rates may increase upon legalisation? Would making the drug readily available to the countries youth change the fact that no one has ever died as a direct result of taking cannabis? Who is right and who is wrong? And can we ever be really sure, without taking the gamble, and legalising cannabis in the UK?
One of the main reasons why many people still believe that legalising cannabis would be wrong is that the drug is often seen as a “doorway drug”, leading to more dangerous drug use. Young people who begin smoking cannabis at an early age, often move on to harder drugs, when cannabis can no longer give them the “high” that they crave. This can lead to many problems, not least the fact that many people die each year as a direct result of dabbling with hard drugs. One of the main reasons for this is that many people believe that cannabis is having no effect on them, leading their expectations of other drugs to be lowered, and their awareness of the risk factor involved in moving on to harder drugs significantly lowered. Those against the legalisation of cannabis often advocate that legalising the drug would lead to an increase in its use, and, as a “domino effect”, an increase in the use of many harder drugs, including cocaine and even heroin.
Another reason why a considerable number of people do not back the motion that cannabis should be legalised is that statistics show that legalising cannabis would more than likely lead to an all round increase in crime rates. US homicide statistics from the last century show that “homicide rates peaked during times of prohibition and tougher drug policies.”[1] When under the influence of any variety of drugs, the user’s ability to think logically is impaired. This makes way for an increase in violence, burglary, and other crimes which most people would not consider partaking in when their actions were not being influenced by drugs.
A final reason which those against the legalisation of cannabis advocate is that cannabis is dangerous, and can have lasting damaging effects to the user’s health. Cannabis contains more tar than tobacco and has a higher concentration of cancer-causing agents, which leads to a highly increased risk of lung cancer among cannabis users, as well as other health problems commonly associated with smoking tobacco; bronchitis, emphysema and circulatory disorders. There is also evidence to suggest that cannabis can be psychologically damaging. Heavy users who find their supply suddenly withdrawn can display aggressive impulses and violent behaviour. As a result, a substantial amount of people feel that legalising cannabis would lead to increases in many diseases, particularly cancer, and an overall decrease in the well-being of the public sector.
However, numerous people believe that cannabis should be legalised in the UK. One of the main reasons for this is that cannabis has been shown to have medical benefits for sufferers of diseases such as arthritis, AIDS and multiple sclerosis. An opinion poll carried out for the BBC News showed that “almost half of Britons over the age of 18 want to see the use of cannabis decriminalised, if not totally legalised” [2] In several US states, Doctor’s have been granted permission to give cannabis to victims of diseases, who are in great pain, and often approaching the end of their life. The side effects of cannabis are said not to be as strong as those of other drugs such as morphine, and as a result of carefully monitored cannabis use, the terminally ill; often in chronic or constant pain, can reach the end of their life painlessly and peacefully. In the 19th century, cannabis was regularly used to treat muscle spasms. Even Queen Victoria was once given it by her doctor to treat period pains.[3]
A second reason supporting the legalisation of cannabis is the fact that nobody has ever died as a direct result of smoking or ingesting the drug. Despite countless reports stating that cannabis has life altering effects to the health of the user, no one has ever died instantaneously after experimenting with the drug, nor has cannabis ever been found to be solely responsible for a person’s death. As a result of this, members of the public are free to conclude that cannabis can not cause instant death, and is therefore no more dangerous than alcohol or tobacco – both of which are legal in the UK.
A final reason why people believe that legalising cannabis would be a positive move for the United Kingdom is the notion that cannabis is, in fact, good for you! Reports have shown that cannabis has an effect on the heart similar to exercise, and is less harmful than steroids or amphetamines, both of which have been found to cause more sociological problems than cannabis. In 1968, the Wootton Report, a Home Office investigation into the effects of cannabis, concluded: There is no evidence that this drug is producing in otherwise normal people conditions of dependence or psychosis requiring medical treatment.” [4]
Despite the many good arguments in favour of legalising cannabis, I still consider myself to be firmly against legalising the drug. After all, if cannabis really does do no harm to the human body and psyche, then why was it ever made illegal in the first place? Regardless of the recent de-classifying of cannabis (from a Class-B to a Class-C drug), meaning the prospect of prosecution for using the drug is unlikely, both using and dealing cannabis remains illegal in the United Kingdom. In spite of numerous arguments in defence of cannabis use, I find it highly unlikely that the drug will be legalised any time in the foreseeable future. On balance, the world we live in today is a dangerous and often terrifying place – as a result, I can conclude that the Government would be reluctant to legalise a drug that could surely only make the world we live in far less pleasant place to reside.





[1] www.thescript.net

[2] www.bbc.co.uk

[3] http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/hottopics/cannabis/medical.shtml

[4] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/background_briefings/drugs/84909.stm
 

Loulou

WF Veterans
This is written well, you give the pro's and cons of the debate, but you don't give much explanation about how you actually came to think what you do. Your personal view is summed up all too quickly in the last paragraph. I might have liked to read more throughout the piece as to why you came to your conclusion. It's always good to present the facts as your evidence, you do this well, but if this article is an editorial it's fine to be more ruthlessly opinionated!

PS - I am for legalising cannabis but I have to dash out now so I don't have time to justify my reasoning right now!O:)
 
C

ctutt

I too wish to be free to make my own choices. If it's legal, then I can choose. Of course, if I oppose its use, I simply choose not to endulge. Conversely, if I choose to poisen myself with it as I do with other things such as overeating, poor food choices and too much alchohol, it doesn't make me a criminal.
 

Garden of Kadesh

Senior Member
I've never tried the stuff, but I would have to say that it should remain illegal for everyday public consumption. There's nothing wrong with using it for medicinal purposes though.

Why thoroughly legalize another substance that makes somebody intoxicated? It would lead to more car crashes, accidents, etc etc.

Also, there's the issue of amotivational syndrome, in which the person essentially becomes OK with being bored and lazy.

I'm not really sure, I'm a confused person. I'm generally liberal in my political views, and sometimes I feel that pot should be legal, other times not. It would be nice if there weren't irresponsible people in this world, because then we could enjoy such things with moderation and intelligence.

Good article BTW
 

Jaspers

Member
Garden of Kadesh said:
Also, there's the issue of amotivational syndrome, in which the person essentially becomes OK with being bored and lazy.

This is pseudo-science. I know plenty of people who smoke pot. All but one of them have jobs and are very active and creative people who live life to the fullest. And I can't even begin to count the number of musicians and writers who light up to boost their creativity.
 

cellardoor

Senior Member
"Would making the drug readily available to the countries youth change the fact that no one has ever died as a direct result of taking cannabis?"

two things wrong with this sentence: first, no country is even thinking about making cannabis legal to the YOUTH. just adults. legalisation in britain would not make the drug readily available to the youth, they would still havr to find their own dealers. secondly, NO, it wouldn't change that fact, because it is physically impossible to ingest the amount of weed it would take to kill you- you'd have to smoke several pounds of the highest quality weed in a few minutes for it to overload your brain (source: The Cannabis Companion).
your whole domino effect thing.. well that's just The Man telling you why it's illegal, utterly ignoring the fact that many many MANY people don't move on to harder drugs.

"Another reason why a considerable number of people do not back the motion that cannabis should be legalised is that statistics show that legalising cannabis would more than likely lead to an all round increase in crime rates. US homicide statistics from the last century show that “homicide rates peaked during times of prohibition and tougher drug policies.”[1] When under the influence of any variety of drugs, the user’s ability to think logically is impaired. This makes way for an increase in violence, burglary, and other crimes which most people would not consider partaking in when their actions were not being influenced by drugs. "

The statistics disprove the point you're trying to make. Homicide rates are HIGHER during times of prohibition and tougher drug policies. That means softer drug policies and less prohibition would lead to less homicide. Yay weed. Also, not being able to think as logically does NOT by itself increase the likelihood of committing a crime. You do not go crazy, you do not lose control of yourself while smoking pot. With all the paranoia that comes with smoking the illegal herb, it stands to reason that people are LESS likely to commit crimes while stoned. i wouldn't have done some of the shit i've gotten arrested for if i'd been stoned.

"A final reason which those against the legalisation of cannabis advocate is that cannabis is dangerous, and can have lasting damaging effects to the user’s health. Cannabis contains more tar than tobacco and has a higher concentration of cancer-causing agents, which leads to a highly increased risk of lung cancer among cannabis users, as well as other health problems commonly associated with smoking tobacco; bronchitis, emphysema and circulatory disorders."
Yes yes, cannabis contains four times the tar of cigarettes, but who smokes 20 joints a day? Some study in California showed that weed smokers and cigarette smokers had about an equal number of respiratory complaints, but weed smokers and totally straight people have the same amount of deaths related to lung cancer.

"There is also evidence to suggest that cannabis can be psychologically damaging. Heavy users who find their supply suddenly withdrawn can display aggressive impulses and violent behaviour. As a result, a substantial amount of people feel that legalising cannabis would lead to increases in many diseases, particularly cancer, and an overall decrease in the well-being of the public sector. "
Weed can be psychologically damaging, sure, but it can also be psychologically uplifting. Weed in itself is not inherently bad, it's the mindset of the people who use it that determines what kind of effect it will have on their lives. Plus, your fourth source IS AGAINST THAT POINT.

"After all, if cannabis really does do no harm to the human body and psyche, then why was it ever made illegal in the first place?"
Yeah, good point. If something's illegal it has to be wrong, right? It couldn't possibly be a law from a time filled with racism and ignorance (against blacks and mexicans). Hey, alcohol was against the law once- but it's not now. Shouldn't it be again? Cause it was illegal, so it must be evil.

I suggest two things- first, reading up like crazy on statistics from Amsterdam- I was appalled that you didn't even mention Amsterdam. Cannabis is legal there. You should provide crime statistics form before and after legalization, as well as health statistics, and drug use statistics, and all that shit.
Second, smoke a joint. You have quite obviously never tried it before, and you really have no right to an opinion about pot until you've tried it.


Garden of Kadesh said:
"I've never tried the stuff, but I would have to say that it should remain illegal for everyday public consumption. There's nothing wrong with using it for medicinal purposes though."
Well, I'm glad you think it should be used medically, but you can't have a legitimate opinion on its recreational use until you have used it recreationally.

"Why thoroughly legalize another substance that makes somebody intoxicated? It would lead to more car crashes, accidents, etc etc."

I don't know about this. Obviously it screws with your ability to operate heavy machinery, but all the pot smokers I know drive more carefully while stoned, because they're aware that while stoned their ability to drive is fucked up. So yeah. They drive safer than normal.
 
Last edited:

Sock

Senior Member
I agree with everything Cellardoor said. I am an avid marijuana user, at school I carry and 86% grade average and have never been in trouble with the law. My friends, who are also "stoners" are also very peaceful, calm, collected guys. I think people need to smoke weed before they try and say how it would affect society if legalized.
 

skitz

Member
Let's look at two different situations shall we?

Two men in a bar gatting drunk on beer and shots of tequila. What can happen here?

They get into a fight because someone accidently bumps into them or even looks at them the wrong way.

They slobber all over each other telling the other "I Love you man. NO really dude I love you."

They waddle their drunk asses out to a car and crash into another vehicle and if they do make it home, the wife is cowering in a corner hoping not to get beat up. The kids make sure they are in bed and out of harms way.



Now two guys smoke a couple of spliffs.

If someone bumps into them they don't notice, don't care or giggle.

Instead of slobbering over each other they contemplate the existence of another universe on a dirty spoon.

They drive home at forty miles an hour in a fifty mile an hour zone seeing everything around them in technicolor.

When the individuals do get home to the wives they gobble down everything in sight while watching cartoons with the kids. The kids go to bed and the couples watch monty python reruns with the ladies in addition to making out like teenagers in the backseat of a seventy-three pinto hatchback.

This may sound a wee bit exaggerated but it serves to make a point.

Booze is legal and one of the most dangerous drugs out there. Pot is relatively harmless in comparison and is illegal.

?????????????
 

edropus

Senior Member
Unpretty said:
Should Cannabis be legalised?
One of the main reasons why many people still believe that legalising cannabis would be wrong is that the drug is often seen as a “doorway drug”, leading to more dangerous drug use. Young people who begin smoking cannabis at an early age, often move on to harder drugs, when cannabis can no longer give them the “high” that they crave.


You want to know the real reason Marijuana is a gateway drug? Because when people go and buy it the stuff that it's sold with is other drugs. If you bought Marijuana at a grocery store then you'd be surrounded by pizza and watermellons. When you have to go downtown to some sleezeball apartment, what do you think you're going to be exposed to? Other drugs. So what causes it to be a gateway drug? Criminalization. And let's not even get into dealers lacing their pot with PCP or crack to hook their users. If the govt. regulated the distribution these problems would both disappear. Alcohol isn't generally thought of as a gateway drug, but it probably would be if Hobo Tim had to go to Bad Jimmy instead of Kwik-Trip to get his hooch. Need some hooch, Hobo Tim? I'm all out. But I got this crack...

Those against the legalisation of cannabis often advocate that legalising the drug would lead to an increase in its use, and, as a “domino effect”, an increase in the use of many harder drugs, including cocaine and even heroin.

When the casual marijuana smoker no longer has to go to places where hard drugs are available the temptation to use them or likelihood to be coerced or tricked into using them disappears. Not only will this lower the rate of hard drug use but the proportionately large amount of money that goes into the enforcement of marijuana arrests can be used to prevent the distribution of drugs that are actually dangerous.

Another reason why a considerable number of people do not back the motion that cannabis should be legalised is that statistics show that legalising cannabis would more than likely lead to an all round increase in crime rates. US homicide statistics...

As was already pointed out this is a contradictory statement. The data that you provide directly disproves the point that you make. Crime is higher during times of prohibition because the supply has been cut off but the demand still exists. Demand in a country like the USA cannot (will not) be denied. Demand is the God of Democracy. People will never stop using - the need will always be there - the ONLY questions are how harmful the substance and how great the punishment (if one should be given at all). Moral or ethical standpoint cannot hold up in the face of the antiquity of narcotics and their use which stretches back past any civilization as we know it.

A final reason which those against the legalisation of cannabis advocate is that cannabis is dangerous, and can have lasting damaging effects to the user’s health. Cannabis contains more...

If you want to make a list of things that are dangerous to public health and start going down that list outlawing them that's fine, but the idea that marijuana should be anywhere near the top is rediculous. Start with trans-fats, cigarettes, alcohol, carbon monoxide emissions, mercury, insectiside leakage into water supplies, MSG, careless depletion of ozone and people that cover songs that are less then 15 years old. After you get all of that taken care of you might get close to the section where marijuana should be.

There is also evidence to suggest that cannabis can be psychologically damaging. Heavy users who find their supply suddenly withdrawn can display aggressive impulses and violent behaviour. As a result, a substantial amount of people...

I know people who would do the same thing if you took their access to the internet away, or their gym membership. There are people out there who display aggressive impluses and violent behavior when you deny them a parking space. This doesn't mean that no one should be able to park their cars, it means that some people are either:

1) Crazy
or
2) Having a bad day

However, numerous people believe that cannabis should be legalised in the UK
. One of the main reasons for this is that cannabis has been shown to have medical benefits..."


There shouldn't even be a debate about the use of medical marijuana. If it does a better job then standard drugs at relieving some peoples pain or symptoms then it should be used, no exceptions.

Despite the many good arguments in favour of legalising cannabis, I still consider myself to be firmly against legalising the drug. After all, if cannabis really does do no harm to the human body and psyche, then why was it ever made illegal in the first place?

In America around the turn of the century (1900 or so) there was a large migrant population of mexican workers in the southern United States, mostly employed on large farms or planatations in industries such as cotton which were still adapting from the loss of slave labor. The mexicans smoked marijuana on breaks and after they were done working.

The plantation bosses were in a fix, though, because the mexicans just wouldn't listen to them. They'd do the job for the most part but they didn't seem to fear the bosses at all - there was no way to control the mexicans, because they didn't really have anything that they wanted.

So around the turn of the century a law was passed. The law wasn't actually a criminalization of pot - you could get a license to sell it, and you could smoke it IF you were smoking what you bought from a licensed vendor. If you smoked anything else, it was a crime. This is how the plantation bosses controlled the mexican population at the time.

And that's why pot was made illegal in the first place, at least in the United States. I think (this I'm not sure about) the U.S. spread the practice to other countries in the 40's-60's as part of an international campaign that had something to do with the aftereffects of WWII, but don't quote me on that.

– as a result, I can conclude that the Government would be reluctant to legalise a drug that could surely only make the world we live in far less pleasant place to reside.

I look forward to your response.
 

Mike C

WF Veterans
Unpretty said:
After all, if cannabis really does do no harm to the human body and psyche, then why was it ever made illegal in the first place?

Sorry, this devalues the rest of your argument. Alcohol and tobacco, using your logic, must be harmless because they are legal. Gambling is addictive and can ruin lives, but we're on the brink of the super-casino culture in Britain. Caffeine is addictive, and can be harmful. I know someone who's clinical depression and subsequent suicide attempt was due to caffeine.

A BMA report from about 20 years ago stated that there were more people in the UK and US addicted to legal prescription drugs (particularly valium) than to illegal drugs. It also showed statistics to indicate that, pro rata, more people successfully gave up herion addiction than smoking.

You should also factor in the small number of heroin deaths (and there's yet to be a reported death linked solely to cannabis use) to those caused by smoking and alcohol.

I'd also refer you to the WHO report on cannabis use (supressed by the US government) which was published in the New Scientist magazine about 4 years ago, which stated that cannabis was not addictive and that it's health impact was very low - in fact the most harmful thing in a joint is the tobacco you mix your resin with. Further, it stated that in Holland, which has a more relaxed attitude, Cannabis use was less widespread than in the UK or USA. More people tried it, because it is easily available legally, but as there is no mystique attached, more people used for short term and then gave up.

Judge Pickles (a former high-court judge) in the UK made a compelling documentary a few years ago arguing in favour of the lagalisation of ALL drugs. 90% of crime is drug related, either through the import and sale or through crime committed by addicts in order to pay for their habits. Many prostitutes are also addicts and do what they do solely to pay for drugs. The associated health implications are obvious.

As a former cannabis, speed, cocaine, LSD and heroin user, I can tell you that none of them have had a negative impact on my life. My brain still functions, I run three businesses, and I write.
 
T

TimW_001

I think that it should be, especially here in Canada. A few years ago, it was almost decriminalized. The government should commercialize it, control it, tax it. If people are buying weed from their trusty neighborhood 7/11 then they can't get pressured into using hard drugs by the dealer who wants more money.

I don't smoke weed, just support the legalization of it.
 

boongee

Senior Member
I really didn't get this part:
Another reason why a considerable number of people do not back the motion that cannabis should be legalised is that statistics show that legalising cannabis would more than likely lead to an all round increase in crime rates. US homicide statistics from the last century show that “homicide rates peaked during times of prohibition and tougher drug policies.” When under the influence of any variety of drugs, the user’s ability to think logically is impaired. This makes way for an increase in violence, burglary, and other crimes which most people would not consider partaking in when their actions were not being influenced by drugs.

It looks like you completely contradicted yourself there - you say legalization would increase crime rates, and then you provide proof of prohibition (opposite of legalization!) increasing crime. That really threw me off.
 
One thing that I noticed was the research involved. 75% of your sources supported the legalization, which suprised me when you mentioned that you didn't support the legalization.

Also, regarding two of your sources; The second only sent me to the BBC home page. The first source -thescript.net- is nonfunctional, and i couldn't figure out anyway to find the source of the information that you
gathered from there.

I do feel it was very well written. I was able to understand and follow the content, and you did a good job of showing both sides of the issue without weighing heavily to either side. Thanks for writing it.

And since this is always a hot topic of discussion, I'll throw in my two cents. I smoke once a week (On fridays with two close friends, and right before eating a gormet meal, ironically). But I also think a lot of people minimize the effects of weed. Legalization can only come when the knowledge is more facts and less hear-say.

Once again, good job on the essay, it was an entertaining read
 
J

JoshK001

alll i've got to say is that it should be legalised, its no better or worse then alcohol. ive been a pot smoker and a drinker for the last 8 years an alcoholic and drug addict... im talking twenty to 30 cones (about 3 grams) and 15 - 30 drinks a day )depending on whether r not id been working that day. that is the one good characteristic about me i jave been a drug addict since about 10 yrs old yet since about 12 i have held down one, at one time two jobs.

i quit smoking pot 2 months ago and have been feeling a lot better because of it. but what i had not realized is it had given me scizophrenia, i had always thought it was normal to have voices in my head telling me to kill myself and severe hatred towards others. a week after i quit i stopped hearing these voices which made me recognise what they actually were and where they came from.

anyway i still believe it should be legalised because MOST (not me) people can have a casual smoke and not be severely emotionally effected by it, plus with alcohol (as i know, i am still kind of an alcoholic) you dont have to suffer the headaches and sever agitation of a hangover for most people, me i just wanted to smoke all the time and it made me a recluse all i did was sit at home and smoke pot, if i didnt change then i would have ended up killing myself, i was miserable....

anyway my conclusion is that it should be legalised but certain people predisposed to mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bi polar (which pot has left me being treated for both) should stay away....but hey im all for prohibition of the substance... as i said im an alcoholic and i found the stuf easier to give up then alcohol....
 

playstation60

Senior Member
Ok, Josh your post makes no sense. Aside from the spelling and grammar errors that could your message, you contradict yourself in the last paragraph. You speak through the first three paragraphs about supporting the legalization of pot, yet in the last you say you are all for it's ban. What gives?

I really don't know where I stand on this issue. I don't know if I trust people to have enough common sense to moderate if it were legal. At least with it being illegal there are some legal consequences to abuse. If it were legal, you'd take that away.

Besides, what of the financial repercussions *sp*?
 

Crazy_dude6662

Senior Member
i think it should be legalised, most of my reasons have been pointed out already so i wont repeat them.

they should sell it in packs behind the counter (kinda like cigarettes) and have a tax on them.
 

QuothTheRaven

Senior Member
I'm not sure why this was put in creative nonfiction, but I would say no to the topic. I've seen how people behave under the influence of marijuana, and frankly, I hate it. People are stupid enough on their own, I see no need to add marijuana into the mix to make them even stupider.
 
Top